FEATURE: Fabolous, The Gift and the Curse

[Editor’s Note: These are the outtakes to the edited interview that appears in the July 2009 issue of XXL.]

XXL: While other rappers make self-proclamations, you’ve avoided them. Why?

Fabolous: I think maybe that’s why I probably [get overlooked]. I kinda strayed away from that, maybe that’s needed too, because you have to make your claim sometimes. You have to make your claim where— you know how T.I. said he’s the King of the South, or Lil Wayne said he’s the Greatest Rapper Alive, Jay said something too. Everybody makes their claim.

XXL: So where does Fab fit in?

Fabolous: I dunno, I gotta analyze these statements, because some of them are just self-proclaimed [and] some of them is ones that are lived up to. So, I don’t know because you can call yourself anything. I can say whatever. I can say “I’m the flyest nigga to ever do it.” Certain people would agree with it, certain people would say, “Nah.” It’s really whatever you wanna say that’s why I never hung on those titles either because a nigga can say whatever he wanna say.

XXL: It’s funny I was listening to that old DJ Clue freestyle with you and Nore. And Nore was goin’ off.

Fabolous: Nore was hot as fish grease at the time. He said, “I shoot at your feet and make you do the Puff dance to perfection.”

XXL: That line was crazy. These were the caliber dudes that you used to have to rhyme next to in order to get attention. So you had to be nice.

Fabolous: Yeah. And niggas don’t have that at this point either. A lot of niggas in the game come in and make their catchy song. Let’s see you rap, let’s test out some of those niggas, put them on the radio rapping with another motherfucker and let’s see how you hold up against some of these niggas who are hot at the time. You go up there and you rapping for the motherfuckas from that era that really get that, but this new generation of muthafuckas, I don’t feel like they appreciate that.

XXL: What’s the difference between Fab and Loso?

Fabolous: With Loso’s Way – with this project, Loso became an alter ego for me. Fab is cool and rolls with shit, Loso came from me just kinda being tired of being cool. It’s certain niggas that I never really had no beef with, but sometimes the cool nigga don’t get what he deserve. Nas said in a line, “The one that’s murdered always be the cool one.” Loso became for me, this nigga that’s gonna get his point across, say what the fuck he wanna say, spit his shit. Fab is the guy you may just hear, and you just see is on his cool shit, he’s on his fly shit, he fuck with the bitches, he makes songs for the ladies.

XXL: So what’s changed?

Fabolous: A lot of the music on Loso’s Way became personal for me. Before I used to just make music, and my goal was to make good music. Now I went in and I actually put more of my personal feelings in this shit. The intro to the album [“The Way”] is kinda me being pissed off and me talking about all the shit that’s been going on in my career and maybe not getting the recognition for it and waking up to it.

XXL: Recognition from who?

Fabolous: It’s me getting pissed off a little bit, me talking a little bit to the industry. Even down to XXL. I fuck with XXL. I just felt like [XXL] never gave me the recognition due and not to take no jabs at anybody, but I’ve seen many covers before that I felt like if this person is on the cover, I damn sure should’ve been on the cover. I don’t wanna say anybody names, because next week I’ll have a YouTube video thrown at me.

XXL: Yeah, that does sound personal, so why air it out now?

Fabolous: I didn’t really wanna share that shit. I always wanted to keep my personal thoughts [to myself]. But it’s a gift and a curse, you can get personal with these people and then they feel comfortable and then they want more too. After you gave so much, your life becomes a public spectacle where they’re open to everything you do. Eminem for example, you knew Eminem’s wife, his child. But then he was pissed off because everybody fucks with him. He got to a certain level of fame and then he opened the doors to people knowing your mom, and your kid. But if he didn’t let that out then people wouldn’t relate to him in the same way. So it’s the gift and the curse.

XXL: But now you’re on Twitter; that’s a start.

Fabolous: The Twitter thing was good for me, because it gives muthafuckas a little bit more of my personality. Before like I said I wasn’t really giving niggas much. So people see my Twitter and be like, “This niggas is hilarious. He says some shit that we never even thought Fab would say.” But real niggas who know me, know my comedic side.

XXL: Last year you ended up on “You Ain’t Got Nuthin’” off of Wayne’s Carter III; there is a funny story behind that track isn’t there?

