John Jackson (born November 18, 1977), better known by his stage name Fabolous, is an American rapper. Growing up in the Brooklyn area of New York City, he was among the first east coast rappers influenced by Southern hip hop sounds and first became popular through his hit single "Can't Deny It" in 2001, from his debut album Ghetto Fabolous.His rap style has been compared to those of rappers Loon and Mase.
Jackson was born of mixed African American
descent to parents Luke and Debroah Jackson and grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant
neighborhood of Brooklyn
, New York
. When Memphis Bleek
officially signed to Roc-A-Fella Records
, Fabolous decided that it was time for him to start rapping seriously. He would call into DJ Clue
's radio show in late 1998, he ended up freestyling for Clue, who would immediately sign him to his newly-formed Desert Storm Records
. He would be featured on several DJ Clue mixtapes and mixtapes with Roc-A-Fella artists. This earned Fabolous and Desert Storm a distribution deal with Elektra Records
. In 2001, they began to promote Fabolous and his debut album, Ghetto Fabolous,
first by placing him on the remix to popular label-mate, Lil' Mo
's "Superwoman (Remix)
Before receiving mainstream popularity, Fabolous released a single in 1998 titled "If They Want It" under his moniker,"Fabolous Sport". It was released by Def Jam Recordings
on the album DJ Clue? The Professional
and as a bonus track on his debut album Ghetto Fabolous
. It is also available on the DJ Kool Kid mixtape, Pound For Pound
featuring Fabolous and Jadakiss
. In 2000, he released a second single through Elektra Records
titled "Gotta Be Thug", which was put on DJ Clue Presents Backstage Mixtape (soundtrack)
Ghetto Fabolous (2001)
Fabolous was teamed with Nate Dogg
to produce his first single "Can't Deny It
". The song charted in the Billboard Hot 100
, and the subsequent album, Ghetto Fabolous
, achieved platinum certification. It reached number four on the Billboard 200
and had three singles which charted on Rhythmic Top 40 and Billboard
Hot 100 charts. The first of those singles is "Can't Deny It" produced by Rick Rock
and featuring a chorus by Nate Dogg
interpolating Tupac Shakur
's song "Ambitionz Az a Ridah". The other charting singles were "Young'n (Holla Back)", which is produced by The Neptunes and "Trade It All", which features vocals from Jagged Edge and is produced by DJ Clue
Street Dreams (2003)
Fabolous released his second album Street Dreams
on March 4, 2003. Powered by a Just Blaze beat and guest vocals from Lil' Mo and Mike Shorey, "Can't Let You Go
" reached number one on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart and number four on the Billboard
Hot 100 chart. "Into You
" with Tamia
also reached number four on the Billboard
Hot 100. Also released on Street Dreams was the lead single club banger "This Is My Party" and "Trade It All Pt. 2" which featured Jagged Edge
as it did on the Ghetto Fabolous
version, as well as Diddy.
Exactly 7 months later, on November 4, 2003, Fabolous dropped his official mixtape, More Street Dreams, Pt. 2: The Mixtape. It was an official release by his record label, Elektra. The album featured remixes and tracks not originally slated on Street Dreams. This album was also an outlet for his three man crew, known as the Triangle Offense, consisting of himself, Paul Cain, and Joe Budden. The album actually features a remix to song Fire, which was originally on Joe Budden's Self Titled Debut Album.
