Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Actually Like: Fabo, pt. 2

I wanted to do a second part to my "I Actually Like: Fabo" post, partly because I couldn't figure out how to conclude the previous post and partly because there really is a lot more to say. While tracks like "So High" and "It Got Me" are full of anger and paranoia, songs like "Super Good" and "Spaceship Man" are more celebratory, with the latter sounding like some kind of geeked up gospel music.

Produced by DJ Speedy (who also produced the great Gucci Mane track "Running Back"), "Spaceship Man" is less about escaping the harsh world on your spaceship and more about getting so high you cease to be human. That idea may sound silly, but what else are drug music and gospel music united in except escaping the human form? Hearing a song like "Spaceship Man," you realize how boring so many party and drug songs are, because while partying is supposed to be about losing control, most of those songs seem to be about maintaining it, whether by mean-mugging everyone you see and carrying a gun or by refusing to dance. To a certain extent I get this, because if you're worried that the minute you start dancing someone is going to to jump you, well, then caution and a certain amount of sobriety is understandable.

But it's clear Fabo doesn't give a fuck about this. While most of his songs contain at least one gun reference, it's clear that, deep in his heart, it's all about the drugs. He wants to lose control, wants to get to that place you see clubgoers and churchgoers go to where they look lost in their own pleasure. That place is pretty solipsistic, and it's where genres like crunk and snap music meet rave and dance culture and produce a kind a strange reaction to "rap music," namely solitary girls and guys dancing their asses off, unconnected to the world around them.

Of course that reaction among elated churchgoers isn't considered strange, because they're connecting more to God than to the people around them. The fact that Fabo is partying on a spaceship and not in a club is telling, and separates the song from other "wildin' out in the club" songs like it. Like heaven, a spaceship isn't subject to human laws, and therefore at no point will the lights come up, the music go down, and the bartenders start cleaning up, reminding everybody that "Oh shit, real life has started again."

A song like "Super Good" is more standard snap music fare and, if you want to be super literal about it, contradicts a lot of what makes Fabo's other songs so interesting. He's "mean mugging haters," "in the VIP," and re-enacting "Love in the Club," but so what? I don't expect "Spaceship Man" or "So High" every time and neither should you. What's interesting about Fabo as an artist is that he's not just making a "spaceship" song because Lil Wayne made "Phone Home" or a drug song because that's what all snap or crunk artists do; his sincerity and conviction is unmistakable. Let's hope he stays true to himself and keeps making great music.