Fabolous: That’s so crazy. I [recorded] that verse a year before Tha Carter III came out. So now [the producer Alchemist] came to me and was like “Yo I gave it to D’Wayne for his album.” I’m thinking he just talking about the beat and he’s like “Nah he wants to keep you.” I was like, “Aww this nigga setting me up to get bodied because my verse was so old.” I listen to it ‘til this day, niggas come up to me like, “Yeah nigga you might have killed that shit the best.” And they don’t know the back story behind it. They don’t know that it’s something that everybody rapped [on] after me.

XXL: If you had to make a record right now with four other MCs, no hooks, just bars, who would you pick to be on the record right now?

Fabolous: Me, Jay, Pusha T, I wanna say Em and I’ma go with like a wild card option between Kiss and my wildcard is gonna be Joe Budden.

XXL: See that’s the thing. You’re totally in this rap/R&B lane which has worked great for you, but you’re also cut from an MC’s cloth.

Fabolous: I come from an era of hip-hop where you really had to be nice. I’m from that era of hip-hop. I’m really listening for if niggas is nice. The last new nigga that I heard that I felt was nice was Drake. Are you nice? Or are you just rappin? Or do you just got one of these dumb ass songs that anybody can make a dance to. That’s entertaining, that’s hip-hop, you get kids involved and that’s cool, but I come from a different era where it’s not just about you making a good hook over a good beat. I wanna actually dig something you saying. It gets boring for me to say the same shit over and over again. The challenge for me is saying the same thing, but making it wittier metaphorically and make it in a way where a nigga hear it different.Rob Markman

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    I like Fab but he’s incredible when he can just spit on freestyles rather than creating actual songs for the ladies…

    • G-UNOT KILLA

      FAB SNITCHED ON HALF THE BMF! WHEN I SEE HIM I’M SMACCIN THE FIRE OUT HIS ASS!

      • GregSide

        G killa all I can say is “yeah” cause u run into people like Fab, Jay, TIP, and the list goes on. You just had to let ‘em know that on a comment board first, but u gonna text ‘em later. OK. Pierzy I’ve read alot of ur comments on different shit and 99.9% of the time I don’t agree with u. But check it. I just got done listening to “Loso’s Way”. This shit is Hard. I thought wit’ the new cover of XXL it was gonna be str8 for the ladies but what he said in the interview is true. Unless they put another song in be4 Next Tuesday out of 16 songs he’s only got 2 “true just for the ladies” tracks. That includes “Throw it in the Bag”. Homeboy goes hard. He even open’s up to the fans with a song about his son. I think what ur talking about is Loso. That’s what u wanna hear and he doesn’t disapoint. It’s without a doubt Loso’s Way.

    • twitter.com/kcutta85

      i agree fab is just hot spitter in my opinion. i dnt really think he’s the best songwriter dats why u see him wit all dez r&b singers lacin his hook bcuz its hard for him to make a banger dats strictly hiphop. loso way is his last chance at a classic afta the public is gonna decide his place in da game.

  • $poke

    Fab is dope as fuck but his albums always been meh…He’s the Vince Carter of hip hop. Highlight reels for days, great numbers, but never won nothing. I stay rooting for dude tho’

  • http://callmephlip.blogspot.com/ Phlip

    I like Fab, or I liked him more from the Clue tapes and his first album.
    I mean, I know making the songs for the ladies is what sells and he got bills to pay, so that is what he will do.
    I’m just saying though.

  • FLOSS

    Fab is my favorite rapper homes i been fucking wit the nigga since day one, Fabolous Sport days, them old blue da vinci freestyles and shit. Loso’s way is gonna be a monster. My top five (personally) start with this nigga (No STAN)Im glad the dude is still coming with heat niggas need to get the fuck out the kitchen ya dig !!

    • GregSIDE

      If u think Fab’s #1, and I’m not one of these bitches that try to tell u why ur wrong and they think there word is above everybody else’s(cough Pierzy), the new album is gonna turn u into a Stan. Don’t even think about it or wait 4 another single, just buy it. Trust.

    • GregSIDE

      If u think Fab’s #1, and I’m not one of these bitches that try to tell u why ur wrong and they think there word is above everybody else’s(cough Pierzy), the new album is gonna turn u into a Stan. Don’t even think about it or wait 4 another single, just buy it. Trust me

      • $ykotic

        @ GSide

        Real talk. Talk to me. I know Fab since the early days in Breevort PJ’s. No fame.

        Is this that one we wanted? Or is it a Def Jam release?

  • Str8Jckn

    Damn that VC comparison was spot on!

  • kedordu

    REAL TALK WAS A GREAT ALBUM ..
    LOSOSWAY WAS A CONCEPT MIXTAPE ALBUM EVEN BEFORE THE AMERICAN GANGSTER FILM WAS THOUGHT OF .

