Volunteer Media • 2022

The POV has what it takes to cut through the noise and filler and live up to FAMA$’s stage name.

I don’t blame young upstart artists for wanting to differentiate themselves from the crowd and build an aura of mystique to attract attention. Still, there is such a thing as trying too hard to make a good first impression. I see that a lot in the submissions we get to DOMINIONATED and the unsolicited press releases that clog my inbox. Usually, the music never matches the bravado. So it’s refreshing to organically find an artist like Vancouver-based rapper FAMA$, whose debut full-length, The POV, has what it takes to cut through the noise and filler and live up to his stage name. I like my rap more introspective and moody than brash and cocksure, but The POV is teeming with beats and production so seductive and sophisticated that I’m willing to forgive his occasional pedestrian verse and boastful rhyme.

In many ways, The POV reminds me of TOBi’s ELEMENTS, Vol. 1, in how it showcases FAMA$’s versatility and ability to fit into many styles and moods. First single, “LONELY AT THE TOP (Rarri),” is a laid-back bop that is unfussy and unburied. “IN&OUT” is an infectious funk-flavoured earworm that slides into a soulful groove that’s just begging for a remix. Heavily vocoded opener “TOXIC” feels a bit too paint-by-numbers to be wholly original, but “EASY2LOVE” (featuring Hooper Turntable Sanger” and “WEIGHT ON ME” (featuring Kimberley Chen) more than earn their all uppercase stylization. They are The POV’s most narrative songs and find FAMA$ easily trading verses and settling into storyteller mode with his collaborators. It’s a posture I wish FAMA$ would have spent more time exploring. I would happily take a couple more like “EASY2LOVE” and “WEIGHT ON ME” over “JANUARY (Patootie)” and “CHERRY+PEACH,” decent songs, but neither seem like they inspire much creative passion in FAMA$.

As I usually do with an artist I discovered by searching through Bandcamp, I did an online search to find out more about FAMA$ and The POV but sadly, what little there is out there is just the same press release published to multiple websites. That disappointed me because the POV deserves better representation from my perspective. The beats, songs, and flair for production are all on point. Still, like any good first album, there’s plenty for FAMA$ to improve upon — now that he’s established his presence, he’d do well to take a cue from TOBi and embrace his artistic side. By adding a little lyrical depth and vulnerability to the mix, FAMA$ might just make good on his name.

Thank you for Visiting DOMINIONATED

When you make a flexible one-time or monthly donation to DOMINIONATED or subscribe to PRESS PLAY, our $1/month new music feature, you join a community of supporters who are keeping DOMINIONATED’s conversations going. Your contribution ensures that our collective of writers and creators can keep producing valuable content like this in the future. Thank you for your support.

Skinny Dyck 
“In On The Upswing” b/w “TV Blue”
Multidimensional Culture