A concept album from a punch line rapper is an unattractive proposition, so it's fortunate that Loso's Way strays off topic even more than Jay-Z's American Gangster. Named after Fabolous' own feature film -- made available in a limited-edition version of the album -- Loso's Way is inspired by the Al Pacino vehicle Carlito's Way. Past a track named after the character "Pachanga" plus a couple other references within the rhymes, this is actually a standard issue Fabolous album with big singles, plenty of laugh-out-loud lyrics, and the usual redundancy. The first five tracks come at the hip-hop "up and out of the struggle" anthem from five different angles, allowing only the glorious "My Time" ("Soon as I walk in/It feel like me o'clock") and the infectious "Everything, Everyday, Everywhere" to stand out. Redundant on a more micro scale, the latter track stacks money with "Let my chips Pringles up," but just one song later, the worthy single "Throw It in the Bag" is carrying a "Bag full of chips/We ain't talkin' Ruffles." Even if it's just a remix of Jay-Z's "When the Money Goes," "Money Goes, Honey Stay" is outstanding, and when fatherhood is addressed so poignantly on "Stay," it's Fab at his most inspired. While Lil Wayne's guest appearance on "Salute" is a disappointment thanks to his voice sounding very hoarse, Ne-Yo's cool swagger enriches "Makin Love," which already comes packaged in a beautiful Jermaine Dupri production. Add it all up and this not-so-conceptual-after-all album points out both the rapper's limitations and his strengths. Call it a draw.
Loso's Way Review
by David Jeffries
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W. Atkinson / P. Cain / J. Denny / J. Jackson / D. Schofield / W. Thomas / J. Withers
K. Crouch / J. Jackson / K. Jones / S. Smith / Delroy Wilson
Kenny Gamble / Leon Huff / J. Jackson / N. Jones / D. Miller / S. Phillip / Sting