    SO LETS DEAD THE JAYZ AMERICAN GANGSTER COMPARISONS ..

    DUDE STAYED IN HIS LANE AND IS PROBABLY THE MOST SUCCESSFUL NIGGA OUT FROM HIS ERA . ASIDE FOM EMINEM

    • zonebx1160

      fuck outta here, fab is nice & all but he aint the most successful in this era other than em, kanye is. i’m not sayin that cuz kanye is better or anything, but ye’s 1st 3 albums have been classics, fab’s have been borderline hot. kanye is everywhere, makin music wit every artist from every genre, to fashion, etc he was like number 4 on this yrs forbes list. & u got da rite to say fab is the most succussful from his era?? hell no, him kanye got started around da same time & ye blew up faster & makes better music, even tho fab i think is better than him lyrically

      • kedordu

        read the post again dummy . im talkin about his generation of rappers . kanye is in 50s set 2003 .. fab was big in the underground in 99-2000 . that ems set aint it ?

        • zonebx1160

          em came out wit his 1st mainstream lp in 99-00, he was underground back in 95-98, 98 is when fab 1st got on the clue tapes, kanye been makin beats since 99-00, since beanie sigels the truth lp, but aint blow up as a producer til 01 wit the blueprint, which was released da same day as fabs 1st lp. so they came up both around da same time, its jus kanye came out wit his lp 2 yrs after fab, & regardless if fab came out 1st their still in da same generation, cuz they came up in da same century, so even if fab came out 1st, kanye is still a bigger artist than he is.

        • povski

          Same century? So every rapper that comes out since 2000 to 2100 will be the same generation?

        • zonebx1160

          no nigga, they all came out in during the late 90′s early 00′s, so their basically came out da same decade,which puts em in da same generation. my bad 4 puttin century. but outta those rappers dat started out then, other than em, 50 is da biggest sellin artist, than comes kanye. fab wouldnt b put on dat list cuz his 1st 2 albums have gone platnium & his last two have gone gold, whereas 50 & kanye have gone multi-platnium

    • zonebx1160

      oh, & if u wanna be politically correct, 50 came out around 98-99, when he was fuckin wit jam master jay & trackmasters & nas, when he was on his power of a dollar shit, wit how to rob even then he was still bigger than fab, so outta that whole late 90′s early 00′s era of underground rappers to make it big other than eminem is 50 cent, it’s just that he really blew up at da end of 02 by signin wit em & dre. so ur totally wrong on ur thesis

  • Rex Banner

    Does anyone know what freestyle he is talking about where he says NORE went off on it? I want to look it up

  • kevin

    i personally think breathe is one of my top 5 favorite songs ever. it’s incredible. just blaze is indefinitely the guy you want on your track and fab’s concept on that was amazing. good look for loso, good luck.

    • Eric

      90% cosign… maybe my top 10!

  • http://www.yahoo.com KCI’s CEO

    Why do niggaz always be like I like the FIRST album or the mixtapes before he was famous better. Ya’ll sound like some whiny-ass bitches,I mean yeah the first album is always gonna stick out because they been workin’ on it they whole lives up to that point,but for me the second album is the test of time,cause by then you busy as fuck,can barely get sleep,now can u handle the heat or get burned by the flames,oh and fab is my dude, this nigga filled a void new york needed at the time,with the MASE hiatus, 50 Cent bullshit,and even Jada takin’ too long to drop,Fab kept the pussies wet and the wolves fed.

  • Johnny

    Greg no offense but there is actually 4 true songs – Last Time,Makin Love,Throw it in the bag,When The Money goes nd 5 if you count miss my love..I agree w| everything else you said

  • big grim

    Breevoort = What Up Street Fam

  • Roco

    Fab aint lieing,he is under rated and it is because he hasnt proclaimed anything or put himself out there like the rest of these corny niggaz,and i heard bits and pieces of the album..(didnt wanna hear the whole thing before it came out) and from what i’ve heard so far the album is strictly loso,nothing much for the ladies,fab never dissapoints and ive been a big fan since the professional..keep it up los

  • C-Class

    Fab King Of Feat

  • REAL TALK ’09

    Fabo is always one hit closer to being the best…he should be easily one of the best this year…..wit ppl like GS BOYS..THE NEW BOYS..AND GOOD OLE SOULJABOY…..HIP HOP TRULY IS ON ITS LAST LEGS..AND JIGGA AND LIL WAYNE FADING….DRAKE IS OVERATEDAS HELL…AND TIP LOCKED UP..AND KANYE WEST IS GOING TOO POP…EVEN THOUGH ‘YE GOT SUM HOT VERSES..HE TOO OVEREXPOSED….LUPE IS CURRENTLY MY FAVE!..I THINK INDIE RAP AND UNDERGROUND NEED TO TAKEOVER…..

