By Josh Weiner
Jadakiss and Fabolous share a fair amount of overlap: their veteran status, their hometown of New York City, and a plethora of tracks (“Respect It,” “The Hope,” and “OJ” among them). Now, those ties have been strengthened as the two of them paired up for their first collaboration record: Friday on Elm Street, a 12-disc set of duets out November 24th.
The album’s Halloween themes (perhaps its November release should have come a month earlier?) are underscored by its title allusions to the two greatest slasher villains of all time, as well as the intro track, “F v. J,” featuring plenty of horror movie allusions and the drums from the Notorious B.I.G.’s most taboo track ever, “Dead Wrong.” As suggested in an interview with HipHopDX, the two of them are simply out to prove that they are “killers with the punchlines.”
That much has been proven throughout their illustrious careers. Jadakiss (born Jason Phillips) has enjoyed mainstream success since the ‘90s, achieving commercial high points with RIAA-certified gold records Kiss tha Game Goodbye (2001) and Kiss of Death (2004). His guest appearances on Mariah Carey’s “Honey (Bad Boy Remix)” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block” also proved to be a path to the top of the charts.
Jada’s had some feuds over the years— 50 Cent beefed with him briefly, as he seemingly did with just about every rapper outside of G-Unit in the mid-2000’s, and Bill O’Reilly took his own shots at 9/11 conspiracy lyrics on 2004’s “Why?” Yet amongst those many enemies has emerged at least one friend who’s proved willing to record a whole album alongside him: Fabolous (born John Jackson), an MC who’s achieved a credible crop of hits himself.
The Brooklyn rapper broke into the mainstream with Ghetto Fabolous (2001), and has proven to be prolific ever since. All six of his solo albums have debuted in the Top 10, while his successful singles have included “Can’t Let You Go,” “Into You,” and “Dip it Low.” He has stuck mainly with mixtapes, rather than LPs, over the last few years, but this new album should prove to be a welcome return to form.
Friday on Elm Street will prove whether Jadakiss and Fabolous have saved enough talent and chemistry for the latter phases of their careers to produce a fiery collaboration album.