Soul Tapes: An Artist Post on Fabolous
Rapper Fabolous, born John David Jackson was born November 17, 1977 in Brooklyn, New York. Fabolous describes his childhood as, “pretty okay.” He remember growing up in a project building in Brooklyn with his mother, who was a single parent and his younger brother. He also has an older sister who he didn’t really spend much time with due to the huge age gap. Growing up, he was interested in art. He loved to draw, and eventually went to an Art and Design High School in Brooklyn. He recounts the experience in one of his interviews saying, “his passion for art changed when he realized there was no one from his neighborhood who became an artist.” Other kids in his neighborhood were either into to sports or the streets due to their environment and he wasn’t really interested in either. He notes one of his biggest influences being his mother. She always pushed him to explore the world and to do new things. She wanted him to be exposed to more than just the borough around him.
Fabolous’ love for hip-hop developed around the age 7-8 years old. Growing up, he noticed that Hip-Hop always created a positive connection between the people in his community. From the fish-frys, to sitting out on the stoop, or playing basketball, Hip-Hop was always present in times of happiness and created a good vibe. The energy of hip-hop is what intrigued him to listen to different raps and write the actually lyrics to the music. Then he remembers, changing a couple lyrics to the song and after creating his own set of lyrics to the different beats. Fabolous never thought of Hip-Hop as something that he had to pursue, but just something that was just one of his hobbies. It wasn’t until he met up with one of friends who was actually recording music that he decide to try it. That’s when his passion developed.
As he began to perfect his craft and play around with different beats, one of his raps that took off in his neighborhood was over Puff Daddy’s, “It’s All About the Benjamin’s.” After this song took off, Fabolous was introduced to DJ Clue who was a popular mixtape DJ in New York. After, he was invited on air to do a freestyle and from there his career took out.
Fabolous states that some of his musical influences include LL Cool J, Don Omar and Big Daddy Kane. Additionally, many people know Fab for his wordplay and punchlines in the raps that he writes. Fabolous can be said to inspire a lot of rappers musically. Artists now like Pusha-T, Chance The Rapper, Roddy Rich and more.
Ghetto Fabolous (2001)
Street Dreams (2003)
Real Talk (2004)
From Nothin’ to Somethin’ (2007)
Loso’s Way (2009)
The Young OG Project (2014)
Summertime Shootout 3: Coldest Summer Ever (2019)
My first time listening to Fabolous was hearing the So Into You Remix by Tamia. From there I began intrigued with him and his music. Fabolous’ wordplay in his songs, the beats that he uses and even his features all mesh together to make a perfect project. His most recent project, Summertime Shootout: The Coldest Summer Ever, is nothing short of amazing in my opinion. People love Fabolous because he has the ability create music for two decades and it’s something that people can still play. One of my favorite songs on this album, “Us v. Them,” featuring Teyana Taylor and Chris Brown. In this song he touches on his own relationship with his longtime companion and talking about his struggles through love, but realizing the worth in the end.
Additionally, another thing that Fabolous is really known for are his mixtapes. One series that he had titles “Soul Tapes,” (hence the name of this post) can definitely be at the top for great music. I think Fabolous creates music for your soul, and it’s usually a little bit for everyone. Love, drugs, money, cheating, and everything in between is mention in his music and its something that many people, especially young people can relate to.