Trying to make good on my promise to appreciate artists while they’re still alive after Jacka’s untimely passing – here’s a track that could have easily been a jumbled mixture of hot names, but actually coalesces into a complex but cohesive whole as a song.
Mistah F.A.B. – Up Until Then (feat. Boosie Badazz & Iamsu!)
At first listen, this track feels a little pasted together. Iamsu!’s hook is a bit too postured to blend easily with the street-level somberness of Boosie’s verse, and the divergent styles of these three rappers are not at all an obvious collection for a single track. But subsequent visitations cause these disparate elements to cohere more and more.
The dark yet bouncy instrumental helps to blend Iamsu!’s boasts with the song’s more melancholy moments. Both of F.A.B.’s verses pay a thorough homage to the Bay’s preferred term of endearment for males – it goes on to an almost-but-not-quite-annoying degree, and is saved by the compelling blend of nostalgia and clever freshness he leisurely dances around throughout. I’ve yet to hear Iamsu! put out anything as compelling as his Stoopid / Kilt days, but this beat and hook (I assume he is also the producer of the track?) have plenty of energy to keep the track vigorous and interesting. Boosie graces the beat with a less emphatic delivery than most of his recent material, but still infuses every word with a level of conviction and heart many rappers never achieve.
This one’s definitely a grower, but well worth the time spent on a few listens, and should serve as motivation to continue the deeper catalog exploration of F.A.B. and his associates.