15 years in and Fabolous still has the summer on smash, even if most would say he’s yet to reach his overall potential. From the first Ghetto Fabolous album to all his classic mixtapes, many of which are either street or critically acclaimed including the Soul Tape series, There Is No Competition series, Friday Night Freestyles, and a handful of other studio albums (From Nothin to Somethin my personal favorite) - there’s ultimately no disputing that Fab has made a tremendous impact on this game - even if last year’s Summertime Shootout felt like he was more or less in cruise control - where some had even questioned whether or not the Brooklyn native had lost his hunger.
While I agree that the first edition to the Summertime Shootout series wasn’t Loso at his best, it would be revisionist history to say that records like Sorry Not Sorry and Summertime Sadness weren’t better than your average, therefore for good reason Fab is still nothing less than a reputable name that you check for every time he comes out. With that in mind many would have expected the Summertime Shootout sequel to easily pass it’s predecessor, and below it’s critiqued track by track to see if he lived up to his name.
To The Sky ft 070 Shake -
“Got the bookin' info if you're tryna make plans, I chase the money like Joe Budden do Drake fans” The first record on this mixtape sets the tone correctly, as it’s filled with clever current event bars (yea I know, but this is Fab’s lane so let him cook) and a very memorable feature from North Bergen New Jersey’s own 070 Shake, whose unique voice will likely get her more looks in the near future.
Goyard Bag ft Lil Uzi Vert -
“Oh, those some runny eggs, I might flex around the world and then I start again, I might flex around your girl and then I fuck again, and the funny thing is you gon' cuff again” Not mad at this one but those bars from Uzi Vert are very likely the best on the record… and that ain’t saying much… even if it’s good for the vibe… Fab’s done this record way better in the past… see: We Good ft Rich Homie Quan as a prime example
Faith in Me ft Wale -
“I heard she gets chased by the safeties and tight ends, so I put her in the safe cause she might sin” Decent bar but this one is debatably hot garbage. Clearly inspired by Faith Evans and the late great Notorious BIG, this one undoubtedly had potential but undeniably fell short… as Wale’s Biggie flow is nauseating to say the least. Remember how Jay would flip Big’s lyrics and make it sound hot? Yea that doesn’t happen here… the concept is cool but this should have been scrapped on the cutting room floor.
Fabolous ft Trey Songz - Sex With Me (RMX)
"No, I can't call it, but I text on occasion, no, I'm pulling up for the sex invitation, all you gotta say is come fuck with me, and skrrt, you my next destination" For the most part Fab snaps on this pop instrumental like any other (not that it’s one of his best verses but it’s Fab on a radio record… it works everytime)… Trigga Tremaine does his numbers on this as well, although it would have been better if he demonstrated his range with his vocals, as opposed to keeping it in cruise control with his laid back playa raps - which still works on this and serves it purpose just fine.
4 AM Flex ft Tory Lanez
“Shawty made me feel like the summer time, feelin' like the summer's mine…” Not to be confused by a song of the same title, performed none other than Tory Lanez off his debut album released last month…. honestly… why are there two records with Tory Lanez on it with this same relatively obscure title… am I missing something? Either way this record was released a few months ago during the height of Joe Budden’s 'diss Drake for attention' campaign , as this is actually Joe Budden’s record… without Joe Budden… what a mess… and this shit is lukewarm anyway… not even worth the trouble smh
Fabolous - Team Litty
"one time for the catfishes, all them 'you don't really look like that' bitches" separate from the pathetic title this one is alright... even tho Fab only coasts on this for a cool 2 minutes...
I’m Goin Down ft Jazzy
“I try to speak real to the bitches, they think I'm Meek Mill with the bitches, they think it's a menage e'ery night, foreigns come out the garage e'ery night, private jets for me and the entourage e'ery night” Whenever you sample The What by Biggie and Method Man you better come correct… unless you flip it and make it an R&B record… and to be honest despite how that sounds I’m actually not even mad at that. While it apparently also samples Mary J Blige’s record of the same name, Jazzy’s vocals are actually more reminiscent of Ashanti’s… which I doubt is by accident as it flows right into the record below.
