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Charm, trends and pop appeal can only take an artist so far. That's precisely why the year's biggest breakout star managed to reprehensibly deliver the most disappointing R&B/rap release of the year during the most exceptional nine months in rap music this decade. We were rooting for you, Fetty Wap. After all, it's hard not to cheer for an artist with so much potential like the 24-year-old New Jersey artist with one eye and a heart of gold. Beyond delivering the pop-culture phenomenon that is 'Trap Queen,' Fetty worked diligently and took his wave beyond that of most recent viral rap artists, proving he's anything but a one hit wonder, while his first three commercially released singles all made the top 11 of Billboard's pop chart, a feat last accomplished by The Beatles. His R&B-rap hybrid won over a crossover audience that proved to be loyal admirers of the amalgamation of personal/physical flaws with lustrous harmonies over symphonic swells of breezy synth-lines and island-progressions. But when it came time to release his self-titled debut album, Fetty Wap delivered a 20-track self-sabotaging blunder in an attempt to capitalize on his moment that he seemingly wasn't quite prepared for.

Fetty's album doesn't sound like a debut from a fashioned artist with capable longevity, but rather more fittingly, a wave being absorbed to the very last drop. Through the 300 Entertainment release, the Paterson-artist was handed the opportunity to show his day one audience that he's much more than self-referencing melodies & the "Yeah Baby" adlibs we've heard from his romanticized and continuously replayed singles. But 20 tracks later, Fetty failed to take the risk and instead chose to sink deeper into his systematic creative cycle of contagious hooks and animated crooning.

Although a feel-good romantic rap record filled with guest verses and glossy production from his long-time Remy Boyz comrades, showing his sense of loyalty to the 1738 vision, (and even omitted the Drake-assisted 'My Way Remix' for the original, featuring frequent collaborator Monty,) it's Fetty Wap overkill - the haphazard merger of all the infectious and organic things that initially made him so earnestly popular so suddenly and continued to reuse them in their exact literal sense until the life was squeezed out of them. From 'Trap Queen' to 'Trap Luv' to 'Time', the same repetitive concepts, soundscapes and even lyrics are recycled in hopes of continuing the streamlining momentum with more of the same, again and again. There's a difference between sonic cohesion and the choice to mimic in its entirety, every aspect of everything you've already delivered. And Fetty's choice between the two is a telling one that's shown his amateur strings with overexposure.

It isn't a reach to see why 300 Entertainment was looking to strike while the hype was hot in order to capitalize on the Remy Boyz obsession with the rushed release, but Fetty and Co. weren't prepared with enough quality material to offer a full-length of this capacity, and he as an artist doesn't read as secure or solid enough to have delivered a debut opus at all just yet. Although he made history with a summer of inescapable singles, Fetty won't continue his winning streak of hits if he doesn't even try to evolve, or at least distinguish the difference between quality and quantity. Most efficacious artists have some sort of operative formulaic approach to their work; a sound, a voice and/or a perspective that offers consistency to their releases and ensures a propitious predictability for their fandoms that promises, "I will deliver." But there's a variance and a delicate balance between a prescribed cohesiveness and the repetitive recycling of melodies and concepts that capitalizes on old innovations rather than generating new ones. For the year's most contagious artist, Fetty Wap's debut formula reads as follows: 20 songs x 4 billboard singles - 90% filler ÷ 1 melody = 1738. And somehow, that doesn't add up.

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