Collaboration albums are incredibly difficult to put together. Last year Babyface and Toni Braxton were able to do an R&B duet album, but the last few Rap infused collab albums I could remember (non rapper/producer) were Wu Block (Ghostface, Raekwon, Lox, 2012), Bad Meets Evil: Hell The Sequel (Royce Da 5’9″ & Eminem, 2011) & Faceoff (Bow Wow & Omarion, 2007) . The occurence is so rare that Chris and Tyga only had to match the intensity of their previous joint project of the same name, the Fan of A Fan mixtape, released back in 2010. It’s easy to understand why the projects are so rare once you get into this Fan of a Fan album. Even with the chemistry and history of these two artists, the project is filled mostly with mediocre songs about partying and sex.
Chris Brown really had little to gain with this project as he’s already reached his peak in the industry. Fan of a Fan is really an opportunity for Breezy to show off the rap skills he’s perfected. For Tyga on the other hand, particularly with the uncertainty taking place with Cash Money/Young Money, this was an opportunity for a coming out party of sorts. We know Tyga can rap but we also know he’s just the fourth best on Young Money. With this Chris Brown look he could’ve looked to bring something epic to his catalog that could help him cross over to some of Chris’ fan base. On the album’s intro track, the Amadeus produced, “Westside” the set up seems to be there for just that type of album, but the song turns out to be the lyrical high point.
Nic Nac, who produced Brown’s “Loyal” single returns to do this single, “Ayo.” While it still has the “Loyal” sound, it definitely doesn’t get up to that songs level. DJ Mustard appears on two tracks, while in house producers Jess Jackson and David D.A. Doman share production on a majority of the project. Overall the West Coast party feel that DJ Mustard, YG and Kid Ink have made immensely popular in the last year is what the duo is looking for this time around.
You get the feeling this project was rushed and Chris didn’t want to be out shined by hard hitting raps from Tyga or anyone else for that matter. The album’s features seem to be uncomfortable on the types of songs they are on and thus they all seem to fall flat. Ty $ Sign is the only artist that falls right into place over a DJ Mustard beat. Adversely, 50 Cent, Boosie Badass, Schoolboy Q and Wale are all in spots where they are forgettable, something that can’t be said often for those guys. Fat Trel on “Lights Out” could easily have been replaced by Game for one of the album’s highlights, but instead Game is one of the noticeably missing artists from the project. Understandably, but still disappointing is the fact that the entire Cash Money/Young Money crew is also no where to be found. Pusha T however does appear on the sample laced “D.G.I.F.U.” Paying homage to artists like Jay-Z, Eminem and Notorious B.I.G. the song is a glaring sign on Fan of a Fan‘s shortcomings.
The first two bonus tracks on the deluxe version provide some extra worthy substance. The Scott Storch and MeKanics produced “Wrong In The Right Way” contains a “Between The Sheets” sample that the duo are able to ride along reminding the listener of the success of the duo’s earlier success with a song like “Deuces.” If this wasn’t going to be a project where the two showcase their best abilities on some Best of Both Worlds type stuff, I would have at least wished they would’ve done more of these type of songs. “Bunkin'” with Jay 305 & T.I. is another one of those songs. It’s also a track with features that they got right, but by then it’s too late to make up for some of the errors that have come before or the mistakes to come for that matter. Namely, the finale “Banjo” shouldn’t even be mixtape material.
Fan of a Fan the album receives a generous PAR