Boy Meets World
One Records, 2009

Here at mxmcty, we love hip hop. When people say "Real hip hop is dead", it makes us sad. If hip hop is dead, then I guarantee you Gucci Mane killed it and its decomposing carcass is buried in his basement. But of course, hip hop isn't dead. You just have to know where to find it. It's obviously not on BET or your local "Hip Hop and R&B" station. Sure, maybe a legit artist like Talib Kweli or Atmosphere will bubble up in the mainstream for a minute, but most of the time we have to deal with garbage. But if you like real hip hop, do you listen to the radio anyway? If you like real rock or any other genre for that matter, do you turn to MTV or the radio? Of course not.

You can say that Fashawn is "saving" hip hop or "bringing it back", but it never went anywhere. If anything, he'll bring it to the general masses and then possibly sell out like countless other talented MC's (come on EM, Recovery?). But who knows. What is glaringly apparent at the moment though is that this kid is crazy talented. He raps with the same hunger that Nas did on Illmatic and he slays every single track. Right from the intro you know this is going to be good.

Combine that with some of the best production I've heard in years, compliments of Exile, and you have a really good record. Exile is one of those producers who doesn't make beats, he makes songs. Anyone with a computer or MPC can make beats these days. There's way too many cooks in the kitchen. Not everyone can make a real song. Each track stands on it's own. I could listen to the rhymes accapella, but I could also just listen to the instrumentals and not get bored. This was a perfect collaboration. This is honestly the best hip hop record I've heard in years, and definitely the best of 2009.

Fashawn is only 21, and with this kind of talent he's going to be f***ing huge. Whether he will remain to be a credible artist or become just another product being relentlessly pushed by the commercial media is anyone's guess. But for right now, I recommend you do what he says on his intro. "Watch me."