Fabolous is making a Santa Claus-eque push for notoriety in 2014 with the release of his Young OG Project, tomorrow on Christmas Day. Now that he’s aligned with the Roc, he’s feeling bigger and deffer than ever before, but that doesn’t mean he was able to get all the provisions he needed from Def Jam to complete the album.
During his new interview with VIBE, where the rap star digitally headlines his own article, Fab spoke on being crowned like Frank White and how fans may never get to hear a collaboration with Nicki Minaj due to sample clearance issues.
You used the movie King of New York for your first visual. Was that a solely a salute to a classic flick, a statement on your rap status or both?
That’s one of my favorite movies, especially from that era. There’s a lot of classic gangster flicks in the 90’s. As far as where it comes into play is New York and him returning back to Frank White [after] coming home from jail back to the streets. So when we shot the trailer that was one of the scenes we shot to say we’re coming back with this project. With the whole King of NY play, there’s some symbolism with that because there’s always been a thing in the air about who’s the King of New York, whether it was Jay or Nas or Biggie. Even 50 Cent made claims. Now the moniker is so self-proclaimed and so used that there is no King. Jay is iconic, Diddy is one of the biggest moguls of our culture, but that title doesn’t mean as much anymore. I don’t know if that’s the influence of other regions or what because New York used to dictate what was hot.
From the music to your visual campaign, Young OG is inspired by the 90’s era. Is this album also Soul Tape inspired?
Actually, I was working on this project inside of Loso’s Way 2. The songs kind of helped create the project. They all sonically fit–either they’d have a 90’s vibe or an influence or a flip of an actual 90’s song. There was so much of that vibe that it kind of made me go there. Another thing with these albums is the sampling clearances almost take the fun out of it. There’s this song I did with Nicki Minaj…we did LL’s “Doin It” over but they didn’t clear the sample. Trey Songz was on the hook.
But that’s in house! That’s a Def Jam record.
It’s in-house but one person who’s involved with the song would not clear it. I listened to Cole’s album and at the end he went on a rant about people not clearing samples. I was like ‘Yeah Cole! Let’s go to the Supreme Court with this.” [Laughs] But can you imagine if I had to go through that with the Soul Tapes? It would take me seven months to just clear it and then I wouldn’t make a dime off of it.