Fabo: “I Feel Like I Was Always Better Than Michael Jackson”
Lefabian “Fabo” Williams knows the importance of making a good first impression. As the colorful frontman of the rap outfit D4L, Fabo was the face of the dance happy snap music movement. With his elastic dance moves, multihued socks, and signature white-rimmed sunglasses, the Atlanta performer helped the group take their debut single “Laffy Taffy” to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in ’06.
Since then, fellow D4L member Shawty Lo has established a solid solo career, while Fabo took some time off from music, following the death of his baby’s mother. In addition to taking care of his daughter, he also went back to school. Now working on a solo album, Fabo has enlisted beats from high-powered beatsmiths like Mannie Fresh, Drumma Boy and Zaytoven to back his sound. XXLMag.com caught up with Fabo to get the rundown on his school days, new music and the possibility of a D4L reunion.
XXLMag.com: It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from you. What have you been up to?
Fabo: I just been having fun, that’s basically it. Having fun working hard everyday.
XXLMag.com: You also went back to school, right?
Fabo: Yeah, I’m in an online school at Ashworth University. Some kind of way they put me in a category where I was in college on a campus.
XXLMag.com: What motivated you to go back to school?
Fabo: I mean, basically, my daughter was missing for a couple of years. I lost my baby mama and when I got her back from my baby mama’s family I decided to spend more time with her. Settle in little bit—my studio and everything—then I got into school, got my high school degree and [went] on with it.
XXLMag.com: Have you been keeping up with hip-hop during your time away from the game?
Fabo: I stayed on the magazines, stayed on the Internet, blogs and stuff. I’m an avid blogger myself. It’s just about sitting back watching everything going on. I think it’s great. I love what Plies doing, I love what Gucci Mane doing, you know? It’s just about watching it evolve and watching the South cats step up their vocab on what they doing. That’s a big plus. I just been watching what’s going on. I’m just so proud of the South for doing their thing.
XXLMag.com: You must also be proud of the success your D4L cohort Shawty Lo has found as a solo artist.
Fabo: Oh, man, everyday. That’s like a big accomplished for the whole group, just to see somebody get a BET Award and everything. I feel like D4L was kinda held back from those things. Like, 30,000 haters, coming from everywhere and every big program you could think of and we went No. 1 and they wouldn’t let us be on a lot of them shows. He broke a lot of barriers the same way that T.I. did for Bankhead.
XXLMag.com: How was Shawty Lo able to make the transition from the colorful snap tunes of D4L to making harder trap music?
Fabo: I think a lot of people be forgetting we hustlers and street cats… Same thing with me putting on a million colors. I had never done that in my life. I felt like we had a kid type of song and a lot of our shows were in front of a lot of kids and stuff. It’s just about adapting into your situation. The music changed and I think Shawty capitalized on that and that was great.
XXLMag.com: Can we expect a D4L reunion down the line?
Fabo: We been chopping it up, back and fourth about the issue. I just did a song with one of Shawty Lo’s new artists, so we all still cool. I just had a lot of stuff going on at the time, personal family business, overcomes everything. We can get in there at anytime and get it done. We work pretty quick. We got good chemistry, so it ain’t no telling.
XXLMag.com: Would the sound and the group’s look be different from what you guys did on the first album?
Fabo: Basically you never really want to get away from what the fans want but you will want to capitalize on having something new.
XXLMag.com: Despite your past success, you guys were given plenty of grief for your sound and dancing. What advice do you have for groups today that catch flack for the same thing?
Fabo: My advice to them is to just stay on point, keep their head up or whatever. These people gonna come out the woodwork. They just hating because they wasn’t the one that made the song or whatever and it’s ’cause for them to go back to the studio to revaluate their whole situation. Maybe they been spending years on what they doing and they think they ready to go forward on their project and you get a jerk song or something like that and if it’ dope they say, “Alright, I have to go back to the drawing board.” Just keep your head up and let these haters be your motivators.
XXLMag.com: Any new dance moves you been working on?
Fabo: [Laughs] Hey, man, I can’t never stop dancing. I feel like I was always better than Michael Jackson. Shout out to the king. Rest in peace. —Rondell Conway