One word, four syllables: Longevity. There aren’t many artist closing in on 20 years in the music industry that are still relevant today. However, to date, John “Fabolous” Jackson is currently selling out shows, releasing prevalent music, and can always be heard throughout radio’s rotation. Fabolous has exceptionally mastered the art of reinventing himself to achieve musical longevity
Similar to the wise, Loso stays connected to the youth. He donned himself “The Young O.G”, which is a title that is extremely fitting, as the rapper upholds his youth by keeping up with the times. But if we’re going by age, the rapper who’s turning 40 this November, does in fact qualify to be considered an “OG”. Let’s be clear, Fabolous has mattered in the rap game for the past 17 years. Whether it was releasing an album or a series of mixtapes, he’s maintained afloat. For the past four years he acted as the musical score for the holiday season, as he dropped his mixtapes on Thanksgiving and Christmas, only hiccupping once, when he released the news that The Young OG Project would be delayed due to sample clearance issues. It was a broken promise for Loso fans, but was easily forgiven, because in common Fabolous fashion, another release came shortly after.
I cannot praise Fabolous without addressing the elephant in the room, so here it is:
We’ve all heard Hip Hop debaters argue that Fabolous contributes only the bare minimum to Hip Hop & didn’t live up to career expectations. Comments as such call for the analyzations of Hip Hop standards, because in benchmarking Fab’s releases, I couldn’t find the beat that he supposedly skipped. Literally, each and every year, sometimes, multiple times throughout the year, Fabolous creates a wave of his own, via his music. Even when the swag-rap wave came in, unlike some other veteran rappers, he maintained his balance. Not to mention we never heard any frightening ghost writing tales about Loso, so add a few more points for his lyrical integrity and you get a living legend.
Excitingly for the rapper, earlier this week, he was awarded the Key To Brooklyn! This was an honor that was long overdue. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Fabolous made it out from Brevoort Projects and etched his name on The Wall of Hip Hop forever. This week also marks the 10 Year Anniversary of his fourth studio album From Nothin’ to Somethin ! Although it isn’t his first album, it is a milestone that we feel calls for an in-depth review of just how much he has contributed for the past ten years, since this classic release. We recognize, salute, and love you Loso.
June 12, 2007- Album: From Nothin’ To Somethin’
This ten year old release arrived at the beginning of the summer of 2007, but set the soundtrack for months on end. This project gave us exceptional production, great lyrics and catchy hooks.
From Nothin’ to Somethin’ debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop charts & #2 on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified Gold! It is on this project that he handed us a classic Hip Hop anthem with “Brooklyn” ft. Jay Z & Uncle Murda. Fabolous was just warming up with this one.
Stand Out Records: “Make Me Better” ft. Neyo, “Baby Don’t Go” ft. Jermaine Dupri, “Brooklyn ”ft. Jay Z & Uncle Murda.
February 13th, 2008 – Mixtape: There Is No Competition: The Funeral Service
Fabolous claimed the throne when he came out with this themed mixtape series. There Is No Competition was Fabolous’ way of making a statement that he was the absolute best and how unfortunately the competition was deceased. Hosted by DJ Drama, this project was filled with clever songs, bars & skits in relation to the theme, making it a cohesive listen.
Day one Fabolous fans were quite appreciative, as he had a few tracks with Freck Billionaire & Red Cafe. The Funeral Service was a great start to what became a classic mixtape series!
Stand Out Records: “I’m Da Main” ft. Freck Billionaire, Red Cafe, & Paul Cain, “Fuck Em All” ft. Red Cafe, & “Brooklyn’s Finest”.
July 28, 2009 – Album: Loso’s Way
Loso’s Way became Fab’s 5th studio album, and it was riddled with classic cuts. The album’s singles “Throw It In the Bag” ft The Dream, and “My Time” ft. Jeremih became summer anthems, along with “Everything, Everyday, Everywhere” ft. Keri Hilson & “Money Goes, Honey Stay” ft. Jay Z. This album was highly anticipated at the time, and lived up to expectations becoming Fabolous’ first Billboard number one album!
Stand Out Records: “Throw It In the Bag” ft The Dream, and “My Time” ft. Jeremih
August 31, 2010 – Mixtape: There Is No Competition 2: The Grieving Music EP
This second TINC mixtape installment exceeded expectations as Fabolous leveled up for this one. This was a Fab era that’s almost impossible to forget! This tape gave us more than a few hit records, and for “Lights Out”, “You Be Killin Em”, & “Body Ya”— tons of radio spins. Again, the death theme was on point on this project and yet again DJ Drama played a vital part in the success of this tape, with his classic song introductions and skits!
Stand Out Records: “Lights Out”, “You Be Killin Em”, & “Body Ya”
2011- April 21, 2011 Mixtape: Soul Tape
When the Soul Tape arrived, it became cold– worldwide! One thing Fab can do besides giving us a slew of Social Media captions, is bless us with music that we can instantly resonate with. The Soul Tape proved one thing: Fabolous’ lyrical ability and musical creativity never gave out.
Stand Out Records: “Really Tho”, “Yall Dont Hear Me Tho”, “Phone Numbers”, & “In The Morning” ft. J Cole.
December 25 2011- Mixtape: There Is No Competition 3: Death Comes In Three’s
Jumping back to the start of his mixtape series, he was similar to a rookie architect… building a small, but beautiful house, but by the final release he constructed a mansion, with a built in passageway. Fabolous’ growth is just that evident. He has some of the most original songs and productions on this project.
This final installment was wrapped with a bow, and placed under our Christmas trees. It was with this project that he began his traditional holiday release dates. He ended the T.I.N.C series in a strong way.
