Mistah F.A.B. on Bay to LA bridge, Atlantic and more

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Part of being on the West Coast is that by the time we're eating Cheerios, the East Coast has been working for hours. Football starts at 10 AM on a Sunday and that really messes with East Coasters' minds. Well, that's why this post didn't post at 10 AM. But yesterday, we caught up with Mistah F.A.B., who was in LA to teach celebrities how to rap with Too $hort. The Baydestrian talked about everything from his label frustrations to putting the entire coast on his back and we got the exclusive interview for our beloved cookie cutters.

On his Allhiphop Week freestyle battle victory...
"I had to do it man. Being from the West Coast, we've been outnumbered for years with reputable artists - not the Snoop Doggs, the Dr. Dres, the Games, guys who fall under that camp. To gain identity, we need to let people that yes, we respect our forefathers, but that here are some new guys that are repping for the West Coast. I wanted to show people that we still have lyrical content and the ability to go out in any terrain and rain supreme. I definitely went out with a lot of agression and my coast on my back. That night you could've put me up against anybody that night and I would've won."

What would've been the spread had Vegas set one up before your battle with Royce Da 5'9?
"I would've been a 90:1 underdog. That would've been a great bet, one of those where you drop $10 and get $10,000."

On Too $hort's tutelage...
"I have the opportunity to be with Too $hort damn near every day and watching him in the game is letting me see the psychology of one of the greats. Too $hort to Oakland is like Jay-Z to Brooklyn. Muhammad Ali was great because he knew when he was outmatched. He knew that George Foreman was stronger than him so he roped-a-dope, he knew that he could psychologically beat up Frazier; he got people to fight his fight. And that's what I try to do. I'm a great freestyler, and what i mean by that is that I'm able to come off the head and rap about everything in the room. Most people don't have that ability to come off the head and still be that lethal."

The West Coast's lack of reputation as freestylers...
"Some artists like Crooked I, Casual, The Hieroglyphics, the Mystik Journeyman, the Living Legends, you have a lot of people who that ability...Planet Asia is one of the most exceptional freestylers I've heard. But we really don't get that nation-wide notoriety and it actually helps us. When people don't expect you to do something that element of surprise is a key factor in winning over a crowd."

On the slowing of national attention towards the Bay...
"Without the videos and the visuals, than we never really had a chance to exploit what I feel we do in our area. But we understand that the powers in this industry have the ability to pick and choose what they want...and if you don't have a chance to get in that door before it closes than you're locked out. What we do in the Bay Area is that we create our own opportunity, it don't matter if the door is closed, we'll sneak through the back door. We're following chains of network and networking with people who do have the ability to make things happen. And what I mean by that is going down to LA and building that BAy Area-LA bridge...doing songs with Snoop Dogg, Glasses Malone, Jay Rock, and a lot of the people who are hot down here. Really making it a coastal thing. There are a lot of people down here with that street buzz. Let's push a coast thing. They can hate on a region, but they can't ignore a whole coast. For us to come together and make music, it's a beautiful thing."

On getting radio play....
"I did a year and a half as an on-air radio personality, so I know the politics of radio. And it's all about relationships. A lot of the guys in the streets are very street dudes and some of the radio cats are kind of scared of them....but once they do establish relationships, they will play their records."

On the his album's chronic delays...
"My main thing is to just force their hand and make sure that they really support this record. They have a tendency to not really support their artists very much, which is unfortunate. You got cats over there like Saigon, I've listened to his album, his album is crazy, and for them to shelf him for all the years that they have....me, Lupe Fiasco, and i'm not trying to slander the label, but sometimes they don't have the get-up to get behind artists, almost like they don't know what they have. It's like when you have a good, loyal girl and you don't give her the appreciation that she deserves. Then she goes away and somebody turns her into Miss America, you'd sit up and be like 'Damn, I had her!' Why does it take for someone to leave for you to appreciate them? Like Kanye says on his album, one of the craziest lines on the whole record, 'The people you love you better tell'em/because people never get their roses when they able to smell'em.' And that makes a lot of sense, man."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Craig that Clapp published on September 27, 2007 3:38 PM.

The Game: "I don't smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs...and I'm a good babysitter!" was the previous entry in this blog.

Cali Underground: Insurgent Verses Show! is the next entry in this blog.

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