New York City is in peril. Though senseless terrorist acts
failed to crush Lower Manhattan’s spirit, clueless rappers are threatening to
ruin hip hop in the Bronx, Harlem and everywhere else. These new kids are
screaming bling this and bang-bang that, all the while distancing themselves
more and more from the way Flash, L.L. and Rakim used to handle their bizness. Go ahead and add Fabolous‘ name to this growing list.
But while Fab flosses more than your
family dentist, he separates himself from other MCs by having an absolutely
dynamic presence on the mic.

He reminds you of Jigga with his
charisma and shows hints of Jada in
his cockiness. The Brooklynite comes off like Mase and Capone on the
sound scale. And though the teenager who takes more blows to the head than Ali has only been in the game for a
minute, his rhyming skills actually may be their superior.

Ghetto Fabolous, Fab’s eagerly-anticipated debut, isn’t the greatest springboard
for the DJ Clue-managed rapper, but
it’ll do. One Day, a diary-like cut
anchored by a continuous flow of piano keys, and the smoothed-out The Bad Guy don’t regress into the
irritating cesspool of beats that most of the other songs do. But thankfully, Fabolous flows like the Nile River,
keeping sessions light with quick metaphors and inside jokes. On Get Smart, he goes: I’m a teacher’s pet/ And even if you’re good at math, Ma/ You’ll have
problems counting each baguette.
Lines like that are all over Ghetto Fabolous, and if you can get over
the fact that his tracks have no heart, it’s well worth a cop.