Between renegotiating with his label, the label's CEO getting the boot and his recording home going through a merger, Fabolous had all the time he needed to work on his next album, Real Talk, which helped him breathe easy.
"I explained my complaints to them last time, like, 'Yo, I can't be rushed,' " Fabolous, while sitting in New York's Hit Factory studio, said of the drama he went through when he released his last LP, Street Dreams, in 2003. "I can make two or three singles then the rest of the album be trash, but I don't want to do that. I want to sit down with an album and make it thorough."
With the exception of a few tracks (one of which will be produced by Lil Jon, while another is supposed to feature nine other rappers) the Brooklyn flosser is done with his album. He's also finished with the video for the first single, "Breathe."
"It's a good New York look," he said of the clip. "I have the whole of New York behind me. You can see the city skyline. The rest of the video we're riding through New York, you get some shots of people seeing me."
The record was produced by Just Blaze, who gave the song a rock edge. "Just Blaze played [the beat for me] and I said, 'I need this one right here. That sounds like one of them joints Jay-Z was supposed to pick and you forgot to play for him.' I said, 'Jay is gonna be mad at you for not playing that one.'
" 'Breathe' has a New York feel to the song," he added. "Somebody's harassing you, you tell them to breathe. A chick is on your back, you tell her to breathe. The song is a new beginning because people never heard me in this kind of state. They used to hearing me on a smoother, R&B record. This was a new record to let them breathe, too."
Although he experiments with new flows and sounds, Fab does cover familiar ground on the album. Constant collaborator Lil' Mo is along for the ride once again via a record called "Holla at Somebody Real."
"I heard the record and said, 'Mo would get on this record and destroy it,' " he thought back. "I know her voice, I know her tone. It's just matched [with the beat]. It just was magical. Right now we have our chemistry and I'mma keep doing it until I feel like, 'Nah, this ain't it. Me and Mo ain't doing no more.' But until then, I'mma [mess] with her, that's my girl."
On the record, Fab raps about being so busy that "sometimes it's hard to get in touch with myself." He's trying to weed through the many women he encounters and find one who's special.
"You're really trying to find somebody real that's compatible," he explained. "Especially in my position, it's hard to find somebody real that you're gonna really be with."
Another guest on the Real Talk bill is reggae star Sean Paul. He appears on "It's Alright." "It was a good vibe, we've been kicking it for a minute," Fab said. "We were on the Rock the Mic Tour together. We built a relationship there, we always wanted to work together."
The pair's schedules conflicted while Paul was in New York, so Fab had to record his part then send the track down to Jamaica for his cohort to finish it up.
Real Talk, which also has a guest spot from T.I., is slated for an October 26 release.