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Monday, March 2, 2015

[Album] FASHAWN - "The Ecology"

I remember back in 2009 when two really true fresh emcees stepped onto the scene with their respective debut albums that at least for me brought back the classic vibes of what a banging hip-hop LP used to be. I'm talking about Skyzoo and Fashawn, two quite different artists but who had the love of the music and an endless array of clever, well written rhymes and a knack for picking great beats. Fashawn's official debut project, "Boy Meets World", was entirely produced by Exile and featured a wide array of different styles, never coming of as boring or predictable, and I for one had him pegged as the great young hope. However his 2012 street album "Champagne & Styrofom Cups" left a sour taste in my mouth - so much that I almost entirely wrote him off...

Big mistake, a couple of months ago he teamed up with The "Alchemist and released the free mixtape "Fashionably Late", an absolutely fantastic showcase in beats and rhymes that proved to be a lot stronger than most albums released in 2014. Now signed to Nas' Mass Appeal records (the Queensbridge legend also acts as the executive producer of the project and appears on the stand out track "Something to Believe In"), Fashawn follows up with his official second album, entitled "The Ecology". Taking a much smoother approach than on The Alchemist collaboration, with tracks packed with fast drum beats, uplifting piano and synthesizer melodies, percussive vocal adlibs and smooth guitar licks as a trusted staple while Fashawn provides the songs with his unique vocal talents and well written and well spitten vocal output. Rather than letting Exile produce all of the album, Fash are also inviting a few friends to help him out behind the boards - including Alchemist, DJ Khalil, ATG, Quincy Tones, and Beewirks. I have a feeling this will be a real grower upon repeated listens, so be sure to support Fashawn and Mass Appeal records by purchasing the CD or 2xLP (coming April 7) @ UGHH.

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