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fabolous.jpgAt a time when hip-hop’s birthplace is comatose creatively, it’s up to NY’s finest word slingers to put the five boroughs back on the rap radar. After releasing 2004’s street smash, “Breathe,” arguably the best song of his career, F-A-B-O seemed destined for a spot atop of NYC’s rap pantheon. But when slow sales of his Atlantic debut, Real Talk, caused the label to pull the plug, Fabolous found himself looking for a way out. Finally free from Atlantic, and freshly-inked to Def Jam, Loso speaks with XXLMAG.COM about why he had to leave Atlantic, why he choose Def Jam, his thoughts on Minister Murder Ma$e, and what’s going with the Street Fid-id-id-id-dam.

So, Fab, up until the Loso’s Way mixtape, we hadn’t heard a lot from you. What have you been up to?
I was switching my situation. I was over at Atlantic Records and I switched my situation over there. Now I’m signed at Island/Def Jam. In between that time, I was just letting everything go through as far as the paperwork. It’s a funny game, because I didn’t want to make a record and create a situation where I’m hot again and then Atlantic says, Nah we’re not letting this guy go. I definitely didn’t want to do that. So I chill and fall back. I did a few little mixtape songs and I did few appearances as far as keeping myself in the R&B remix category and that’s really it. I’m ready to start working. We got everything rolling. Def Jam is behind us.

Is the Def Jam deal finalized?
Yeah, it’s brand new. I haven’t even gone up there and talked to anybody yet because it’s so new. You guys are one of the first people aside from MTV who really knew about the switch. It’s been buzzing through the streets on the underground tip, but I just didn’t make a big thing out of it because I wanted to respect Def Jam’s situation. Maybe they wanted to do something special. I didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag too early before I even spoke to those guys.

There was a rumor that Def Jam traded Musiq to Atlantic for you. Any truth to that?
I’m not sure. Maybe they worked out a situation. I know [for] me it was just about getting the release done and me getting over to Def Jam. It may have been like in the higher power but it wasn’t included in my knowledge. I guess the trade part of it really didn’t have anything to do with me—that’s something that was discussed by the labels. The situation with me was just making sure that my release was straight and that Def Jam was interested and, of course, the financial part of it. But I really didn’t look into it to see if there was a trade involved. The people who are being traded, they don’t really have too much say so in it. [But] I didn’t know if [Atlantic] was a place where I wanted to take a chance of doing another album.

Why is that?
I think they [Atlantic] were dissatisfied with what they got. I was definitely dissatisfied. I’m not saying gold is a bad thing but I felt like I put more into that album and that project. It was just a lot of mishaps internally, just as far as picking the singles and shooting the videos for the singles. Even if the album wasn’t good, I had singles on that album that were huge singles, which should have been used. For instance, with “Breathe” it was a good record and it definitely did a lot of things for me. But I came to Atlantic and I felt like this wasn’t the single I should be using. It still got #1 on 106 & Park and it got high on the countdowns on MTV. I was fortunate for that, but I still needed that kinda song that would maybe hit Top 40, something that would appeal to the masses and not just the urban crowd. So I tried to get them to go with another single but they were like, “No, ‘Breathe’ is growing week by week.” But I guess maybe they were trying to save money, or maybe they really believed that “Breathe” would cross over. Just that risk alone was something that hurt the sales of the album.

What attracted you to Def Jam?
What attracted me to Def Jam is that they building. They have a family of artists, they have Kanye West, they have Young Jeezy, they have Ghostface Killah. They have artists who are all in different realms. It may be a positive and a negative with having Jay-Z [as president], but I also feel like he was an artist so he understands the art of it. Maybe it is a negative because he sets such a high bar. It’s Jay. At the end of the day, it’s a positive and a negative. But I respect that part of it. I respect LA Reid, the success he’s had over there. How they rebuilt somebody as big as Mariah Carey. When everybody had cashed her out of completely existing, they got her with the right team of producers and really marketed her well and she came back. I don’t even think she’s at one of her best times. It’s just the way they marketed her and promoted her and promoted those good songs. There’s no reason you should have good music and you’re stuck with a company that just doesn’t know how to market the music or is watching every penny and slowing everything down because of cost.

