No Fab, You Be Killin’ Em

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Samantha Bishal

It is not very often that C.W. Post has seen a performer with as much status in the world of hip-hop. As soon as fliers were put up that Fabolous would be ACP’s spring fling concert performer, students buzzed with excitement until the moment he came on stage, Friday, April 15th.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, John David Jackson, aka Fabolous, started his career as a rap artist at the age of 18.  He quickly became successful with his album Ghetto Fabolous in 2003.  Since then Fabolous has continued to rise to the top with countless hit singles such as “Make Me Better,” “So Into You,” “Baby,” and his most recent hit, “You Be Killin Em” on the album There is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music EP.

After much anticipation, Fabolous started his performance at around 10 p.m. The energy among students remained consistent throughout his entire time on stage.  Within the course of an hour Fab played a multitude of hits, keeping the atmosphere as vibrant as ever.  As the final song ended, it became clear that Fabolous is a rare artist who will continue to produce music that makes him stand out from the rest.   And the Pioneer had the opportunity to celebrate this success with an exclusive interview.  Read on!

Q: You’ve been an artist for over 10 years now.  How do you think hip-hop has changed since you started?

A: The business has changed but I don’t think it’s compromised the music. Technology has made it possible for people to make music on their laptops; people can start making music at a younger age.  Overall, any game changes especially with the times, new products, new ideas, new artists.

Q: In a January interview you made a comment about your “You Be Killin Em” music video, basically saying how your intentions were to bring more art into music videos again as opposed to what we are used to seeing today.  Can you expand on that?

A: I like to make creative videos not just the typical things you see day to day.  We have a couple exciting things though, the girl slits the guy’s throat and blows a truck up. We didn’t make a movie out of it but we had a couple of key things that seperate it from the rest.

Q:  Who have been some of your major influences?

A:  Most of the rappers from Brooklyn like Biggie and Jay Z because they are the most relatable to me.  We all have a connection because we all came from the same walks of life.  But in life in general, my mom definitely.  My uncle gives me a lot of insight, but I also pick up pieces of advice from people along the way.  Sometimes a random person can give you something that’s key.

Q: Would you still consider yourself a student to the game?

A: I am definitely still a student, especially on the technical side in the studio. I’m learning something every day.  These kids that grow up with it are learning it so fast, so I am forced to learn with them.

Q:  You have a Twitter; so many celebrities do today.  Do you feel these social networking sites enhanced or helped in your career?

A:  I think it’s given people a little taste of my personality.  Besides just the music aspect, just joking around, not taking life as seriously, is fun.  It’s gotten me into trouble sometimes, not serious trouble, but it’s also brought some things I would never expect. Comedy Central wanted me to be a part of the Tosh. O show just because of something I’ve said on Twitter.  So I guess it works, it has its good’s and bad’s.

Q: So, did you like performing at C.W. Post?

A: I did.  The crowd was energetic; they seemed like they were ready for me.

Q: Do you prefer the smaller venue?

A: It’s more intimate; I like it sometimes when they’re right at your feet.  I like the action too, it’s more personal and gets people more involved.

Q: What advice do you have for kids with the same dreams as you had?

A:  Stop dreaming.  No, I’m joking. Stay determined; stay focused on what you want to do, learn your craft. Don’t go into something thinking you’re just going to learn as you go. There are people who learned before you, so learn from them. Take their bad experiences and don’t make the same mistakes.  There’s going to be non-believers and doubters but just keep pushing until you get the success that you want.

Q: And we just have to ask, how’d you come up with the name “Fabolous”?

A: It actually was given to me by mistake.  DJ Clue thought that was my name because I said it in a rap, so he went around and told everyone.  More and more people started calling me that and it would have been harder to continue correcting them. I also didn’t have a name yet; I was using my first initial “J” but I don’t think that would have been as good.

Q: Well, do you like it?

A: I mean it worked! It stands out; I’ve gone this far with it.

Make sure to check out Fab’s new album coming out April 21st, The S.O.U.L Tape, which is said to be hip-hop soul inspired.  You can follow Fabolous on Twitter at myfabolouslife.

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