Fabolous, "I'm Raw"

Here’s the video for “I’m Raw,” a good new song from Brooklyn rapper Fabolous. I love the parts where he’s working at the butcher shop-some really nice food photography there, and it’s also refreshing any time a rapper is depicted as having a regular old job. My first couple times watching, I liked the horror-movie stuff much less-in the meat locker, with the chainsaw and the blood, and that “scary” sickly lighting. The player with the babe in the swank hotel, too. All of this we’ve seen before, lots of times. But I’ve come around to it. I kind of like the idea that the dude chopping meat at the local butcher’s shop might be fantasizing that he’s going all Saw VII on his rap rivals while he’s, I don’t know, de-tipping a pound-and-a-half of chicken wings. And then he gets to get the babe in the swank hotel. Sure, why not?

Fabolous is a very successful artist. He’s made some great hits-2004’s “Breathe,” 2007’s “You Make Me Better,” last year’s “Throw It In the Bag”-and sold millions of albums. But it seems unlikely that he’ll ever be a major star. The problem might be his style: slick, punchline-oriented bragging delivered in a cool, cocksure voice. There’s another rapper from Brooklyn who does this. One who’s married to Beyonce and recently met with President Obama and casts a very long shadow. What’s starting to seem like Fab’s greatest strength, though, is that he doesn’t seem to mind.

Here’s the “Breathe” video. I think that’s his best song.