Ashanti ft Goldie
"You should just do R&B like Ashanti, shorty got me Mesmerized like Ashanti, chinky eyes, thick thighs like Ashanti, 'bout to let mami (mommy) manage this like Ashanti” In retrospect I should have put this record in the song of the week files a few weeks back, as this is actually debatably the best record on here, even if it still could have went so much harder. The best moments are obviously the Ashanti/Ja Rule/Murda Inc flips in the beginning and end of Fab’s verse, however there’s like 10 bars in the middle that have nothing to do with anything, and certainly have nothing to do with the theme of this record - making it nothing more than a missed opportunity. Otherwise Goldie sings a medley of some Ashanti tunes in the intro… and it’s cool as long as you’re into the nostalgia.
Wishing (Remix) ft DJ Drama & Chris Brown
“I, wish you could stay, but when you walk away, you look delicious from far, she roll up on me, then we get lit, girl you my swisher cigar, woooo…” Mannn... Fab was cookin here… for my money the best bars and delivery on the entire tape (press play on it to understand… it’s clever word play but truthfully it’s all in the delivery)... and then inexplicably Fab cuts himself off for an interlude of boss bitch slick talk??? Nah… I can’t believe this… like 6 bars and then nothing… no finish… shit isn’t even a song… and featuring Chris Brown? Where??? Not on this version… CB did throw down on the instrumental for Drama some months ago with artists Skeme & Lyquin (video below)… yet we need a proper version with Fab and Chris before the end of the years complete with Fab’s full verse and minus the other shit… I’m tight cause Fab was really goin in…
Check On Me ft DJ Esco & Future
"Call me Mr. Nice Watch, Ice the wrist like it's swollen *****, boy that's a Fisher Price watch
All you my first Rollie *****” It’s been a minute since I heard a good record with Future on it… and I’m still waiting… SKIP!!!
Fabolous ft A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie - My Shit
"Got no time for no pop up by your baby daddy, but I see you on your slim thick with the fatty" A remix to A Boogie's popular New York record, this one is a solid co sign for the Bronx native, who will be looking to reproduce the boost that newcomer Bryson Tiller got off the last Summertime Shootout album… however that’s probably not going to happen…
“Remember that night? Your BM left, right, on my mama she was in my DM left, right, thick ass thighs, I was in between them next night, ah man, you see him stressed right?” This a decent verse over a decent but rather typical instrumental produced by AarabMuzik and !llmind, yet the DMX adlibs are probably the best part of the record… which once again cuts off for a meaningless skit… and I’m not excited...
For The Family ft Don Q & Dave East
"Look, I'm tryna grab a Dame and Dash get back on the Freeway, Shawty went to Memphis, brought it back up to BK, Hard Knock Life, Bentley back to the PJs, The feds ain't got a Clue like they lackin' a DJ, Roc chains round here they'll get you for real, put that Mac to your Beanie just to get to A Mil, see I was Young poppin' Cris underneath the big homies, rappin' and trappin', tryna do it BIG's homie" 99 times out of 100 a Rocafella scheme will be good money, yet if followed by a Dipset scheme within the same verse then there’s nothing else to talk about… thus true to form this is one of the better records off the mixtape, this one is a throwback to the There Is No Competition Fab that is a vast deviation from Twitter Trending Topic Fab and for that reason we need a lot more of where this came from. Also reminiscent of Fab and East's previous collaboration Summertime Sadness that was also one of the more memorable records from the previous mixtape - yet in comparison to their original record however, East doesn’t really flex on this at all.
In conclusion this mixtape is no better or worse than the first, and as a dedicated fan who still has him in the Top 10 of my power rankings, I ultimately wouldn’t recommend either Summertime Shootout release for anyone unfamiliar with his talent. I still hold firm the idea that Fab has never released anything wack, yet I’m starting to see validity in the narrative that Fab isn’t really trying anymore - yet even then we shouldn’t forget that the Friday Night Freestyles were only last year - even though it feels much longer since he’s released two lackluster tapes more recently than that. I don’t doubt however that he still has the same skills, and in short intervals this tape is actually indicative of that - yet in regards to his potential it still inevitably falls short, and leaves us all patiently waiting for the day that he really decides to go in.