To be honest, I never expected to be writing about Mistah Fab in 2016, but I never expected that Boosie would be a free man in Paris or Honolulu as the case may be. But here we are in this alien existence and Baton Rouge and the Bay have teamed up for what might be their best union since Young Bleed met Richmond’s own Master P. IAMSU is here too and there are steel drums, which gives the song a mildly Caribbean feel, the hood on holiday.
As you may know, the steel drum to a rap song is like a fire harmonica solo on a folk song. It essentially turns what could be merely solid until something major. The video helps too, filled with shots of regional pride — political slogans, Oakland A’s baseball, girl scout cookies courtesy of Berner, the Oracle Arena (the Dub’s will be forever cursed for moving across the Bay Bridge). Fab rhymes a little less animated than at the Hyphy apex but remains one of the best rappers the area ever produced, a brilliant freestyler who understands how to insert slang and storytelling into his actual songs. There are Nef the Pharaoh and Mac Dre shouts out as there should be.
Boosie is capable of conveying more emotion in his verses than almost anyone I’ve ever heard. Give him 16 bars and get pain and redemption, benevolence and pure ratchetry. IAMSU handles the hook on auto-tune, offering a contemporary slant to song as raw as you could ever want. This is an underground hit in the Bay and very quietly one of the best songs of the year. It makes you want to cry and go on vacation at the same time.