Almost five months after dropping his well-received mixtape, The Soul Tape, Fabolous treated fans with an exclusive celebration concert last week at New York City’s SOB’s nightclub, and he brought along some famous friends with him.

Backed by a live band, Fab was joined by the likes of Lloyd Banks, Vado and Trey Songz, among others, for the show, which kicked off with the mixtape’s introspective opener, “Pain.” “I’m old enough to know better, young enough to not give a fuck,” he rapped over instrumentation from a live band. “Rather hold my head high and die than live and duck. ”

Performing the tape in its entirety, Loso went through a slew of tracks including “Wolves In Sheep Clothing” (sans Paul Cain),”Really Tho,” “That’s Not Luv,” and “Leaving You.” Later slowing things down a bit, he enlisted the duties of Street Fam R&B singer Broadway and spitter Paul Cain for “Drugs,” before bringing out Red Cafe to join him on the boisterous, crowd pleaser, “Y’all Don’t Hear Me Tho.” For the closer, Loso brought along Freck Billionaire for “Payback Music” before revealing that his next LP, Loso’s Way 2, was coming at the end of the year.

Fab took some time to chat with XXL about his hometown concert, the 10-year anniversary of Ghetto Fabolous and the upcoming Loso's Way 2 album. —Ralph Bristout

XXL: Now you could’ve did a concert for any of your previous mixtapes—There Is No Competition 1 or 2 or even your debut, Ghetto Fabolous— what made you decide to do this for The Soul Tape?

Fabolous: Just the appreciation I got for it. I mean, there was appreciation there for There’s No Competition and There’s No Competition 2 but, [with]The Soul Tape I just seen a very wide range of appreciation and you know I also wanted to do something to show my appreciation. That’s why the show was free and we did it really for people who were actually real fans, you know there’s a lot of just Fabolous fans but, there was a special fanship that went into this mixtape. I wanted to do that for them.

What’s one of your favorite tracks off the tape?

One of my favorite tracks is “Slow Down” right now. If you make a body of music, sometimes your favorite track changes back and forth and right now “Slow Down,” just the vibe of it, where it takes me, where, you know, what it’s talking about and, Trey Songz of course is featured on it, he did his thing. We didn’t even put Trey Songz like all over the record, he came in at the end and just smoothed the record out. It was just so dope, man, it was just a great record to me. I don’t know how everybody else feels but, it’s a great record to me and that’s one of my favorites right now.

I spoke to AZ a couple weeks ago and he saluted you, Vado, and Lloyd Banks for flipping his “Mo Money, Mo Murder, Mo Homicide,” track with Nas. What made you decide to use that beat?

Well, all the beats that I used, there were either slow beats or had a sample in the beat, that was why I picked up “Mo Money Mo Murder Mo Homicide.” I wanted to do a record where I could of course show some love to the city as well. [with] Lloyd Banks being from Queens, Vado being from Harlem, me being from Brooklyn, those are the key points in New York City. It’s missing a Bronx representative, but maybe we can get that at a later date, you know what I’m saying.

Were you a fan of the original?

[Yeah] AZ’s original is a classic. I grew up listening to AZ and Nas, you know, he’s one of the lyricists that I feel doesn’t get a lot of recognition, but I know a lot of people listened to him coming up. His word play and the way he made words rhyme was particularly how I do my thing. I always paid attention to anybody who raps in a similar format, similar approaches to styles. Salute [to] AZ. I seen [him] a couple times in the supermarket, we both live in the same kind of neighborhood. I don’t want to disclose where he lives—I really don’t know where he lives—but, I seen him out at the supermarket before.



Speaking of recognition, congratulations on the 10-Year anniversary of your debut, Ghetto Fabolous.

Thank you.

How does it feel reaching the 10-years mark?

It’s crazy because that album was my baby, but you don’t come in thinking that you’ll be rapping for 10 years or be around 10 years or people will be loving your music for 10 years. You kind of live nonchalant, kind of just doing your thing, get on, get some money. You never look at trying to achieve longevity, you just want to come in and do your thing right at that moment. I’m one of the few artists that I guess, standing the test of time you know what I’m saying. I’m still here and still making great music and people are still appreciating my music and I’ll continue to make [it] as long as people dig it and appreciate it.

If you had to pick just one track off the album, what would your favorite?

One of my favorite tracks off Ghetto Fab is—if I had just one, I would have to say “Keeping It Gangsta” because at that time I did that joint in New York. It kind of stamped me as one of those people to be reckoned with in New York at that time. And you know I had, of course, a couple of other records moving, and the R&B remixes but, it wasn’t until that record where it felt like, “OK we got somebody solid.” Big shout out to DJ Enuff. At that time he was just starting and that was kind of a record that he started blasting off and you know built his empire and also while he was building his empire, had my record on deck so he always reminds me of that and I always remember it.  He don’t even have to remind me but, he does. It was a great joint you know.

Yeah you even linked up with the Lox and MOP for the remix.

Yeah, we had The Lox on there and MOP. That was the first time that I collaborated with The Lox. I remember listening to The Lox on Clue mixtapes, I grew up listening to MOP so you know it was great to be able to come in and have those people on the remix was a great thing at that time.

So tell us a little bit about things your currently working on. I know your gearing up for Loso’s Way 2.

Yeah, I’m working on Loso’s Way 2 that’s the main focus. I wanted to come out with the 10-year anniversary, but you know just-- I still have to get the beats that I want. I can’t put out an album with the beats that I just got, you know what I’m saying, I got to give ya’ll the quality joints. I got rhymes, I got ideas, you know I’ve had these since Loso’s Way one, but you got to find the right beats to them, so I had to go around and make a couple of trips. I went to L.A., I went to Miami, I went to Atlanta, I went here in New York and you know I think now we got you know the foundation and now we can build on top of that so the album will be out soon.

Will there be a concept or theme much like the first project?

Similar, but just more about evolution. I’m sure people can see you know me evolving as an artist, hopefully, and they’re growing with me you know what I’m saying. I’ve been doing this since paper towels on my head and bandanas were on my head so people have grown with me throughout that time. Since the throwback jerseys, all different kind of fashion statements I’ve made and trends, whatever, and now I’m here, I’m grown—you know I’m a father now.

How’s that feeling?

It’s crazy to me, just me even raising a little boy and him looking at me and being able to see me on TV, it’s an experience man. I hope, I encourage, the same way I encouraged people to put paper towels on their head, I encourage them to embrace family and take care of their kids the same way.