Real Talk (2004)
Fabolous' third album Real Talk
was released on November 9, 2004. It debuted at number six on the Billboard
200 with 179,000 copies and had two charting singles, the lowest in his career. The two charting singles are his street anthem "Breathe
" and "Baby
," which features Mike Shorey, and shows his more sensitive side that he has showed on many songs in the past. His second single was not promoted until weeks after the album's release. "Tit 4 Tat" was his third single. Pharrell
of The Neptunes
produced it and did the hook. Fab feels that the single didn't hit it as big as it should have due to poor advertising. Making the music video for his fourth single, "Do the Damn Thing" cost Jackson $30,000. The song featured Young Jeezy
, who became known to the public through the video. The same year, Fabolous was nominated for a Grammy Award
for his collaboration on the "Dip It Low
" remix by Christina Milian
. In early 2006, Fabolous moved to Def Jam and left Atlantic Records who received Musiq
From Nothin' to Somethin' (2007)
His fourth studio album, From Nothin' to Somethin
, was released in June 2007. Fabolous took the number one spot on Billboard
's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts for the first time in his career and it debuted at number two on the Billboard
200, selling 159,000 copies in its first week. The album was certified Gold in July 2007. It is his first album on Def Jam Recordings
The first single and video, "Diamonds", features Young Jeezy who also appeared on the Real Talk track "Do the Damn Thing". Lil Wayne is featured on the remix. His second single was "Return of the Hustle" which featured Swizz Beatz, also came out before the album release, to some acclaim, but little airplay. His third single though, "Make Me Better," which features fellow Def Jam artist Ne-Yo, and is produced by Timbaland, was his biggest hit to date, spending 14 weeks at number one on the Hot Rap Track Billboard Chart. The fourth single was "Baby Don't Go." Jermaine Dupri produced it and T-Pain sings the hook. However, in music video version of the song, Jermaine Dupri sings the hook. This song also found success, reaching #4 on the Hot Rap Track Chart.
In January and March 2003, Fabolous was arrested for possessing an unlicensed gun in his car. His bodyguard later showed proof of ownership for the gun.
Fabolous put his career on hiatus for much of 2005 and 2006.
Fabolous was shot in his right leg on the morning of October 17, 2006 in Manhattan. The police saw the rapper and three other men accompanying him rushing through a red light and found unlicensed, loaded guns in their car leading to their arrest. After they found the weapons, Fabolous was treated at a local hospital.
New York Police linked Fabolous to a crew of robbers who targeted champion boxer Zab Judah twice. According to police reports, the Street Fam Crew is made up of 20 members, all former drug dealers from Fabolous's Brooklyn neighborhood. In 2006, three men tried to rob Judah as he stood next to his yellow Lamborghini on West 27th Street at 10th Avenue in New York City. The three rolled up in a minivan at about 5 AM, and hopped out. One pulled a black handgun on Judah and told him to put his jewelry on the hood of his car. Judah ran instead. The muggers followed in their van, but crashed into a tree a block away. All three scattered, but one was captured by a Homeland Security agent on his way to work, and another was grabbed by a nearby cab driver. "A bunch of idiots that didn't have no control over what they were doing; they messed with the wrong guy," said Judah.
Fabolous came forward to deny reports that he was involved. More lately, in the evening of November 22, 2007, a childhood friend—Shamel McKinney—was stabbed to death inside of a New York nightclub.
Fabolous denied Street Family crew's connection to any reported robberies. Police say that McKinney may have been stabbed after trying to steal jewelry off the neck of another clubgoer, Anthony Taylor (who has since the incident been arrested and has to face second-degree murder charges). The rapper further explained that despite reports, McKinney is not the type of person he has been made out to be, referring to the allegations that McKinney is part of a robbery crew connected to the rapper. Fabolous stated, "On Thanksgiving, I think I came out of the house one time - to go get eggnog. And there wasn't any eggnog at Club Duvet.
In an interview with XXL, Fabolous revealed that he has been in a long-term relationship that began in 2005.
Fabolous stated in 2005 that he wanted to release his own clothing line in the coming years. Without publicizing detail, he went into a search for designers and manufacturers for his line to accomplish the task. After finding qualified staffing Fabolous announced the name for his line is Rich Yung Society Clothing
Awards and nominations
||Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Dip It Low (Remix)" (shared with Christina Milian)
||American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Male Artist
|BET Awards for Best Hip-Hop Collabo for "Make Me Better" (shared with Ne-Yo)
|Teen Choice Awards for Choice Music: Rap Artist
||ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards for Top Rap Song for "Make Me Better" (shared with Ne-Yo)