Fashawn’s debut, Boy Meets World, is a coming-of-age tale that will even excite casual hip-hop fans. Exile’s beats are refreshing and pair well with the young and talented west coast rapper. Appearances by Evidence, Aloe Blacc and samples of The Doors and Black Star only add to the splendor of this already fantastic album.

I hadn’t heard anything from Fashawn before hearing this album, which is fine because that means once I did discover him, I was able to explore his catalog of mixtapes. Having done that now, I have to say, I wouldn’t have seen Boy Meets World coming. While Fash does some very impressive work on his mixtapes prior to his debut, Boy Meets World blew all previous work out of the water. It may have something to do with his partnership with Exile, but that isn’t to say Fashawn isn’t talented enough to impress on his own. “Boy Meets World”, “Life as a Shorty” and “Samsonite Man ft. Blu” are among my favorite rap songs lyrically.

On Boy Meets World, Fashawn doesn’t waste your time with the lifestyle of street-hardened thug or a recently-successful musician. He focuses on the real world emotions of growing up. Even if you don’t share the exact details of  his upbringing, it’s hard not to relate. Please, listen to this album before you die.