Fredo has been keeping fans entertained throughout the pandemic; his dry humour on Instagram live streams has created some unforgettable moments – from confidently outing Boris Johnson to offering love advice. Alongside his live stream appearances, Fredo followed ‘Scorpion,’ an appearance on Mist’s ‘Houseparty,’ and a fiery Daily Duppy with playful single ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ on May 22. Fans were convinced – the ‘old school Fredo’ was back.
Personality, charisma and hard-hitting singles could only satiate fans for so long; it’s been two years since we ‘Third Avenue’ topped the charts, New album ‘Money Can’t Buy Happiness’ came on January 29 however, kicking off Fredo’s year and ending the drought with none other than Dave at the helm as Executive Producer.
Given his penchant for expensive chains and and designer clothes, you’d be forgiven the assumption that money does indeed buy happiness, but it appears Fredo’s given things some real introspection on his second studio album:
“I want to apologise for the wait,” he explains. “I had a whole different style album that didn’t really mean anything to me. Meanwhile a lot was going on in life that I was angry and confused about. I really thought that once you have money you can’t not be happy inside even if stuff’s going on but it’s not like that.”
He went on to say: “I felt like the project I was working on before was me but doesn’t really explain me. I don’t want people thinking that certain things I rap about are important or the key of life because they’re not. Most things I rap about are just what I been through or reality for me and my friends.”
The development in Fredo’s lyricism is immediately apparent on opener ’Biggest Mistake.’ In fact, it’s probably the most open we’ve ever heard him on record, as he takes you on a journey through his life. With an almost spoken-word delivery, Fredo makes reference to his time in prison [even detailing the time he unknowingly met Dave’s brother there], and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
“Before I met Santan Dave / I met his brother in jail / I never knew and his brother didn’t tell / Who would’ve thought me and his brother would sell?”
‘Money Talks” chart position is testament to Fredo & Dave’s had chemistry, not that testament was needed after the runaway success of 2018’s ‘Funky Friday.’ The track’s a rea album highlight; UK Rap’s emerging dynamic duo go back to back over a soft, minimalist beat that puts the focus on their raw bars. Fredo’s delivery is immediately compelling.
Elsewhere on the record, the Pop-Smoke featured ‘Burner On Deck’ sees Young Adz and the dearly departed Brooklyn MC harmonise effortlessly alongside one another with their signature auto-tuned flows about sex, girls, and drugs.
Fredo’s light seemingly shines so bright at the moment that even international superstars can’t help but be drawn in. American R&B star Summer Walker is the only female feature on the album on the effortlessly smooth ‘Ready.’ Lyrically, Walker is straightforward and honest; her angelic vocals taking over the chorus while Fredo hops on that classic Fugees sample, providing the perfect counterpoint.
At 25, Fredo strips back his usual boastful lyricism on ‘Money Can’t Buy Happiness,’ revealing the person behind all the grills and glamour; a talented MC with an easygoing flow, paying homage to his family and painting pictures of his upbringing on tracks like ‘Spaghetti.’ Growing up isn’t easy, and Fredo’s growth as a result of his circumstances is evident over these eleven tracks. Stream below via SoundCloud.