It seems that your mixtapes get a bigger reaction from fans than your albums. Have you noticed that?
Yeah. I seen the interest way bigger in the mixtape than the album. The underground gonna love you more for your mixtape style than your album style. I’m really in two different minds when I’m making an album and when I’m making a mixtape. An album, I feel, is more for a spectrum of different listeners. And a mixtape I make for them people who buy mixtapes. I stay real.

You had some pretty harsh words for Ma$e on Loso’s Way.
Yeah, I mean this dude is back at the counter.

I assume you were surprised when you heard his jabs at you.
Yeah. I heard it and I was like, “Oh, wow!” What was crazy is I thought we were okay from when he was the half-rapper, half-pastor. [When] he came back and was doing his “Welcome Back” song, I got a chance to see him in Philly and one of his boys came to my dressing room and was like, “Yo, Ma$e want to holla at you.” So I’m like, okay. I didn’t know what he meant by “holla at me.” So he comes in there like, “Yo, I just wanted to say I appreciate what you doing. I know there’s a lot of things floating around—people are saying this, that and the third—and I just want to let you know, as a man, I’m coming to you to tell you I love what you do.” And [he] put his hand out to give me a handshake. So I looked at him and gave him a handshake. For me, it was done there. Then, out of nowhere, he said that thing on them tapes.

Are you still working on your Street Family imprint? Is Mike Shorey, the R&B singer, still signed?
Yeah, the Street Family thing is just building right now. Mike Shorey, he took a leave, actually. He had some complications [in] dealing with us. We didn’t leave on any hard feelings, but we parted for a minute because he was a young guy and people aren’t always ready for the sacrifices. But we got Paul Cain, Ransom and Stack Bundles. We working with a lot of guys, but not signing [them]. Holding them down. We working with them, and they respect us. Different kind of guys who I knew through my Desert Storm affiliation. But [like] with any movement, all the way from G-Unit to Dipset to Wu-Tang, all those guys have built from the ground up.

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  • Jay

    Breathe is one of the hottest records he ever did. That shit blew up. How can he be mad at that? Top 40? This nigga wanna be a pop star

  • http://XXLMAG.COM Leon

    I am a Fabolous fan, glad to see he’s got a label hopefully he can make an album as good as his mixtapes

  • http://source one

    mase pissed in a test tube and out came fabolous.everything about fab is a rip off from mase.alot of people hate on mase but that nigga really has flow when he wants to use it.as far as mase rap’n gansta again thats between him and God.
    who are we to judge that man.did yall
    hear mases verse on i dont know(get rich or die try’n sound track)the nigga killed everybody on the track.nuff said

  • J HWO

    Mase hot, Fab hot but the thing that smacks it is the bitch way’s these rappers act on. Every one is contradicting theyr self. One minut u love a niggah next minut u hate?

  • http://yahoo severe

    fabs my nigga and one of the baddest niggaz out thea. fab should b easy mase is a joke he got r/b singaz hype him up..

  • DJ Xcalibur

    I’m glad Loso got a new situation. After he released Street Dreams, I think Atlantic was done with him. So instead of letting him go they held on to him just in case he came up with a hit, but I guess “Breathe” was not enough for them. They started doing him like, they are doing Bump J right now…just spoiling like milk.

  • jojochicago

    this should be good. He will get the shine i thought he had. the lay off was really felt here in the Chi cuz we was barely getting any of those mix tape joints. the Mase dis was funny! i don’t see the big deal. we all thought the nigga was Mase when he came out on the Clue CD. but he proved his worth. Most orignal jewelry in the game and u know his name F.A.B.O.

  • http://dipsetmixtapes.com ACE BOOGIE

    Loso is that dude man. Loso’s Way was retarded from top to bottom. He’s just in a tottally different zone than a lot of other rappers like Atlantic didnt know what to do with the whole Real Talk album. Now he got that def jam machine behind him now it can really work for him.

  • http://u-mad.net Rich-Yung-Society

    Fabolous is definitely doing his thing right now Im feelin the new mixtape losos way rise to power. He l smart for losing Atlantic. He didnt get the album sells he deserved. They should have picked Tit for Tat for the first single. And his video for that didnt even get released. It should work out now that he got DJ behind him and Hova to coach him. And that Rich Yung clothing line is crazy I got a hoody and one Tee I need that New Era fitted. Loso is one of the flyest cats in the game now.

  • http://kyjizzlehotmail.com k.y.

