When Mistah F.A.B. (Faeva Afta Bread) dropped his independent debut, Nig-Latin, in 2002, he was considered just another freestyle rapper who couldn’t make complete songs. Four years later, the self-proclaimed Prince of the O has three tracks, “Super Sic Wit’ It,” “N.E.W. Oakland” and “Kicked Out the Club,” spinning in heavy rotation on 27 stations across the U.S. Not bad for an artist who wasn’t expected to ever make it out of the Bay.“In the beginning, all I did was freestyle,” says the animated rapper born Stanley P. Cox. “A lot of people were like, ‘He’s just a backpack rapper, he can’t do nothing.’ Now it’s like, ‘He’s just a radio rapper, he’s commercial.’” After catching a glimpse of his toothy grin, you might think F.A.B.’s on some happy-go-lucky shit. But his sophomore album, Son of a Pimp, released in April ’05, proved that the Cali upstart ain’t no joke.“Nowadays, you have a lot of artists who have no substance behind them,” says the 24-year-old. “My dad died of AIDS, my mom’s a recovering drug addict and my brother just got out of jail after doing 11 years straight.” Instead of turning into a victim of circumstance, Mistah F.A.B. has learned to use his tragic family life to his advantage. “My mother’s pain, my father’s death and my brother’s inspirational letters are what fuel my fire to continue to want to do good.”Capitalizing on his growing buzz, F.A.B. is slated to release his next project, The Yellow Bus Ryda, in May on the late Mac Dre’s label Thizz Entertainment. “The album is finna be on some real super-hyphy stuff,” he explains. “It’s gonna cater to the yellow-bus kids, to the dudes that go dumb. And at the same time, it’s gonna have some of that deep stuff where I can talk about what’s going on out here.”

With guest spots from artists like E-40, Too $hort and Lil Wayne, YBR is shaping up to be F.A.B.’s most well-rounded work to date. Thizz is what it is.