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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 29, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released December 7, 2009 | Rhino - Elektra

From out of nowhere, Fabolous swooped onto the hip-hop scene in summer 2001 with this big-money debut album and a sure-fire hit ("Can't Deny It"). It also didn't hurt that Fabolous' rhymes happen to fit right in the with the zeitgeist of the moment, exhibiting somewhat of an East Coast variation of the bling bling style synonymous with Southern rap. Besides Jay-Z's occasional departure into materialism and/or hedonism à la "I Just Wanna Love U," the East Coast didn't really have a young, icy player -- at least not since the popular downfall of Bad Boy following the Notorious B.I.G.'s death. So if all this sounds a bit calculated, that's probably because it is. The flagship for DJ Clue's Desert Storm label, Fabolous is targeted at a specific niche, and he's well positioned. You know this before even hearing the music, just by glancing over the credits: big-money, of-the-moment producers like the Neptunes, Rockwilder, and Timbaland drop beats, and big-name, all-over-the-airwaves rappers/vocalists like Ja Rule, Lil' Mo, Jagged Edge, and Nate Dogg contribute some hooks -- these are can't-miss artists capable of propelling an unknown like Fabolous to overnight stardom. And that's exactly how it worked, thanks to the Rick Rock-produced, Nate Dogg-graced "Can't Deny It," a song that conveniently lifts a trademark 2Pac line for its hook ("I can't deny it, I'm a f*ckin' ridah," from "Ambitionz as a Ridah"). As calculated as it may be, it's an irresistible hook; unfortunately, the remainder of the album isn't nearly as alluring. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 14, 2003 | Rhino - Elektra

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 24, 2017 | Fabolous v Jadakiss

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2009 | Fabolous - Desert Storm

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 29, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 11, 2004 | Elektra Records

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Comedy/Other - Released May 2, 2016 | Big Chill Ent.

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released February 1, 2003 | Elektra Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 29, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 15, 2017 | Turn Up Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 29, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 24, 2007 | Rhino - Elektra

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2010 | Fabolous - Desert Storm

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 13, 2018 | Def Jam Recordings

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 24, 2017 | Fabolous v Jadakiss

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 24, 2017 | Fabolous v Jadakiss

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2007 | Fabolous - Desert Storm

Fabolous' new label, Def Jam, rolls out a wide red carpet for From Nothin' to Somethin', enlisting a great deal of starpower to bolster its new artist's fourth album. Akon, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Lloyd, Junior Reid, and even Ne-Yo (on a track produced by Timbaland) make appearances, while there is room made for past collaborators like Just Blaze, Swizz Beatz, Young Jeezy, longtime cohort DJ Clue?, and the otherwise missing-in-action Lil' Mo. In another sense, it's the same old, same old, with Fabolous covering a bunch of niches: there's the booming, borderline sluggish Southern track (the Jeezy feature "Diamonds"), a couple raucous East Coast bangers ("Brooklyn," "Return of the Hustle"), several R&B crossovers, and a couple melodramatic moments (including "What Should I Do"). Although this is one of the better albums in Fabolous' discography, the guest appearances are overwhelming, and the disc ends up similar to a compilation of Fabolous features, as if all guest stars gathered together and staged a coup. In at least half the tracks, the headliner struggles to reclaim the spotlight, and at times it seems entirely possible that the space is being used for something other than an actual Fabolous album. For instance, Akon not only dominates "Change Up," but two of the singer/producer's artists -- T-Pain and Red Café -- are heard on other tracks. Those looking to the disc for some pure top-form Fab will find a few spots of hotness, especially within "Brooklyn" -- a geographic anthem that outstrips Busta Rhymes' "New York Sh*t." Given Fab's usual kicked-back demeanor, some wordplay is bound to be overlooked (like "They should call me Karat Jeter, maybe Canary Bonds"), but regardless, there is not enough of it. After all, a separation of Fabolous' rhymes from all the guest verses and vocal hooks would result in two EPs: one by Fabolous and another by a mismatched supergroup. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 4, 2019 | Desert Storm

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 15, 2019 | Def Jam Recordings