Various Artists

FB Entertainment Presents: The Good Life

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Already a staple of the rap community as a popular fashion brand, Fubu extended its reach beyond fashion in late 2001, releasing its first compilation of rap music, FB Entertainment Presents: The Good Life. Released through Universal, Fubu's roster of performers includes a few big names -- Nate Dogg, Nas, Ludacris, LL Cool J, Keith Murray, Beenie Man, Erick Sermon -- and a lot of no-name artists. Yet, surprisingly, it's many of these no-name artists that offer the album highlights. In particular, Mr. Cheeks and Drunken Master steal the spotlight. Best known as a member of the Lost Boyz, Mr. Cheeks keeps the energy level jumpin' with "Lights, Camera, Action," a great club-ready track with a lively beat and a catchy hook. Barely known in his native Detroit, let alone to a national audience, Drunken Master delivers a creative, somewhat novelty performance on "50 Ni**** Deep," a song that defies standard categorization. Elsewhere, there are a lot of lackluster moments on this compilation once you get past the few highlights. You have to commend Fubu for going with lesser-known artists like Mr. Cheeks and Drunken Master rather than more sure-fire artists like Ludicris and Nate Dogg. Still, it's unfortunate that the album ultimately suffers because of this choice.

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