Lil Fame of M.O.P. and Termanology Talk Their Joint Album Fizzyology

It started shaping up to being a Termanology album with a bulk of the production credits going to Lil Fame of M.O.P. (Yeah, he’s been producing for years). But as Term kept knocking down Fame’s instrumentals, one by one, the Brownsville, Brooklyn native thought the music was coming out so hot that he wanted to rap on some of the songs. As a result, what evolved, was the joint collaboration album, Fizzyology, which is set for a November 6 release. “Fizzy Womack was his producer name and the whole thing was that he was trying to showcase himself as a producer and I was trying to come up as a rapper,” Term explained of the joint venture. “We collaborated on the album together, so we had to collaborate on the title.” When learning of the project, Fame and Term were able to recruit the heavy-hitting likes of Bun B, Freeway, Busta Rhymes and Styles P as some of the featured guests. The latter two appear on a track called, “Play Dirty,” easily one of the hardest, grimiest street tracks of the year. Although Fizzy handles most of the production—nine of the album’s 15 tracks to be exact—the LP also includes instrumentals from the likes of The Alchemist, Statik Selektah and DJ Premier. Here, XXL talks to the rap vets, Lil Fame and Termanology, about concocting the joint collaborative effort.—Mark Lelinwalla

How long have y’all known each other?

Termanology: Six years.

How did this project come about?

Lil Fame: I used to do my production out in Williamsburg and [Termanology] used to come by all the time, drink and whatever. I gave him a beat CD and he rapped to all of them shits. The whole shit was that he appreciated my work. I’ve been doing it for years, but he really went in on the shit and he really liked it. So, I gave him a bunch of more shit, he took it up top and the shit was coming out hot. I was like, ‘Yo, I gotta idea.’ We started putting a hook here, a hook there and then I wanted to be a part of it.

Termanology: “Watch How it Go Down” remix was the verse he did for me first [in TKTK] and that’s how we got cool. Then, after that, that’s when I started asking him for beats. We just kept working. That’s probably like ’06.

Were you a big fan of M.O.P. at the time?

Termanology: Of course.

Fame, were you familiar with Term’s work?

Lil Fame: Yeah.

When y’all formally decided to make this joint project, what was the creative process like?

Lil Fame: At first, I just gave him a bunch of beats and he just went in. It wasn’t no e-mail shit. He would drive back down and be like, ‘I want to play some shit for you.’ We be at Statik [Selektah] crib or whatever, drunk. The whole thing was made under the influence of a whole lot of alcohol. We’d go to Statik’s crib, lay down a verse, get drunk and that’s how we’d work back and forth. We’d go to Boston and shit and mix. We thought the album was complete, but it wasn’t…we needed a few more things. The vibe is crazy!

Termanology: It started like a Termanology album, produced by Lil Fame or Fizzy Womack. That was the whole plan. Then, he’d drop a hook here, a verse there and then it wound up being like we were together on almost all the joints. Then we were like, “Let’s make it like a collaboration album—Fizzyology.” By the end, he had some solos on it and I had some solos on it. It was only right. It didn’t feel like work. It was fun. But we had to make this shit fire.

How did some of the features or production looks come about?

Termanology: Well, Bun-B, I called Bun. Bun’s my homie. I told him that I needed him on the project with me and Fame. He said, ‘No problem’ and sent the verse back the next day. As far as the Premiere beat, I called him and made that happen. Fame called Busta…I don’t know how he made that happen.

Lil Fame: Busta’s my ni–a. All of them are my ni–as. It’s the same shit they do. They give me a call and I’m there for them. Busta was like…[doing his best Busta impersonation] “God, anything you need, I got you. I got you.” Styles is on deck anytime.

Freeway just came to Statik’s crib to work with Stat and I was like, ‘Yo, listen, this joint right here gotta be me, you and Fame.’ He was like, ‘No doubt.’

What does Danze think about this collaboration?

Lil Fame: Danze is good with it. We all love Term. We travel, toured with Term or whatever. He has opened up for us. Statik with him and Statik did a lot of work on [M.O.P.’s] last album, so it’s all family. Danze is doing more of the exec thing. He’s got his website, Rap United Nations.

Termanology: It’s not like we’re a group. We’re just collaborating on an album.

Lil Fame: I’m trying to get my production game up!

Even amongst hardcore M.O.P. fans, do you think that some of them don’t know that you produce?

Lil Fame: It’s cool because when they find out, they be like, ‘Oh shit! You did that?’ I been producing professionally since like ’94, ’95. But I don’t run around with a beat CD, trying to get in every session. I could do that, but sometimes cats be in that mood, like, ‘Okay and whatever, whatever’ and I don’t want that treatment. If some cats ask me for some shit, though, I feel like it’s an honor and I’m gonna throw it to you. That’s Term’s situation and that was an honor for me.

Best-case scenario, how do you want fans to receive this project?

Termanology: I think the best-case scenario is the people happy that we put out a good, hardcore hip-hop album.

Lil Fame: It’s not a group. He’s going to go back to what he was doing and I’m going to go back to what I’m doing. But this digital thing, these cats putting out like two mixtapes a month. I do music. I do this shit! It’s a dope-ass project.

Termanology: We want people to know he’s a producer and get showcased as a producer and me to just blow up more as a rapper. That’s the best-case scenario.