Fabolous

There Is No Competition, Vol. 2: The Grieving Music Mixtape

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Being that it as an EP-length mixtape, There Is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music is firmly in the category of Fabolous’ “sideline” releases, but with 29 minutes that’s all killer and no filler, even the casual fan needs to check this one. The rapper is as thematically minded as ever with the “killing the competition” metaphor being stretched to impossible lengths, but unlike on his full-length albums, the half-hour time limit means the inspiration doesn’t run out. Fabolous guides us through the whole baller embalming process with plenty of punchlines and hooks, all delivered at a freestyler’s pace, as if he had just been given his first shot on Rap City. Folks like Lex Luger and Ryan Leslie supply the suitably scrappy beats and a very short guest list means Loso doesn’t have to leave his “me, and me only” argument too often. Stick a “Closing Prayer” from DJ Drama on the end and you’ve got something authentically street, even when this is Def Jam product proper and major-label affiliated. Short but well done, and for anyone who likes their East Coast hip-hop to be recklessly bold, very worthwhile.

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