UFO Fev is Coming “Strapped” Over Fredro Starr Production (Album Review)

Harlem, New York emcee UFO Fev teaming with Fredro Starr to produce his 8th LP. Coming up in 2014 off his full-length debut Around My Way, it wasn’t until 2020 when he saw his biggest year yet by dropping not 1 but 3 well received projects: the Statik Selektah-produced sophomore effort Fresh Air along with the Termanology-produced debut EP From El Barrio, With Love & the Big Ghost Ltd.-produced 3rd album The Ghost of Albizu. This was all followed up with Magnum Opus along with the Vanderslice-produced Enigma of Dalí & 4 EPs: The Most HighPrayer, Weed & MusicE Pluribus UnumSunsets in the Ghetto & of course the Finn-produced Blood on the Bills. A year & a half after Painting Houses though, expectations for Strapped were up there.

After the titular intro, the first song “Best Dressed” is a drumlessly crooning opener & a full circle moment for Fev himself whereas “Batumi” dives headfirst into boom bap territory doing exactly what he’s supposed to do right on schedule. “Can We All Get Paid?” works in a soul sample with kicks & snares asking if everyone can make bread in order to live better days ahead of “Bullets” featuring Red Inf recapturing the energy of their Vanderslice-produced collab EP Chemistry about 3 months ago.

“Fast Life” atmospherically breaks down the lifestyle he lives of being at his level within the underground just before “UFO Teknology” featuring Tek & Termanology brings the trio together over a soulful beat so they can reassure everyone knows the game & the subsequent outcome of it. “Peace God” takes a jazzy approach attempting to teach his youth some knowledge leading into “Sade X” calmly showing off his new glow.

Nearing the conclusion of Strapped, the penultimate song “Free Rice” returns to the boom bap with a spacious twist instrumentally listening to b-sides as well as building a catalog & dodging bullets in the matrix prior to “Visiting Hours” officially wrapping up Fev’s best album in a couple years mixing pianos & crooning background vocals bringing fresh flowers to his old girls behind bars wiping his tears away assuring him they’re ok.

Fredro Starr has really been elevating his game behind the boards these last couple years & much like how he gave SmooVth his best album in recent memory with Project Near You, he helped Fev deliver what has to be the most I’ve enjoyed a project of his since Blood on the Bills a year & a half ago. The general sound expands beyond boom bap in favor of jazz rap & drumless while Fev shows the audience a personal side to him.

Score: 9/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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