Don't let the hit records fool you, Fabolous can really rap. Most times, when an MC aims to craft a hit record, they sacrifice lyrical quality for rhymes that are simple and more relatable, but not Loso.
Before he began hitting the Billboard charts with songs like "Can't Let You Go" and "Make Me Better," Fab got his start in the late 1990s freestyling on DJ Clue's world famous mixtapes. Back then, landing a Clue freestyle was today's equivalent to getting your video posted on WorldStarHipHop -- it was a big deal.
The freestyles were raw; there were no hooks, or melody, just smiles, metaphors, clever wordplay and slick punchlines. Now, Loso is going back to his roots, because every week -- for the past five Fridays -- the Brooklyn, New York spitter has teamed with DJ Clue to drop mixtape-inspired freestyles. So, while fans are currently enjoying hearing Fab drop bars over classic instrumentals by Mobb Deep, Dr. Dre and Wu-Tang Clan, we decided to take it back to Fab's very first freestyle with clue.
Back in 1998, John Jackson, a tall and lanky teen from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, walked into New York's Hot 97 radio station for a simple meeting with DJ Clue. He didn't think much of it, but by the time he walked out, he had a new rap name and a promising multiplatinum career ahead of him.
"We were going to go meet Clue up at Hot 97, but I thought we were going to meet him on a personal level," Fab recalled when talking to MTV News.
When Fab walked in during a commercial break, a preoccupied Clue instructed him to go into the broadcast studio and take a seat at the mic, where N.O.R.E., another popular New York raper, was already situated. It didn't take long for Fab to realize that his audition with Clue wouldn't be the small, intimate kind -- it was about to happen over NYC's airwaves.
"So I'm just like, Whoa," he remembered.
Fab finished off his first verse over the LOX's "Money, Power, Respect," and then N.O.R.E. took the mic, and then Fab went in again. With his second verse, the rookie rapper incorrectly spelled out the name which he still goes by today. "It's the F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S/ In a new S, circling the U.S.," he rhymed, inadvertently cementing his hip-hop legacy.
"I didn't really have a set name yet, which was weird because I used to just use my initial," Loso told us. "But I didn't want to use J as my name because there was so many other Jay rappers."
Clue had so much influence, however, that once he crowned the young BK rapper Fabolous, it just stuck.
"So when he thought that was my name and gave me that name -- even though it wasn't the particular name I really wanted to stick with -- it kinda just stuck," he said. "I was like, 'Alright, maybe it is Fabolous; that's my name.'"
Now that we've looked back, let's take a listen to Fab's latest freestyles, because they're really, really good.
"The World Is Yours Freestyle"
"Black Girl Lost Freestyle"
"Do It Again Freestyle"
"All For The Love Freestyle"
"Been Around The World Remix Freestyle"
"Quiet Storm Freestyle"
"Ain't Nuthin Ta F--k Wit Freestyle”
"Shook Ones Freestyle”
"Take It Easy Freestyle"
"Told Y'all Freestyle"