Brooklyn, NY – No hip-hop jam is complete without that little ‘something-something’ to take it to the next level-be it a duet, remix, rap solo or verse. Fabolous’ latest album Loso’s Way is well on it’s own way; topping the charts with an all-star accompaniment. His music continues to put together all elements of hip-hop and make it a lot more than just that ‘something’. In our ten-minute conversation F-a-b-o-l-o-u-s tells our HipHopCanada readers how hits are made Loso’s Way.
HipHopCanada: You are known for collaborating with a lot of other artists in the business. What do you like about working with other people on your music?
Fabolous: I mean, I like mixing the music, especially with the R&B feel. You get to mix the music and create GREAT music. You can put two good artists together and make great music, and I’m a fan of that. Sure some of music’s best songs have been solo but a lot of them have been collaborations. We just aim for the stars and make collaborations.
HipHopCanada: I heard you weren’t looking to really do a lot of collaborations on your latest album, Loso’s Way.
Fabolous: Nah, that’s not really true. This album probably has more people on it than any other album I’ve done. I’ve never ruled out collaborations.
HipHopCanada: You’ve been working with Ryan Leslie quite a bit, how did you hook up with him?
Fabolous: I’ve known Ryan for a little while, because I was a feature on one of his joints and he was a producer. So I kept that in mind when it was time for me to record my project. I reached out to him, and was very optimistic that he could deliver me some hot joints.
HipHopCanada: I also was interested in knowing how the collaboration with Jay-Z came to be for the song “When the Money Goes” from his new album, which was originally meant to be just a Jay-Z song?
Fabolous: Jay heard the concept that I was using for my project and he thought it would be a dope song for my project, and I did it. I think somehow it got leaked to the Internet and that’s why y’all heard the Jay-Z version first.
HipHopCanada: Who would you say is your favorite person to work with on the album?
Fabolous: It was a lot of fun working with Ryan Leslie. He’s a musical genius and at the same time he is open to opinion, open to try new things he’s very passionate about the music and very energetic about putting a song together. So that was one of the best people to work with. And I was actually in the studio with him working on the project. A lot of times now its rare that the artists are in the studio with each other when they create music.
HipHopCanada: Is there someone that you would like to work with in the future on your music?
Fabolous: I haven’t thought about it. I don’t just write down their names on a piece of paper, I try and do the record and get the beats and then try and figure out who would be good for the music. More like who would sound good on this song. Not you know, just write down a list of people I want to work with.
HipHopCanada: Along with the release of the album, you put out a short film to accompany the music. What gave you the idea to do that?
Fabolous: Actually just watching the movie Carlito’s Way. I was looking for a theme at the time for my project, and the things that went on in that movie helped inspired that for me. I saw the movie and there were some things that were really parallel and similar to my life so I wanted to use that movie and that’s what I did.
HipHopCanada: So the movie Carlito’s Way has a lot of connections to real life for you?
Fabolous: Yeah, the struggle and the up and coming. He came out of jail and he was trying to do something better from that point on and not back-peddle into the streets. That’s the same thing for me like in this music profession I’m in now-it’s something that’s success for me and I’m trying to use it to get further in life and not back-peddle into doing any wrong, or drag me back into that life.
HipHopCanada: Is this something that we are going to see you doing more of? Maybe the beginning of an acting career for you?
Fabolous: It possibly could be. You know after that some people saw it and thought it was good, and maybe those Hollywood guys will open up the gates and give us a big budget and we’ll do a Spielberg out of it, I don’t know.
HipHopCanada: What songs on ‘Loso’s Way’ did you like the best, or have the greatest connection to?
Fabolous: That’s interesting. Every week I used to have a different favorite on there. I would have to say my favorite would be…this week is probably ‘Lullaby’. I been listening to that a lot.
HipHopCanada: Now, just out of curiosity I have to ask, where did you come up with the name ‘Fabolous’, and it being spelled a little differently?
Fabolous: It’s actually kind of a mistake. DJ Clue gave it to me, and he really just thought my name was Fabolous but it wasn’t. I was saying it in a rap to describe something but he thought I was saying it as if it was my name. That’s where that came from. It’s tough because he was really advertising it as my name and telling everybody, so once it was around I didn’t want to spend time backtracking and telling them it wasn’t. At that time I didn’t even have a concrete rap name that I was going by anyways, I was going by my first initial, which was ‘J’, but we all know there are a few J’s in the game. So that might not have worked-so I’m glad I stuck to Fab.
HipHopCanada: How did you and DJ Clue hook up? I know you were invited to come and rap on his radio show, but where did it go from there?
Fabolous: On his radio show. I was invited to come on his radio show and we met, and he just put me on air and I think that the response that he got and also just being a little surprised by how good he thought I was that lead to us working together.
HipHopCanada: What is your take on the hip-hop scene that is happening out in my city, Toronto?
Fabolous: I’ve heard a few artists, and of course Drake, Kardinal Offishall. I’ve been associated with Kardinal and he’s always been cool. I know there are a lot of dancehall influences in Toronto hip-hop music, which is what Kardinal does, and I like it. It’s different and it’s a great vibe for the music.
Editor’s note: To get in the mix, take a listen to Fabolous’ fifth album release Loso’s Way and follow @MyFabolouslife on Twitter.