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Fashawn: Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World
(One Records)

At a time when the game is dominated by 30-something rappers, we sometimes forget that hip-hop is the music of the youth.

Twenty-year-old Fashawn’s debut album, the Exile-produced Boy Meets World, represents that vital element, telling the story of a young man from Fresno, California, trying to avoid poverty’s pitfalls and rise above his circumstances. On “Intro,” the album’s opening skit, young ’Shawn turns down a chance to hustle for a shot at a rap career, before bragging about his ferocious flow (“I can turn a whole metropolis into a peninsula/Ink-pen emperor, slang remain infinite”) over Exile’s chopped-up organ and swollen bass groove.

Though he’s adept at boasting (see: “Bo Jackson”), Fashawn’s real strength is his ability to articulate the inner struggles of a good kid from a bad place. “Where I’m from, brothers die every day, sunny CA/Learn the ecology on how we behave,” he spits over Exile’s dramatic string sample on “Ecology.”

In sharp contrast to the album’s somber tone is “Hey Young World.” Here we have Fashawn, barely out of adolescence himself, reminding those younger than him that their dreams are within reach. Featuring requisite guest appearances from the likes of Blu (“Samsonite Man”), Evidence (“Our Way”) and Planet Asia (“The Score”), Boy Meets World is a strong debut from such a young MC, and it resonates a lot more than the work of some rappers decades his senior. –TIMMHOTEP AKU

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  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Yet another artist I’ve never heard of. XL is a big rating for a new artist…

    I wonder what Rae & Ghost would have to say about the cover. “N****s bit off of NaS’ shit”

    • B

      ur sleepin under a rock

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        I admitted as much…

        • miguel aka el mexikano

          yo son your hella sleepin on fashawn. this nigga got mad spits. im from the same town as him. he mad koo

    • http://myspace.com/joebanksakaiceman Joe Banks

      you gotta be a lame ass mutha fucka to not know who he is! and FUCK GHOST & RAE they both turnt soft!

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      I don’t think cats really read your statement P.

      He’s good $ though…

    • http://XXl Cali Addix

      LMAO really my dude if u knew anything about hip-hop u would know that Ghostface picked Fashawn for his opening act for the poetry tour so ghost would say u dumb dude u sleepn under a rock..get ur facts straight b4 u think what other rappers would say LOL

  • http://twitter.com/SleepyBoient SleepyboiEnt

    Fashawn Most likely (because i havent heard the cd yet) deserves XL its not much keepin the cali rap scene winning and he’s ah big reason for the “hopeful” return Pierzy check out his mixtapes and you’ll understand he ah very gifted artist.. (while ur at it pick up sumthin from J.Cole as well.)


  • lol

    Always have to give the new up-coming people a shot If not then how would he/she know if there good enough to follow their dreams come on 50 cent,method man,dr dre,the game they all are not going to live on forever so we have to open up to new music so that way dreams can be achieved pierzy

    • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

      If anything, I was talking about myself not knowing about dude who must be at least decent if he has an XL rating.

      I was speaking on how there are new artists – some with talent – that I’ve been sleeping on. Nothing against Fashawn or other new cats…

  • Pingback: XXLmag.com – » Fashawn: Boy Meets World | kozmom news

  • lol

    Thats cool no disrespect its just I get pretty tired that no one gives new comer’s a chance ,I say if you dont then how the hell is anyone going to make it? or follow there dreams well I hope my point got acrossed here i’m not saying that i’m right or wrong I just wish people stoped hating and fucking showing love to the new talent people are “pouring” there hearts into you feel me

  • olliekid

    can’t wait to get this. Fashawn is the best new artist out.

  • oNe

    Fashawn is dope, everything i’ve heard from him so far is amazing..he is hands down one of the best emcees coming out of cali right now, definitely looking forward to this, not to mention it was produced by Exile, he is a monster on the beats.

  • http://twitter.com/mooniism moonshine

    i know the kid personally and its good to see tht the world is lookin @ FRESNO now and not just l.a or the bay whn thy speak of california’s hip-hop/rap scene.. keep it lit fash! we on our way up! 559 stand the fuk up!!! and while we’re on the topic be on the look out for “ILLEGAL KARTEL” the next to break out from FRESNO.. fashawn would tell you bout em


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  • http://myspace.com/kp559 k.pizzle

    Fashawn Is The Truth!!! Props!!

  • JOHN


    • cool_cat_lennox

      u would know being a john>? lol

  • AntEscrow

    Hmmmm i wonder if they covered Blu’s ”Below the Heavens” ?

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  • SpencerUtica

    The Phenom! Getting more and more well deserved recognition err day. Fashawn is the tr00f, and like was said above, if you ain’t peeped, you’re sleeping and you need to get on it.

    Hell, if you read XXL and haven’t heard of Fash, you’re sleeping..

  • Nate

    I had heard of dude, so I’m glad to see XXL’s rating. It’s rare enough someone a XL these days, especially a young artist never gets a XXL, so this cosign means it’s safe to pick it up.

    Fresno has been the home also of Planet Asia who has dropped many gems but gets slept on sometimes by the East/South. Should be interesting to compare Fashawn’s style to Planet Asia. Fresno artists collab with both LA/BAY but it goes to show Cali has got a lot of talent all over the state.

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Also Common,Biggie,Weezy etc have all in their careers bitten Nas album cover. Why dudes keepin’ doing that?

  • Lo-Uie

    this dude is helaa dope!!!

  • hate

    fashawn been madd nice. i ain’t know he was only 20 tho. that makes him even iller

  • cottonmouth

    im from sweden and even i heard bout fashawn.
    good shit.

  • stephen gibson

    I’m more excited about this album droping than blue print 3. Fashawn is the future of hip hop.

  • Crazy-S.

    Fashawn’s been official-it’s good to see him finally be properly recognized for his music & his talent. Somebody gotta keep the west crackin’ in hip-hop, right?

  • Prince Caesar

    I’ve only heard this dude on Evidence’s “The Far Left” and he spit a lil fire on that joint. I’ll definitely check this shit out cuz I got a feeling that this guy is kinda nice. Also, I’m tired of all of these wack ass new rappers like Drake and every new wack nigga from the south.

  • Nehemiah

    @Pierzy LOL he did bite off Nas shit! LOL Illmatic’s cover that is…as far as an MC he totally deserves the XL. Yo lol u right everybody deserves a chance cuz thats how hip hop is u csn turn nothing into something just off grinding and spittin the truth. Real recognize real and Fashawn is da real deal.

  • Pingback: XXLmag.com - » Fashawn Talks Ode to Illmatic Mixtape [With XXcLusive Video]

  • Harry

    IMO way better than GRODT (an XXL rating)
    The term classic album is thrown around a lot but I cannot stress enough how much this album warrants it. Not one bad point to make about it. XXL

  • cuz cuz

    fashawn like a young nas man the dude honest an gifted, a leader not a follower

  • Pingback: XXLmag.com - » Fashawn Presents “Ode to Illmatic” Remix Contest, Mixtape Coming June 9

  • JRG

    deserves a XXL. in 10 years time this will review will be re-written and the boy meets world will get a XXL. mark my words.
    fawshawn is the future. for real

  • Crackee

    not just cuz of the album cover, but this album really remind me of illmatic.not saying its just as good but this is a great debut, and the dude 20 just like esco was when illmatic dropped.

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