Album Review: Fan Of A Fan | Chris Brown & Tyga

The year 2010 was a big year for hip-hop. Nicki Minaj cemented her place with Pink Friday, Wiz Khalifa dropped the stoner bible with Kush and OJ and Kanye West graced us with one of the greatest albums of all time, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. There was also a collaborative effort by two heavy-hitters that was being played in clubs and bedrooms everywhere. I’m talking, of course, about Chris Brown and Tyga’s mixtape, Fan of a Fan. The mixtape, naturally, was a hit and even landed at #2 on Datpiff.com’s list of “Top Mixtapes of 2010”. It had what you would expect from Chris Brown and Tyga as a tag team duo; songs suited for the bedroom and the rest, meant to be played through the type of speakers you would find in a club. Nothing out of the ordinary, but what set it apart from similar projects was its stellar production, undeniably catchy choruses and punchlines that would make Lil Wayne proud.

There had been talks of a follow up tape in subsequent years, but the fans never saw this come to fruition…until now.  Tyga and Chris Brown had, in fact, been working on a follow-up, but instead of releasing another mixtape, they swung for the fences, grabbed a few A-list features and asked us to pay for it. The question then becomes, do we just bring that five-year old mixtape back into our iTunes library for free, or does this new project provide enough quality new material to warrant a slightly lighter wallet?

Luckily, if you absolutely loved the first Fan of a Fan, this one shouldn’t disappoint you. The simple fact is, the album is more of the same, exactly the same. Chris Brown and Tyga don’t do too much or take any chances, but the things that they do, they do very well. These things, once again, are catchy choruses attached to booming, bass heavy club anthems or slow, rhythmic ‘baby-making’ tunes. Unfortunately, that is literally the entire range of the album. There is no attempt to craft a narrative or even truly to tell a story on any one of the tracks.

The verses are littered with bars about the duo’s sexual prowess and bedroom braggadocio.  Three of the songs, ‘Remember Me’,  ‘Banjo’  and ‘Wrong In The Right Way’ are completely dedicated to sex and are vivid, especially the former of the three, so any men hoping to throw this album on shuffle at their next party or “bro night”, prepare for that. Lyrically, the album just gets tiresome. Loose rhyme schemes and lyrics that are mainly just reiterations of things we have all heard before definitely don’t help push this album anywhere near future “Best of 2015” lists. The best versus arguably come from features on the album, (i.e.; Pusha T and Wale) not that Tyga and Chris don’t have their moments.

Halfway through the album there is a very ironic track, ‘Better’. It is all about the duo confessing that they should’ve treated their respective women better. The song seems misplaced on an album that can be viewed as largely misogynistic; talking about women as sexual objects and the delusion that the two can have any girl that they want.

“What happened to me babe? This ain’t who you fell in love with.”

Could this be Chris Brown apologizing to Rihanna or is it just an empty bar that happens to fit the concept of the song? No matter the intention, it’s humorous in a way to place this song in the middle of an album that’s most recurring concept is a blatant disregard for women’s feelings. The tracklist feels like it was just thrown together with the intention of having as many singles as possible. This is where a crossroads is reached. Each song, in its own right, is fantastically produced, yet as an album, it all feels disjointed. Overall, this is a worthy follow-up to the 2010 mixtape of the same name. It doesn’t introduce anything new or genre-bending yet it delivers what they duo’s fan base has grown to love from the two artists. I suggest listening to each song as though it is a single and to forget that they all are a part of the same project. It’s an enjoyable listen but leaves much to be desired.

5.7

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