This Week's Main Pick
Street Kings: Fabolous and DJ Drama
Holding It Down For: Hip-Hop's Elite
Mixtape Album: The Funeral Service: There Is No Competition 2
Real Spit: "Somebody was saying to me how 'you killed the game this year. There was really no competition for you,' " Fabolous said of his muse for making his latest mixtape.
"The Funeral Service, the title of the mixtape is There Is No Competition, so I played off that like the competition is all dead to me. I don't see anybody who could even be competition for me. I bump into a lot of people — I'm not gonna drop nobody's name — but they say, 'Just stay where you're at. You're in a perfect lane. Nobody can do what you do right now as far as being a lyrical dude and one of the guys that all the R&B artists run to to get on joints. It works for you.' My lane is my lane. As an artist, I think I've evolved in my lane too."
Certainly 2009 was a banner year for the Brooklyn bandit. His Loso ways spawned hit records, got critical acclaim and sold well during a SoundScan recession. He also was named one of the Hottest MCs in the Game by the MTV Hip-Hop Brain Trust and probably did more shows in different markets than he's ever done. So yeah, when he says nobody can compete, he feels it.
Loso decided to trumpet his status with a new mixtape after seeing the underground scene make a great resurgence in 2009, with cats like Lupe Fiasco, Lloyd Banks, Cam'ron, Lil Wayne and Drake putting out acclaimed unofficial product.
"Those bodies of work, [the artists] are starting to approach them the same way they are making an album," Fab, standing in Benta's Funeral Home in Harlem, described. "The mixtape game was becoming a little saturated to me. When I saw Wayne, I told him No Ceilings was dope and he helped show that there is still that pull for the mixtape game. If you put out a good body of work, people are going to go to it.
"I had stopped doing the mixtapes because I felt we lost that," he added. "Between DJs slopping together tapes just to make tapes and some artists really just putting two or three [new] songs together and a bunch of old songs and throwing a mixtape out. Certain DJs making unofficial tapes where they are just grabbing leaked stuff or taking stuff and putting it over other beats. I thought the game got saturated, but in '09 and recently at the top of '10, you seen Cam drop joints. Wayne dropped a joint, of course, Drake's mixtape being infamous for being one of the best ones for '09. It put the fuel back in me to do the mixtape thing. I was focused on a whole 'nother agenda. Just having so many shows took my mind off of it."
Fab's tape is a mixture of original songs and songs done over other MCs beats. Some of the tracks you'll recognize on the tape are "Say Something," "Popular Demand," "Roger That," "Cigar Music," and the Swizz Beatz and Shyne collaboration "Shyne."
Joints To Check For
» "The Wake." "This intro, I wanted to set the tone. 'The Wake' is, of course, before 'the funeral,' " Fab explained. "It starts off a little mellow, then it gets more aggressive and sets the tone for the tape. Probably me going 30, 40 bars. It's me metaphorically talking about killing the game, the death of the competition. Then at the end, it picks up and gets more aggressive. You gotta hear it, man. The beat is done by this kid named Info. He has a lot of the original beats on the mixtape. He's a guy who's been sending me joints for a minute."
» "Suicide 2." "[I did this one] just because it was one of the classics from There Is No Competition, the first one. Being this one is The Funeral Service, no matter how you die, homicide or suicide, you still need a funeral. We came across the Swizz and Shyne ['Shyne'] beat. I put Paul Cain and Freck Billionaire on it."
» "I'm Raw." "This one is just me going ba-noodles for 48 bars," Loso explained. "Metaphor overload but in different ranges and different topics. It's definitely gonna be a hot pullback joint. It's one of those that's gonna slow you down for a second and make you say 'what did he just say?' I don't mean to toot my horn, but beep, beep, beep."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.