After dropping the Fan Of A Fan mixtape, Chris Brown and Tyga are looking to extend their collaborational success. Fan Of A Fan The Album actually feels like that: a duo going through the motions that have brought them glory in the past. It turns out making a hot single is much easier than a compelling album.

If there’s one sound you need to hear in 2028 to bring you instantly back to the middle of the ’10’s, it’s that couple of DJ Mustard synth-basses. There hasn’t been a sound more copied than his since Lil Jon’s crunk. Fan Of A Fan leans heavily on these beats, though only one song is actually produced by DJ Mustard. The record confirms a feeling I have for a while now: the sound is played out.

Having Chris Brown rap over beats you feel like you’ve heard a hundred times before isn’t exactly helping. Regardless of his behavior, Brown has proven time and time again he’s talented,1 but he’s probably as capable of delivering a decent sixteen as I am throwing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. Tyga isn’t doing much better. Since he made a name for himself with the breakout single Rack City, he only got close to repeating that succes with help from Chris Brown and Lil’ Wayne (the summer smash Loyal).

Fan Of A Fan The Album gets off to a promising start, though. Westside is a laid-back track, remeniscent of -but far worse than- an old TQ song. The lyrics are as generic as they get, with Brown rapping: “But I deal with her, and let her think she made it / I’mma spend it all, shit I’m just playing baby / A 100k for the strippers, just me and my niggas / After that we party with bitches and sippin’ on liquor”. The second track gets lifted to a higher level by the original DJ Mustard rapper Ty Dolla $ign. He delivers his verse with a sense of humor and self-awareness that Tyga and Chris Brown obviously lack. If you’ve played Loyal all summer, chances are you’re listening to Ayo right now. The beat, the obnoxious lyrics (Chris Brown raps: “We in the hood, tatted like a Mexican / Car too fast, give a fuck about pedestrians”), they’re all a little bit too similar to Loyal.

After Ayo, it’s all downhill. The songs start to blend and it’s unclear where one track ends and another one begins. A mediocre verse from 50 Cent on I Bet adds exactly nothing2 and D.G.I.F.U. with Pusha T consists of lyrics ripped from classics like Notorious B.I.G.’s Notorious Thugs, Dr. Dre’s Forgot About Dre, Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin’ and Drake’s Furthest Thing. I appreciate a cleverly created reference, but on this track it feels lazy and undeserved. The only above average track after the album opening is second single Bitches & Marijuana, where Schoolboy Q delivers a show stealing verse (“Grimy nigga way too groovy for the Grammys / Overseas collecting panties, poppin’ Xanies”) and Tyga and Chris Brown do a decent job not the mess the track up.

  1. His latest effort, X, was far from perfect, but it had a couple of really good songs on it. And I’m still convinced he could have been as big as Usher had he never beat the shit out of Rihanna and lost his way.
  2. Except maybe to the conviction that 50 Cent is better off not rapping anymore.


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