    This goes to “jay” why fab gotta be tryin’ to be a pop star cuz he wanna be in the top 40? cant a nigga just wanna be successful? And to “one” u crazy ma$e could and never will be able to get with fab, he just think he hard now cuz he got g-unit backing him. anywayz fab is that nigga period! holla!

  • PEE89

    Finally the true young god is here fab.Is going to save the east mark my words HIM,STACK,CAIN,RAN.What a team with jay leanding a hand i was waiting for this.B.K is back the east is back

  • lucky

    Actually Mase was Murder before Fab was in the game. Second the internet is fucking up hip-hop. TRUE STORY

  • Jade Star

    I fukks with Loso, I think he his underrated as a rapper and when he comes out believe he will crush fools.

  • bluerid

    hey lucky if you dont want the internet to fuck up hiphop you should tell marshall to come and pick me up because im not doing well i forgive him.i hold marshall responsible for my actions.
    in meanwhile ima breathe

  • A.M.

    Def Jam is doing it big by signing Fabolous. They signing all type of hot shit (Slip-slide, The Roots, Nas etc.) Jay is really trying make his mark, so you gotta respect it. As for Ma$e that nigga going to hell anyway so he is no Threat to Fabolous.
    A.M. AKA Young Swag
    The Future

  • bluerid

    marshall im going to check myself into the hospital again tommorrow i need to slow down my speedlimit.

  • bluerid

    lol at jay z trying to maintain.but hey i aint mad at ya.ima shut the fuck up now take some sleepingpills and pray to god they will keep me in the hospital for a while.seems shit has just started.like toy soldiers.hope one day i wake up and see your face next to mine marshall.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com Dipesh

    yo fab is one of the realiest rappers 2day, there ain’t no challenge with mase coming at him

  • Cheat B

    Man i say half Ya’ll niggaz is right.No disrespect to F.A.B, but Ma$e has always Shined through, no matter Pastor Or Murder.He and loso share what i think is the same style, but remember who came first.Either way I hope they both have sucessful careers.

  • http://www.geocities.yahoo.com/keoooba KEOOOBA

    FAB is good in Hip-Hop… I realy doubt if these 2 dudes really know anything about BEEF…Fuck dat, the gotta SHUT UP N concentrate on makin GOOD music…

  • jimmy

    f a b o,hey dats my nigga,i mean he is a true mc in his own ground.im just mad at atlantic for not givin him the proper shine that he deserves.his with def jam now and it can only go better from there coz jay is a person that dont mess around when it comes to an mc especially like fabalous

  • T-Boye Doe

    Jay-z just gotta notha plus 4 signing F-A-B-O.Now let’s hope Loso can push that “Street Family” brand to the forefront and put out his younger brother “Paul Cain”

  • mvance

    yo fab is cool

  • remo

    my homeboy is back!! Fab is where he is suppose to be; with Def Jam. Now he can do his thing AND get better promotion. i had to listen to mase on that 50 shit. thats fucked up cuz mase is already a damn hyopcrite. why is coming at Fab’s head? goofy!


    Yo LOSO’s my nigga and im really felling what hes doing right now.. I cop everything he on…. Plus he holding it down for us Dominicanos..

  • http://www.myspace.com/thatboi616 DaKidd

    Man Fab is back that’s whats up the return of Mix Tape Prince is back. Now he with Def Jam that’s what really good.

  • http://www.myspace.com/thatboi616 DaKidd

    F-a-b is back and ready with Def Jam. That’s whats sup. Return od the mixtape Prince

  • Alwyn Smith

    Fuck Mase! Fab is the SHIT! Hip Hop needs that nigga! Aint no-one Feeling that Mase is Back BUllSHIT!, especially in Jamaica! Fab keeps it true to hip hop, he keeps it grimey, Mase keeps it profitable! LOL!.

  • http://www.g-unit.com mike

    Fuck fab! mase is the SHIT! Hip Hop needs that nigga! Aint no-one Feeling that fab is Back BUllSHIT!, especially in Jamaica! mase keeps it true to hip hop, he keeps it grimey, fab keeps it profitable! LOL!.

  • Shane

    man fuck all the haters fab is doing is thing and making good music.Shit is now ganna get even crazier at defjam with him and jezzy
    ma$e is poppin bullshit but he cant the nigga fab.

