Fashawn

Friday

SXSW Records

Fashawn

Boy Meets World. (One)

Like Nas, who set the precedent for debuts with a straight-faced kid on the cover, Fashawn grew up fast. And like Illmatic, Boy Meets World. is an album to tell it like it is. Fashawn's story is true, too, flowing with a Kwelian raspiness both raw ("Freedom") and refined ("Hey Young World"). He's a whip-smart lyricist who's seen enough of his Fresno, Calif., neighborhood to have made it out: "Black streets filled with crack and pipe dreams. Fuck peace. Niggas is purchasing red beams. ... It gets so hot, cops don't wanna intervene. Cuz they can get popped, too. Simple and plain." He's also got an ideal soundtrack. Exile's College Dropout-Kanye beats ("Freedom," "Samsonite Man") bang and vibe throughout, complementing Fashawn by harking back to the era when the 20-year-old learned to rap. Rap about what you know to the music that you know. It's a beautiful practice. (Fri., 10:30pm, Mohawk Patio; Sat., 8:15pm, Emo's Main.)

****

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