Samsonite Man - Fashawn Interview

Fashawn reps Cali hard body.

You see it across the front of his Fresno baseball jersey or in the dozens of photos world wide web wide of him pointing to his “CAL” tat on the back of his left hand. You hear it when you hear him kick lines like “gotta adapt to the slang that’s spoke / a West Coast thang / out of town n***** get took out the frame” on “Our Way” or “To live and die in CA / from the home of PA (Planet Asia) / guaranteed to make it pop like a f*cking briefcase” on “Sunny CA” or on just about every other track on his critically acclaimed debut album, Boy Meets World. All California love. All the time.

And it makes sense.

Representing where you’re from is nothing new to Hip-Hop and is not at all what separates him from other highly anticipated “Freshmen” Emcees. For Fashawn, his environment growing up provides the lyrical fuel to his microphone melting delivery and visceral introspection. It’s the reason “Ecology” hits like a Barry Bonds swing and the imagery of “When She Calls” is immediately ingrained after first listen. It’s the reason he released arguably the ballsiest mixtape of the last ten years, Ode to Illmatic, where he courageously unleashes his personal trials and certified mic skills over the instrumentals to one of the most revered albums in Hip-Hop history: Illmatic. spoke to Fashawn about the thought behind Ode To Illmatic, his sophomore endeavor, Ecology, West Coast Hip-Hop and a potential full length collaboration with BHF08 alums and fellow Cali “evolutionaries”, Blu and Exile.

BB: The first time I saw you was at a Roots Jam in 2009. I didn’t know a lot about you then. I thought you kicked it that night…

Fashawn: I tried man. It’s hard to come after Black Thought. When Black Thought passes you the mic, you just know that you’ve got to bring it.

BB: It’s an honor to have him pass you the mic, because he doesn’t just pass mics to anyone.

Fashawn: Right, he doesn’t pass the mic to “Joe Blow” from around the corner so, it was an honor to [rock with him].

BB: When I was researching you for a lead up article about you for so that our readers are more informed — because I think a lot of people are not aware of who you are even if they hear your name or hear about [Boy Meets World] — [the first thing I realized] is that you’re real humble.

Fashawn: Why not, man? I come from nothing. What the f*ck I’m going to be flamboyant and boastful for? I come from nothing. I’m just really happy to be here. If I wasn’t here, I’d literally be in jail or f*cking dead or some shit. I’m happy to be here and that my fans keep giving me the opportunity to come back to New York. This is my fifth…sixth time in New York in a year! It gets better every time. The crowds get bigger every time. It’s just a progression and I think I’m paying my dues. A lot of n***** are just paying cash. I’m paying my dues and getting the respect first. That’s how it should be done.


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