  • REAL TALK 09

    OH..BTW!..Where The HEll Is Papoose????..dats my nig 2!

  • Eric

    man, i’m listening to this nigga album right now… Fab got bars for days! This nigga is a beast on the mic — him and Luda are the most underrated and underappreciated rappers ever

  • mr okene

    men the reason fab called budden name because he has hit budden boo tahiry ,so he is trying to curry sme favor from budden.

  • Mike

    On breathe he used bars from his first album. Which was the bonus track

  • http://www.myspace.com/steelfmonroe Steel Monroe

    Here’s my take on Fab.Lyricly…one of the slickest niggaz on the mic from 2000-present.Not OMG…THAT NIGGA IS GOD ON THE MIC NASTY(with the exception of that verse on “Ain’t Got Nothin and “This is Family”),but a consistant slick and witty spitter.He is not a hook writer so he has had R&B singers to make up for that flaw wheneva he had a ladies joint.Commercially,he has had hits but still gets overlooked b/c,as he stated,he dont make no outrageous ass self-proclimation for himself&his albums have been solid…not classic bangers,Hip Hop or commercially,from beginning to end(Even tho I think his last Album was 1 or 2 songs away from that).I am gonna check out LOSO’s WAY and hope this is his best project.But Fab and Luda are most def the most overlooked niggaz commercially&hip hop,in the game at this point.

    DOWNLOAD THE “BEST DAMN MIXTAPE”
    http://www.myspace.com/steelfmonroe

  • http://www.myspace.com/steelfmonroe Steel Monroe

    Here’s my take on Fab.Lyricly…he is one of the slickest niggaz on the mic from 2000-present.Not OMG…THAT NIGGA IS GOD ON THE MIC NASTY(with the exception of that verse on “Ain’t Got Nothin and “This is Family”),but a consistant slick and witty spitter.He is not a hook writer so he has had R&B singers to make up for that flaw wheneva he had a ladies joint.Commercially,he has had hits but still gets overlooked b/c,as he stated,he dont make no outrageous ass self-proclimation for himself&his albums have been solid…not classic bangers,Hip Hop or commercially,from beginning to end(Even tho I think his last Album was 1 or 2 songs away from that).I am gonna check out LOSO’s WAY and hope this is his best project.But Fab and Luda are most def the most overlooked niggaz commercially&hip hop,in the game at this point.

    DOWNLOAD THE “BEST DAMN MIXTAPE”
    http://www.myspace.com/steelfmonroe

  • tronthadon

    No you bumbass he called Joe Budden because he use to rap with tha nigga on tha old clue mixtapes and they use to get in it…you can tell when a dumbass blogger speaks..anyway Fab that nigga his albums be aight but his mixtapes be damn near classics hope this shit is hot and worth my 10.69 at best buy

    • mr okene

      yo are u fab p.r man men dont insult onlline then come up short in the street. you have been warned

  • SteveB

    Fab killed Wayne and Juelz on that track

  • King

    Joe Budden..? Pusha T? wtf??

    This dude is delusional…

    pick Jay-Z, Nas, Rakim or Sauce money…get your head taken off partner! To jump on a track with Sauce Money circa 1997 ’98..is attempted suicide..hahah..ask Jay..he had to come with is or else…

    To hop on a track with AZ in 94-98 it was like you needed to read scriptures before hand to get inspired nigguh…

    To hop on a track with Nas in 1993-1997 it was like oh shit hold on I wasn’t ready hahah lol…

    To hop on a track with Jay-Z 1995-2000 or even 2001…was like what he said hold on I’ll be back..

    Cannibus, Jadakiss, Rakim, even Jaz bum ass.hehe…back in the 90s it was playing russian roulet with a loaded pistol…This nigga is talking about Joe budden or Pusha T..fuck outta here.

  • KingofNY

    Joe Budden..? Pusha T? wtf??