Stand Out Records: “You Don’t Know About” IT Ft. Meek Mill, “Swag Champ”, “She Did It”, “Spend It” ft. Trey Songz, “BET” ft Jadakiss & Styles P, “Unfuckwitable” ft. Red Cafe , “Get On It”.
November 22, 2012 – Mixtape: Soul Tape 2
Man on man, did this Thanksgiving release have us in our glory! The instrumental Gods blew in Loso’s direction on this project. This is where Fabolous’ production style shifted and he began to play with classic instrumentals. Later on, as you may know, it became a trend for the rapper. He sampled Jay Z’s “Guess Who’s Back”, Usher ft. Jadakiss “Want You Back”, and of course you have the hidden samples like the one he used for “B.I.T.E”, which is Phil Collins’ “Easy Lover” sample. Tell me, who flips beats better than Loso’s team? I’ll wait.
Stand Out Records: BITE, Diamonds, “Guess Whos Bizack” ft. Broadway, “Diced Pineapples” ft. Trey Songz, “Want You Back” ( Teyana Taylor, Joe Budden) Louis Vuitton Ft. J Cole
December 23, 2013 – Mixtape: Soul Tape 3
Listen, don’t try to act like you don’t remember how the club and the streets responded when Cuffin Season dropped! Fabolous was ahead of the wave yet again, with this project that shook up the industry. The Soul Tape 3, our annual Christmas gift from the rapper had us in our feelings yet again!
Stand Out Records: “Cuffin Season”, “Foreigners’” ft. Meek Mill, “Thim Slick”, “Situationships” ft. Mack WIlds, & You Know FT Young Jeezy
December 25, 2014 – Mixtape: The Young OG Project
Fabolous has always shown great love for what is arguably known as the last great decade: The 1990’s. The Brooklyn rapper celebrated his 37th birthday by having a huge 90’s themed birthday bash, he is owner of the classic BMW 850, and this release, his sixth studio album The Young OG Project, is filled with references, and samples from the Golden Era of Hip Hop.
This classic gave us our favorite New Year’s anthem ‘Ball Drop’ ft French Montana, and a slew of other hit songs. At this point it’s been awhile since we had an actual album from the rapper, but The Young OG Project, made it well worth the wait.
Stand Out Records: ‘Lituation’, ‘She Wildn’ FT Chris Brown & ‘Gone For The Winter’ FT Velous.
May 22, 2015 – Mixtape: Friday Night Freestyles
Every Friday night, in conjunction with DJ Clue, Fabolous dropped a very lyrical freestyle over classic beats that were locked in Hip Hop’s vault for over a decade. Loso was introduced to us through the Clue Tape era, so to hear DJ Clue’s echoing introductions… “Live From The 718, The World Famous DJ Clue, Desert Storm…” at the beginning of every freestyle, was completely nostalgic. Fabolous revived Mobb Deep’s ‘Shook Ones’, The Lox ‘All For The Love’, Nas ‘Black Girl Lost’, Jay Z ‘Do It Again’, Mase ‘Been Around the World’, Wu Tang’s ‘Aint Nothing To Fuck With’ and that’s just to name a few. Fabolous, started a trend in Hip Hop this year as rapper Jadakiss, Fred Da Godson, & Papoose all teamed up with DJs and began to do Friday Freestyles, as well!
Stand Out Records: “All For The Love”, “Been Around The World”, “ Do It Again” & “Black Girl Lost”
November 26, 2015 SummerTime Shoot Out
This Thanksgiving Fabolous held on to his promise by releasing yet another classic mixtape called Summertime Shootouts ! Although it was Fall when this tape dropped, it felt like Summer! This 12 track mixtape was full of features from some of our favorite artists: Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, & Dave East to name a few. This mixtape also had some of the greatest productions you’ve ever heard. Fabolous reached back into Hip Hop’s vault, and sampled some more classic instrumentals.
The artwork for this mixtape is a masterpiece, literally, as it’s a take on the painting style of the great Roy Lichtenstein. Shortly after the release, Fab had many pop-up shops and even created a line of clothing and accessories in honor of the artwork.
Stand Out Records: Real One FT Jazzy, Doin It Well FT Nicki Minaj & Trey Songz, Sorry Not Sorry Ft Bryson Tiller, & Summertime Madness FT. Dave East
September 3, 2016 – Mixtape: Summertime ShootOuts 2
Summertime Shootouts 2 certainly measured up to the success of the first installment. The instrumentals and features on this one were outstanding. I must mention, the last track on the tape, as it was a high priced Hip Hop treat. Fabolous sampled Jay Z’s “For The Family”, on the track which featured Dave East & Don Q. Fabolous showed his lyrical brilliance as his whole verse was a Roc-A-Fella scheme. It’s in fact one of the coldest verses Fabolous has ever spit, hands down. He also cleverly payed homage to singer Ashanti, on a track titled “Ashanti”. The song was a sample of her hit record “Always On Time”. He also sampled Faith Evans “I Love You”, with a sentimental song featuring Wale. This Summertime Shootout installment turned heads.
Stand Out Records: “Goyard Bag” Ft. Lil Uzi Vert, “Faith In Me”, “Ashanti” ft. Goldie, “For The Family” FT. Dave East, Don Q
Freddy VS. Jason & The Young OG Project 2
Fabolous and Jadakiss teamed up in 2016, for the collaborative mixtape titled Freddy Vs. Jason. They teased us with in studio photos and videos of them at work on what was to be their next great project. Unfortunately, the mixtape was pushed back, and as of now we don’t have an expected date of release.
The Young OG Project 2 was pushed back as well, however, let’s remain hopeful! I mean, look at the timeline above. Fabolous won’t leave us hanging…I mean, did he really ever?