Fabolous Speaks on Loso’s Way 2 and The State of New York Hip Hop
Two weeks ago, Fabolous released “Ready” the first single off of what will be his sixth studio album, Loso’s Way 2. It’s been nearly 12 years since Fab first arrived on the scene via DJ Clue’s stamp of approval and the game has certainly changed, particularly the landscape of New York hip hop. We caught up with Loso at Def Jam last week to talk about the his new album and the Big Apple’s current state of affairs. Here’s what he had to say
How has your approach to making an album changed since you came out in 2001 with Ghetto Fabolous?
I definitely have more control than I did in 2001. When I dropped Ghetto Fabolous I was really just a young kid coming in who knew how to rap. I needed direction at that time. Now, I know what I can do. I know what my strengths are and what areas I need to touch on more. And that just comes over time. Getting to know yourself and getting to know your music. So now I still take opinions, suggestions, beats, everything, but at the end of the day I know what my sound is. Nobody else knows what’s in your head or what you’re trying to give out except for you. I like having that control. Now, all I can say is that I did it my way and hope for the best. It feels a lot worse when you went off of somebody else’s suggestion or advice and then it doesn’t turn out right and you’re thinking ‘Oh I should’ve just did what I wanted to do.”
What's the difference in approach when making an album versus let’s say a There is No Competition or a Soul Tape?
I get locked into whatever project I’m doing, ya know what I’m saying? Whatever that needs to be. With There Is No Competition I’m more aggressive, braggadocios, metaphoric. Punch-line, straight spitting kind of music. But with Soul Tape it was a little more deeper. More soulful music, more calm. Still some metaphors but it’s a different vibe really. Really it’s just the music that I happen to be making at the time that leads me into whatever direction the project I'm making is going
You’ve said recently that New York isn’t as strong as it used to be. With guys like A$AP and French and Action Bronson, a lot of people would say New York is coming back. Do you agree?
It’s a different generation and even though it’s on an upswing, it’s on the upswing of this generation. I don’t think it’s ever going to be the 90s/2000 New York, and people might have to rationalize with that and accept it. It’s only going to be the New York of now. It’s still a staple for music, it’s just that the music coming out of here hasn’t been the strongest because New York music is not dictating a sound anymore. I don’t mean to say that our music is wack, it’s just not the number one sound right now. Right now, ‘Ratchet’ music is mainstream. New York’s music used to be street, gangsta music. That was our ratchet music.
As an artist who’s still very much a mainstream rapper, do you feel pressure to tailor your music to what sound is popular at the moment?
No, but I do need to make music that’s competitive with what’s going on right now. I never want to compromise myself and what I do, but I do understand that my music has to be a great piece of work along with what else is going on. I heard “SoNY” in the club one say and the DJ told me ‘I like this record, but there’s not too many records that you can splice it into, you know?’ “SoNY” does not go with “Bandz A Make Her Dance”. And that’s not a shot at Juicy J. We make different kind of music. So I gotta make music that stays relevant with what’s going on, but not sell myself short.
So what exactly is the status of Loso's Way 2?
It’s coming soon. We just released the first single so I’m close to done, but I’m still just working. Being that I don’t have to turn it in yet, it’s a great thing to keep working because you never know. You could get your smash hit the day before you have to turn your album in. So I just keep working.