    This dude is delusional…

    pick Jay-Z, Nas, Rakim or Sauce money…get your head taken off partner! To jump on a track with Sauce Money circa 1997 ’98..is attempted suicide..hahah..ask Jay..he had to come with is or else…

    To hop on a track with AZ in 94-98 it was like you needed to read scriptures before hand to get inspired nigguh…

    To hop on a track with Nas in 1993-1997 it was like oh shit hold on I wasn’t ready hahah lol…

    To hop on a track with Jay-Z 1995-2000 or even 2001…was like what he said hold on I’ll be back..

    Cannibus, Jadakiss, Rakim, even Jaz bum ass.hehe…back in the 90s it was playing russian roulet with a loaded pistol…This nigga is talking about Joe budden or Pusha T..fuck outta here.

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  • http://n/a Knowledge G. Allah

    I never fucked with fab until that album camout with the pusha t verse on it. Fab always had good songs, no doubt, but it wasn’t my style of music. I needed that hard shyt. Then My buddy told me about 4 years ago that Fab was hott. I was about to diss, but i couldn’t because im not ignorant. I listened to his music and liked it. I downloaded all his mix tapes i could find and i didnt go that far back into the albums but i did get that one with neyo and rhianna. I also like Fab b/c he on Def Jam and knows hjow to use his label mates to help pump their stuff too. He comes out with albums at the right time for the DefJam label and his Gangsta grillz album was classic. My people from mecca (Harlem ) put me on to that. Ill grab the next album losos way, and that verse with pusha t on the last album called, “Jokes on you” is fkin fire how they mention the comedians like that. Reminded me of how the wu-tang used to do songs and name a whole bunch of things in the same category. And Fab Fucks with Frck Billionaire from Philly. How could I forget about that. Niggas in NY kmew more about Freck than niggaz in PHilly. keep it moving fab. you gettin better to me and its not many left in our generation of hip hop to listen to. Ill be damn near 60 before that “You a jerk – I know” stuff catches on to me lmbao

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  • balaramesh

    @King,

    you were somewhat right. sauce money was good back in 1998. he used to hang with jay z line for line a lil bit. he can still serve most cats out right now. however, joe budden and pusha t would ABSOLUTELY KILL HIM right now. joe spits harder that just about any rapper now. pusha t’s verses have few or no peers.

    “breathe” is my favorite fab song by far.

    he is the best in the game at r&b songs. too bad no one gives his any love outside of the radio singles. he has bars for days.

    juelz > fab > wayne on the one song.

    pusha t already killed fab already on his album. why do it again?

  • Anill

    Fab its iight…..imma get loso’s way when it drop’s….buh i wanna get a album wit Young Jeezy & Fabolous

  • King

    @balaramesh… Sauce Money now with an old rhyme would scorch Buddens with a Buddens 2009, matter of fact 2010 Rhyme. I hate when people say now and then…it annoys me. You know why? Because when you’re a a nice ass MC…people remember your lines…till this day….Sauce money said some shit with Jay-Z in a rhyme that had me bugging the hell out in RD.

    “Said we was garbage, so fuck college
    Street knowledge amazing to scholars when we coin phrases for dollars”

    I put that line with any Joe Budden line…

    If ur nice ur nice period. Fab is talking about he comes from an era where you had to be nice….and he didn’t mention AZ or Sauce Money…but he mentions Joe budden or Pusha T..???WTF?? to be honest..I’m not a hater..but I can’t even recite a hot line from pusha T…not one..Joe Budden maybe one..and that was when he was really fucking with Fab…in like 2000 or 2001.

    I’m a few years younger than Fab..and trust me…I don’t consider Joey or Pusha T to be nice nice..they are good but not nice…

    AZ is nice,
    Nas is nice
    Jay-Z is nice
    Sauce Money is nice
    Biggie is nice
    2pac is nice
    Common is nice
    Kanye is nice
    NORE is nice
    Pun is nice..

    Like these niggas have lines that they recited 10 years ago…that still would knock off these pussy soft emotional bum niggas today!!!…I don’t get it..man…like people tend to have short term memories…and shit..is ludicrous to me.

  • it`s me

    Pusha-T?? hell yeah, glad sombody picked him up!

  • I am legend

    Fab 1 of the best with the punchlines aint 2 many fukin wit him besides dudes like Jada and the old lloyd banks wit da punchlines but Fab albums b subpar but i been fukin wit em 4 a minute that more street dreams mixtape was serious he ripped that renegade beat something rediculous!!!!!!!!1

  • swaggalikericflair

    Fabulous ripped all star off hard. losos way… starlitos way 1 and 2 dropped 2007 and their way better. loso…? lito…? another rip. So yea fuck fabulous all star should just retire his ass. look him up before you insult.