Release Date: Feb 24, 2015
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Rap, R&B, Contemporary R&B, Pop-Rap
Tyga and Chris Brown’s latest, Fan of a Fan The Album, may be the end of the creative one-way that has been Pop – Rap/ R&B’s direction these past few years, or literally the only album you need to play to accompany a night of debauchery at a strip club. Both artists sharing less-than-positive headlines (Tyga for his relationship with nearly-legal reality TV star/model Kylie Jenner, Chris Brown for any myriad of assaults over the past decade) and underwhelming album sales figures for their last releases (Tyga’s Hotel California sold around 90,000, Chris Brown’s X reaching 333,000 copies sold) the two have a clear reason to bring up their Fan of a Fan mixtape release. But that’s not the biggest story here: The more intriguing tale is told in how this album’s songwriting allows for it as a project to fall short.
After two collaborative mixtapes and a couple big tag-team singles, "Deuces" and "Loyal," that were close to unavoidable on commercial radio, a proper duo album from Chris Brown and Tyga was the next logical step. Despite two lead voices throughout, Fan of a Fan: The Album is similar to their preceding solo albums in that it is stuffed with guest appearances. Not one member of the all-male succession -- Ty Dolla $ign, 50 Cent, Pusha T, Fat Trel, Boosie Badazz, or Schoolboy Q -- is in top form, yet their contributions prop up the headliners.
Chris Brown and Tyga present themselves as friends, but on their first full album together, they seem more like enablers. A true pal would have responded to lines like "She'll cook and clean, I got it made/Handcuffed like she a slave" (from Tyga, on the narcissistic sex fantasy "Remember Me") with an intervention, not more studio time. Even clowns can make great music, though, and Fan of a Fan has its share of low-end R&B bangers.
It’s been nearly five years since Chris Brown and Tyga dropped their highly regarded Fan Of A Fan mixtape in May of 2010, a collaboration that included tracks like “Deuces” featuring Kevin McCall, “Make Love” and Brown’s “No Bullshit.” Over the past few years, whispers of a followup project have come and gone but it wasn’t until last September that CB confirmed to XXL that the project was not only on the way, but that it would be an album as well. Now in February, a half decade after than the initial effort, Chris Brown and Tyga’s first joint LP has finally arrived. Although older and ostensibly wiser, Breezy and Tyga bring the same youthful material on the album as they did years ago on the mixtape.
Chris Brown and Tyga’s collaborative effort, “Fan of a Fan: The Album,” couldn’t have arrived at a stranger time for the pair. Yes, the album -- an official follow-up to their 2010 mixtape of the same name -- serves as a nice promotional push for Brown’s current co-headlining tour that also features Tyga. But between Brown’s ongoing legal troubles attached to his 2009 felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna and Tyga being blasted for gallivanting around with 17-year-old reality starlet Kylie Jenner (they are “just friends” he promises), the album calls attention to the most uncomfortable aspects of each artist's career.