Hearing a new MC’s album being compared to Illmatic is not a daily occurrence; especially in the digital era where most fans treat albums as disposable as a club flyer . Fashawn’s 2009 album Boy Meets World, however, is one of the few that have been bestowed with this honor from a couple different outlets. My first reaction to this idea was that it was just hype to draw in listeners that might have overlooked his Exile-produced gem so I kept it moving.
That was until yesterday.
Now, I’m not here to sell the idea to anybody necessarily. Illmatic is one of those records that is a timeless masterpiece that remains a pivotal moment in Hip-Hop history. The reason that it extends further than that though, is the fact that it actually captures the essence of what it was like to live in New York City in the early ‘90s. The same way that Nas plays narrator for that period of time & geographic location, Fashawn does for the Central Valley of California in 2009 on his song “The Ecology.”
Over a haunting composition that Exile splices together with the precision only a master of the MPC could, the 20 year old Fresno resident spends nearly three minutes painting one of the most vivid and accurate pictures of my area that I have ever heard. California is about as diverse as the country it resides in. While there have been many in the Bay Area who have done a great job describing the coastal area they reside in and hundreds of L.A. rappers who have done the same for their place of residence, Fashawn is the first rapper I have encountered who has given such a perfect description of the place I grew up. “The Ecology” is one of the many reasons why Boy Meets World is a worthwhile listen, which is definitely a must purchase type of release for any fan of Hip-Hop. There is a reason he made that XXL cover.
Download — Fashawn – “The Ecology”