Mixtape review: Fabolous’ ‘Soul Tape 2’ is solid

REVIEW - Like most projects from the Brooklyn emcee, this one is feature heavy, but thankfully this where the bulk of the album's strength lies...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

This past Thanksgiving, veteran emcee Fabolous gave his fans something to be thankful for. As promised, he dropped Soul Tape 2, the follow-up to his highly successful mixtape Soul Tape released last year.

It’s been some time since Fab’s last solo studio album but he returns to form with the witty punch lines that made him one of the game’s most featured artist in recent years. Soul Tape 2 takes cues from the original by continuing on the path of rapping over melodic and soulful instrumentals.

Like most projects from the Brooklyn emcee, this one is feature heavy, but thankfully this where the bulk of the album’s strength lies.

Fab calls on his friends to help him on this new tape. Soul Tape 2 has stellar verses from veterans Joe Budden and Trey Songz, hip-hop new comers, Wale and J.Cole, and a shockingly good effort from the always suspect singer Cassie.

Diddy’s young muse has never sounded this good. Probably the most empathic feature comes from, G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha-T, where the two trade bars about the fruits of their labor they have garnered through rap on “Life is so exciting”.

South beach, spent time there, Offshores my time wear
Whole crew got they own watch, ni**a we ain’t buying no time shares
The lifestyle, too fly, my new b*tch is getting next flighted
I’d say I’m back to the old me, but my old b*tches would get excited

As usual, Funeral Fab takes the freedom of the mixtape to appropriately float along the beat and flex his creativity that might be stifled on an actual album. Unfortunately for the listener, sometimes that creativity falls shorts and results in struggle verses. Like on the opening track “Transformation”.

Fab felt the need to re-use “I’m old enough to know better, young enough to not give a f**k/ rather hold my head high and die, than live and duck.” Did he think we weren’t going recognize that verse from the last album? That verse isn’t as painful as “We fell out like faints do” on “Guess Whos Bizzack” or the equally excruciating Derrick Rose verse on “Want You Back”.

When you crossed me, you lost me
 Now if I was guarding Derrick Rose
I would be more understanding but you ain’t Derrick Rose
You was my number one, but uuuhmm, you ain’t Derrick Rose
You try to make a point again, you ain’t Derrick Rose
You just on some bullsh*t, b*tch, you ain’t Derrick Rose

Ultimately, Soul Tape 2 is a solid offering from Fabolous. He doesn’t bring anything different to the table, but what he does is continue to supply his fan base with the wordplay that they yearn for from him. Though not as good or fluid as the original, Soul Tape 2 should be able to hold you over until the new Fabolous album drops…or at least another mixtape.

Chris Martin is a Brooklyn-based writer. He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and co-editor of itstheratpack.com. You can follow him on twitter at @SozeSays.