Chris Brown and Tyga Deliver What’s Expected on ‘Fan of a Fan’
It’s been nearly five years since Chris Brown and Tyga dropped their highly regarded Fan Of A Fan mixtape in May of 2010, a collaboration that included tracks like “Deuces” featuring Kevin McCall, "Make Love" and Brown’s "No Bullshit." Over the past few years, whispers of a followup project have come and gone but it wasn’t until last September that CB confirmed to XXL that the project was not only on the way, but that it would be an album as well. Now in February, a half decade after than the initial effort, Chris Brown and Tyga’s first joint LP has finally arrived.
Although older and ostensibly wiser, Breezy and Tyga bring the same youthful material on the album as they did years ago on the mixtape. Both now renowned as hit makers, the duo attempts to create a favorable balance between fun and foolery on the LP. The duo sets a mellow tone upon the opening of the album with “Westside.” A track meant for cruising, the pair uses the Breed-produced song to shout out the West Coast. Amidst a relaxed beat, Brown and T-Raww also utilize this effort to catch fans up on the present standing of their young rock star lifestyles, before transitioning into the DJ Mustard-crafted “Nothin’ Like Me.” Exactly what listeners would expect on this album, the second track reminds fans why the initial mixtape had the impact it did. Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, the up-beat, boastful track partly cures the craving that had built up over the last few years. Brown and Tyga fill a void with Fan Of A Fan, serving up their specialty: playful, sex-driven records, all while adding in a mix of slower rhythmic efforts.
The overall production on the album shows off the variation of the two artists as they delve into the most prominent elements of a young, wild and free lifestyle. As expected, Nic Nac appears heavily on FOAF, producing both of the initial singles released, “Ayo” and “Bitches & Marijuana.” David D.A. Doman is also a heavy production influence, working on “Real One” and “D.G.I.F.U.,” slower records meant for those who’ll give the effort an invested listen. Jess Jackson, Drumma Boy, P-Lo and Frank E also produce on the album, with Scott Storch and Mel & Mus contributing to the Fan Of A Fan deluxe edition.
Chris Brown and Tyga do not go too heavy on features for this release, with half of the songs consisting of just the pair. Of all the additions, ScHoolBoy on “Bitches & Marijuana” and Ty Dolla $ign on “Nothin’ Like Me” make the most lasting impressions. “Grimy nigga, way too groovy for The Grammys,” spits Q in what may be the highlight of a song that's already a fan favorite. Ty brings his usual California rawness to the effort, which never seems to grow old. Pusha T appears on “D.G.I.F.U.” and 50 Cent revives his mid-2000s style on “I Bet,” though Fat Trel and Boosie Badazz fail to make an outstanding impact.
In its entirety, it’s clear the California-based collaborators were simply trying to have fun with FOAF, as if the Kris Kross-inspired album artwork doesn’t speak for itself. The majority of the efforts included on the project are destined for the club, with the inclusion of a few hits meant for highway road trips. Chris Brown and Tyga have given fans what they wanted, but with an abundance of turn-up tracks, the album fails to tackle more serious topics, as the duo has in the past on “Deuces.” It’s a wonder why they avoided the prior formula this go round.