Doe’s Favorite Projects: Soul Tape 2

The Soul Tape 2

Everyone knows that at one point in my life, I was a Fabolous fanatic. I was always a fan of his work because I was exposed to him throughout my life through my brother. However, I have been very disappointed with Fabolous the last two years. His “Trappy New Years” was very forgettable, and both Summertime Shootouts were not impressive to me. I am just one fan, so this does not mean much to Fabolous. But, Fabolous has become a prisoner of his own greatness in my mind. The Soul Tape 2 and 3 are my favorite projects of all time, especially #2. Therefore, every time Fabolous releases a project, I want it to give me that same feel those two projects did which is impossible because I was in a different state of mind and at a different place in life. But, like my brother Nasir, I want to start a series of articles on music: Doe’s Favorite Projects. I cannot start that list without this gem: The Soul Tape 2.

Life is about growth and perspective. We mature and grow, and I am a firm believer that the kind of music we listen to contributes to our growth. The first project to make me view life in a different light was the Soul Tape 2. I was in the 8th grade heading into my Thanksgiving Vacation. The mixtape I had been awaiting for months was finally dropping. Coming into 7th grade, I had just got done riding the wave of There Is No Competition 3: Death Comes in 3s, another mixtape by Fabolous I thoroughly enjoyed. I had been talking about the Soul Tape 2 constantly to all of my classmates, telling them it was going to be the best project to come out the entire year. After my first go through of the entire mixtape, I remained firm in that opinion. It was the greatest project I ever listened to.

I made some changes in my life, don't regret none of them
So if you ain't heard from me then you're probably one of them
Niggas want different results but do the same shit
They wait for it to come, I became it

The production was great. The content was awesome. I learned so many lessons about life throughout the mixtape. I learned the importance of building relationships through this mixtape. Fabolous takes a look at himself in the mirror in many songs such as “Want You Back” where we see the issues he goes through with his relationship (Emily B??).  We are able to vicariously live through Fabolous in many songs where he talks about the downfalls of the streets, the struggles of being in a romantic relationship, and the struggles of being a Black man. Throughout this mixtape, Fabolous drops motivating lines which have come to be soundtracks, anthems, and mottos to my life.

Until I became a Jay Z fanatic, everyone that knew me knew just how big a Fabolous fan I was, and this mixtape put my love for Fab’s music over the top. Ask anyone of my Twitter followers, and they would tell you I was a bona-fide STAN 8th grade and freshman year. I dropped that infamous picture of me putting a fork in an outlet that got Fabolous to follow me. I tweeted Fabolous for two years asking for a follow back, just because of how much his music meant to me, specifically the Soul Tape 2.

"These the rainy days they say you should be savin' for
But when sun shines no one carries umbrellas
And if they did, we would look at them as dumb fellas
I’m trying to become something, they probably become jealous
Have a lot to say about it, but afraid to come tell us"

My Favorite Songs

Transformation

I have to start with the opening track. This is probably the best song on this mixtape in my opinion. Fabolous articulates his transformation as a man, highlighting the many struggles of growing up in the streets.For 4 minutes, Fabolous raps over the Exhibit A beat of Jay Electronica with flat out BARS. No hooks or choruses, no conventional 16 line song, just BARS about his life and the path he took to his fame.

Favorite Lyrics:
Sometimes I think I lucked up at right time
Imagine I would’ve fucked up that night, slime
It hurts to even think about it
Would be in the streets thirsty, tryna get a drink up out it
Black hoodie, I pull that quatro cinco out
And put that iron to ya clothes like Im takin wrinkles out it

For The Love

Would you do it for the love? A typical rap “philosophical” question which can be asked about all aspects of life. This is another song of Fabolous just giving us COMPLETE bars. Would you switch up for the love of your peers or loved ones? Underrated GEM on this mixtape.

Favorite Lyrics:
I came from first of the month money
To waking up whenever I want money
Niceee
I chase paper, I hunt money
Make 50 racks at 3pm and call it lunch money
Brother ya stunt money is blunt money
Your boo only got a text back once from me

B.I.T.E

MAN IM TRYNA EAT. B.I.T.E… My favorite acronym from Middle School. Ask my peers how often I used to scream B.I.T.E during middle school. A typical street anthem about wanting to “eat” and making a better life of one’s situation. Fabolous details where he grew up and Brooklyn, and the mentality required to leave an environment as tough as inner-city New York.

Favorite Lyrics:
I ain't say it don't come with pain, 
Couple losers gon come with game
They ain't eating, got stomach pains, 
They callin' you but your # changed
Old friendships get strained, couple words might get exchanged
Knew brothers since diapers, oh well guess shit is changed

Guess Who’s Bizzack

Fabolous went and sampled one of my favorite songs all time, “Guess Who’s Back” by Scarface, Jay Z, Kanye, and Beanie Sigel. This song resonated most with me because of the jewels and knowledge Fab dropped on us. We all grow a part from our dearest friends for various friends, and this song highlights that well.

Favorite Lyrics:
I'm watching my close friends like strangers, for bread
You said you'd never change, now don't change what you said

Louis Vuitton (Ft J. Cole)

J. Cole blessed us with two of my favorite verses from this mixtape. The story-telling Cole is acclaimed for shines through on this stand-out track of the Soul Tape 2. Fabolous comes through with two of his own verses that hold their own against Cole, and together they make the catchiest song on the mixtape.

Favorite Lyrics:
This stupid ass shit don't make me
I been poor, it won't break me
You're so caught up on material shit
We both knowing that you can't even get

Only Life I Know (ft Troy Ave)

My three year old nephew at the time LOVED this song. He used to always sing the lyrics, “A woman cancels dates cause she has to… A man cancels dates cause he has two.” Fabolous talks about what it means to be a hustler, and the sacrifices hustlers have to make to remain safe and relevant in their respective games. Fabolous gains a lot of motivation from classic movies such as Heat and Paid In Full, where he quotes Robert De Niro and Mekhi Phifer.

Favorite Lyrics:
Shawty watch the hustle movie she can never get
How they make so much money, but they never quit?
I tell her quit for what? That’s the only life they know
The street’s a dirty ho, brothers try to wife it, though

Want You Back (Ft Joe Budden and Teyana Taylor)

Fabolous goes on to sample another one of my favorite classic joints, “Throwback” off of Usher’s Confessions album. Flipping the script from Throwback, Fabolous highlights the struggles of his relationship. Joe Budden lays a FIRE verse of his own detailing problems from his own relationship, and Teyana Taylor finishes the joint off with beautiful vocals. One of my go-to joints when I was going through it in the past.

Favorite Lyrics:
I’m a lover and a fighter, fight for what I love
But you made something of, women I think nothing of
Ask myself why I fight when it’s long been over
God gives the hardest battles to the strongest soldiers
So I fight for us, as long as there is reason to
You wanted to give up on us as long as there is season two

Conclusion

If y’all could not tell from reading this article, this is clearly one of my favorite music projects ever. I could have given more songs off the 12 track mixtape, but the article would have been too long. I owe this mixtape a lot to helping me grow as a person. The message and content truly struck a chord within me. Although I’m not the biggest Fabolous fan I once was, I can never forget how the Soul Tapes made me feel, especially this Soul Tape. And for that, this project will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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