In the music business, as in life, you have to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Wasted opportunity is like sex without cumming: What's the point? However, when you combine opportunity with preparation, the most common end result is success.
Fabo knows this all too well. His parents drilled it into him. That's why he approached his verse on Lil' Mo's smash hit "Superwoman Pt. II" like a clutch possession in the NBA Finals. Missing his shot was not an option. The ring was at stake and everyone was watching. By the time he spelled out 'F-A,' 'B-O,' 'L-O,' 'U-S,' the result at the buzzer was clear: all net.
On September 11, mixtape king DJ Clue? will give Fabolous his chance in the starting lineup with the highly-anticipated release of Ghetto Fabolous on Clue?'s newly formed Desert Storm imprint [Elektra Records].
The 21-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York recently took some time to speak with HOT 104 about overcoming doubt, macking video girls and meeting the country's most hated black man.
On your album, you have a track called "One Day" where you rap about trying to make it in the music business and how you had to overcome obstacles. It was kind of positive. Is that what you were going for?
It wasn't exactly positivity. It was more like about being determined -- determination. Basically, it's talking about sticking with [a goal] until it works and not giving up.
You also talk about how your parents were telling you one day [success] could happen. And your father saying to be prepared because one day you might have this opportunity. Did that really happen?
I was just using that as an example. They weren't just giving me guidance about rapping. They were giving me guidance with everything. You can just apply [those principles] to any situation. Like, my mom, she wasn't giving me lessons on the music industry. She was giving me life lessons.
Did you always want to be a rapper? Or was there something else you wanted to do?
I definitely wasn't planning on being a rapper. I never had an idea this would happen. I never went out, like, trying to get in the rap game. I was just trying to make some money, ya know? I got tired of being broke. This was something where I could make some money. It just happened for me.
From Big Daddy Kane to Notorious B.I.G. to Jay-Z, Brooklyn has a long history of talented lyricists. Growing up in BK, did people in your neighborhood feel you when you first started rapping or did you have to develop a style over time?
Really, I didn't let nobody know, but my closest friends. I didn't tell anybody. I kinda kept it on the low [that I could rap] and only my closest friends knew. They started telling people, "Yo, he's tight." And people would be like, "Ah, he can't rhyme."
Have your friends changed?
Nah, I'm still the same person. I haven't changed, so [my friends] haven't changed. They're just shocked seeing me go to something from nothing. They're shocked by other people's reactions [to me].
What's an average day for you like now?
It's a lot of work. I'm always doing interviews, in-store promotions, radio, signings...
Do you like that part of the business? Or would you rather just stick to rapping?
I mean... I don't enjoy working, but it has to be done. To [be successful] with my career, I have to do what I have to do. It's not like, "Damn, I hate this sh*t."
In the video for your single with Nate Dogg, "Can't Deny It," there were a lot of hot looking chicks. Did you kick it to any of them?
Yeah, I got with one. Hooked up or whatever. I can't deny it. I got with one. [Chuckles] I can't deny it.
Are video girls easy?
It's not like that. It's loose [women] everywhere. It's loose up in the office buildings. It's loose secretaries. It ain't just girls in the music videos.
Was there ever a point before you got signed when you got discouraged? A time when you were like, "I can't do this."
I never felt like I didn't want to do it. We just kept going. I mean... I had a lot of doubts because people really didn't believe in me. But we just kept going and then people started to notice that maybe I could do something with [my talent].
Have you met any celebrities where you were like, "I can't believe this," or whatever?
I've met so many [famous] people, but somebody that I was kinda like, "Damn," was O.J.
Yeah, O.J. Simpson.
Where did you run into him at?
I was doing a show in Florida and he was there. Afterwards, I got a chance to meet him. It was cool.
Was he like... weird? Or just a normal cat?
Normal cat, we was talking and whatever... just like I'm talking to you. I got to shake his hand and everything. I wanted to get a picture of me and him together to take it back to the hood.
With the way the song with Lil' Mo blew up and all the excitement surrounding your upcoming album, do you worry about getting the big head?
Nah, that's not going to be a problem for me. I stay down to earth. I'm not the type [of person] to forget where I come from.
September 6, 2001