  • Shane

    man fuck all the haters fab is doing is thing and making good music.Shit is now ganna get even crazier at defjam with him and jezzy
    ma$e is poppin bullshit but he cant touch the nigga fab.

  • Gigi

    Fab seem like he got his head on straight and he ready to do big things in the rap game. I’ll pray for him. But as far as Mase please the man is a pastor praising god one day and the next a rapper talking about everything god doesnt represent. Who do he think he is? And for the record Mase and Fab dont sound alike and are two diff rappers ppl and the media always trying to compare artists. I mean listen to Breathe and ask yourself does that sound like Mase? uh-unh I think not. Fab is still young and hasnt even reached his full lyrical potential. I think this time we will definetly hear it. Do ya thing Fab!

  • Mozeek

    Fab’s tight! Even if he does sound like Mase, he does Mase better than Mase does Mase. Holla!

  • http://threat2blackplanet.com THREAT2


  • IKI

    As soon as Fab gets on Def Jam he’s gonna get what he deserves thats money, power & respect. Whoever says Fab ain’t a platinum artist is on the crack cocaine shit & as for Ma$e he’s fucked up big time now he got Cam, Juelz & Fab hot lyrics comin’ his way.

  • http://dirtythug.com Creepflow

    Ayo,Murder Mase is off that pastor shit and now betta back his g-unit niggas.Betta not fuck wit “tit 4 tat”,or “breathe”. Peace

  • Rabolous

    real F.A.B. fellows, i’d like to have fun with you, add my msn: rabbikelly@msn.com

  • Jay Hood

    First off all fuck Mase and God is gonna double punish his little punk-ass, fo´real. I mean who the fuck he think he is? U can´t just go and fuck in the name of the Lord and come back, nigga. Look at u now Mase, u don´t even fuckin´ know whurr to grab the fuckin´ mic, cus u fucked up in the head big time. Money money money is all whatchu bout. I guess u probably stole the Church collection all the time. That´s Why u were lil´ shinin´ in those welcome back videos.

  • BIG D from harlem

    fabs back nigga and on a solid lable too maybe he’ll get hook ups wit rappers on there and sum good producers now and go plat…and as far as him and mase mase is a washed up king he was sick back in the day but how dose a nigga go to church and become a pasture and then come back rappin about coke and gunz… at least fab stayed real..REAL TALK!!

  • Dwayne Summers

    It’s only right Loso gets a deal that’s goin to help further his career and bring the east cost back on top. And what better way than to sign with Def Jam. Dude’s paid his dues and yet its seems Atlantic are trying to cut costs?! And what’s up with Ma$e tryin goin the 50 Cent route to randomly diss a nigga? Everybody know “Young Money” is that nigga. Cam was right. Now we know why this nigga can’t go back to Harlem.

  • Suave’

    Murda slash pastor Ma$e is a hypocrite and FAB will crush dude lyrically

  • English Spirit

    About time! It’s a good look 4 loso and hova.
    Fabolous, Ludacris & Timberland.
    Jay-z, Fab & Kanye.
    Brooklyn Stand Up!

    South East London.

  • JP

    fab is way better and i hope he gets bigger, cause he puttin out da hottest music from NYC. Ma$e is alright but needs to prove himself with his next cd out of Gay unit

  • Bubb

    Fab is funny if he came hard like he did on mixtapes ,he would have that success he’s looking for. Ma$e is a clown why even waste energy on him.

  • looney aka youngloso

    Yo this clown nigga mase don’t want it with loso im from flatbush brooklyn and I stay in rich yung from head to toe I fuck with da fid di di di dam loso’s way is fire from start to finish rich yung is da hottest thing craccin right now and with da jam behind him loso gonna get tha respect he deserves he is da nastiest lyricist dead or alive and da number one trend setter in da business thank god for fab or this rap shit would be lame respect jeezy,blue davinci,paul cain,ransom,stack bundles,don dilli, and every body that rep da street fam and jay hold my nigga loso down he run brooklyn

  • Ladii_Mugz

    i gotta agree with about 98% of ya’ll, FABOLOSO is on top and Mase is just losing ALL the respect he ever had. that fake ass thug, he think he DUMB hard cuz he rolling wif wack ass G-Unit. my nikka Loso got the game on lock and he’s coming harder then EVER, ya niggas that underrate him just WAIT & SEE CUZ THE BEST IS YET TO COME RIGHT FAB?!? STREET FIDDA-DA-DA-DAMN NIKKA! BK FOR LIFE BABY!

