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Fabolous, The S.O.U.L. Tape

Funeral Fab returns to his mixtape roots with yet another strong offering—something that’s now run of the mill for the Brooklyn native. This go round, the laid-back rhymer focuses more on song craft and jams for the ladies than punch lines, with a consistent Blueprint-esque vibe based on soul samples.

That said, this tape should still leave fans who turn to Fab for lyrics satisfied. The Lil Wayne collab “That’s Not Love” is a welcomed display and, like “Leaving You,” relies on chirpy chipmunk loops. “Mo Brooklyn, Mo Harlem, Mo Southside” brilliantly reimagines the AZ’s classic “Mo Money, Mo Murder” with Vado and Lloyd Banks rhyming alongside Loso. Fab’s takes on other artists’ material stand out: His cold-hearted recreation of Kanye West’s “Devil In A New Dress” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Phone Numbers” showcase his pure skills. On the latter, Fab disses pretenders to the throne: “The nerve of these niggas giving me attitude/When I be serving you niggas, you rappers is platter food.”

The S.O.U.L. Tape may not convert newcomers to the house of Fab, but devout listners would be hard-pressed to find a better warm weather listen. —Aaron Matthews

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