  • Profit

    Yo, Mase is errelavent in my opinion. Dude went holy on us and thats cool but i cant respect a nigga that after finding christ finds his old gat and is all of a sudden gangsta again. Fab is real, Real Talk. I guarantee his next album goes triple under def jam. “Make Dollars not Since” – Profit
    I’m out

  • http://none VON-GEE

    every thing FAB did was hot on some shit fuck wat haters talkin about.

  • Khayal

    Loso’s Way was hot
    All the Albums have been hot
    Signing to Def Jam is always hot
    Fab nigga do what u do

  • Turk

    How the fuck yall givin him props for this shit, he may be gettin more loot, but damn he just tellin yall he goin pop….wtf was wrong with Breathe?? that was a perfect single, it was street and it crossed over to mainstream, he acts like that formula cant work….shit look at TI, atlantic markets him pretty well dont they??? and hes been puttin some street singles out and shit, with gutter videos, he still giong platinum, prolly more with the KING album…..fab is just confused i think mase fucked his brain up when he dissed his own son


    I would like to comment on that mase thing first. make a long story short, im goin to boot leg whatever album mase gets and make copies. then give them out for free cause i really dont feel his movement for real and its best that he dont sell.im not a hater but he’s definitly hated right about now.he got enough of god’s money already.i wounder what the people at whatever church he went to thinks. all respect is definitly lost.Anywayz, on that def jam move fab, good luck. i think its a good move.hopefully fab gets the credit he really deserves.theres alot of people that need to get back with listening to real hip hop.the stuff that makes sence. and thats real talk. lookin forward to the distruction of mase on the next mixtape also. JERSEY

  • From Boston to FLA

    what’s the deal with all these un-educated people backin mase…the kid had a few hot flows but half the time he goes for the ride..u see the cover of dubs?? 50 and mase..pretty sad how these n*ggaz promoting this low class fool…it has nuttin to do with hate it’s just common sense. FAB has spit the hottest flows since he started..and all i see is everyone talking bout “breathe” was the only hot shit this dude had. come on now people i dont know what shit ur listenin to but for 99% of the time Fab be killin it…so all ya’ll ridin in that mase cab need to really see what the f*ck ya’ll sayin bout some dick-riding homo wit no flows but that baby boy mainstream sing-a-long shit…FAB keep doin yo thang and blow that def jam scene up..yo by the way Jay..u the smartest dude in this whole scene..i’m out

  • CARLITO, Da Mic Newszine


  • http://. Rich Yung SparxXx

    my nigga fab be doin’ it big trust me…i don’t even know why mase is alive..why is he even rappin’? the man should just call it quits and pray back to God and hope God accepts him

  • applebottomsou


  • http://www.yahoo.com Tha KING

    Congrats Fab-Bo-Lo-So on that Def Jam, do ya thing over at Def Jam and tell Ma$e to make up his fuc*ing mind

  • Poison

    Fab been holdin it down fo a long time he always makes the hottest shit ma$e would not even have of thought of dissin Fab if he were not in G-unit

  • http://yahoo.com lloyd banks

    plz i whan to bee ur friend

  • h-town represnta

    yeah that boy fabo be holdin it down.

  • http://www.capostatus.com Mrs.Jones

    Fabolous is whats popping…im glad hez doing his thing…his shit is hot and when he comes out with something new its going to blow peoples minds,like what niggsz??!!

  • Angie

    I just would like to say that I’am one of fab’s biggest fans and mase coming at him is not a threat fab’s hot he reps bedstuy brooklyn and I’m rolling with him til the end.

  • http://LOOOOSSSSSSOOOOOOO Vicesteele

    and i hardly care/cuz da only way i see time behind bars if its a CARDIER!!!! FAB started and proffesionalized methapors now everybody is doing it EVEN JAY!!!!!! u will see…..

  • Darrell

    Fab is tha realest in tha game…he spits solid metaphors and punches every verse….how can u say he stole mase’s swag….just because he doesnt yell on wax…Mase never used metaphors or punches and was never a street rapper…mase is coo…but hes not fuccin wit FAB…outro