Fashawn Talks Working With 9th Wonder, Fatherhood, Reuniting With Exile

It’s almost as if Fashawn can hit the switch gears whenever he chooses.

Minutes removed from unleashing his microphone melting kerosene flow live and direct for the Rock The Bells’ masses, the Fresno, California native down shifts from rap star raucousness to his regular guy humility in milliseconds. He’s signing autographs. He’s taking pictures with the swarm of fans circling him. He’s smiling. He’s simply, Santiago.

BrooklynBodega.com caught up with Fashawn briefly and discussed reuniting with Exile exclusively for his follow up full-length, The Ecology, collaborating with 9th Wonder on the highly anticipated, The Wonder Years, fatherhood, and what surprises him about Hip-Hop.

Brooklyn Bodega: This is the first time I’ve seen you, Blu and Exile all rock together.

Fashawn: Word. That’s the fam. We all get to travel separately, but it’s rare that we get to travel together and people get to see the whole package. We even brought Johaz out, Evidence, Alchemist -- the whole camp; the whole fam. That’s my fam.

Brooklyn Bodega: The last time we spoke was at the 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. We talked quite a bit about your background and your perspective and how you didn’t rhyme like anyone your age. You don’t rhyme like anybody, from a perspective stand point. You’re mad nice with it.

Fashawn: [Laughs] Word. Thank you.

Brooklyn Bodega: You also talked about [your upcoming project], The Ecology. How’s that coming along?

Fashawn: It’s coming together great, man. I’m working on it with Exile. I’m doing my second album with Exile and that’s it. I know I did Higher Learning 2, I did Grizzly City 3, Ode To Illmatic and I kind of threw niggas off track like, “Yo, what is he going to do next?” I’m going back home to my nigga Exile and we’re already in the midst of making a classic. I can’t wait until people hear The Ecology. But right now, I just barely moved back to [Los Angeles] from Fresno, California. I had a daughter right when [Boy Meets World] dropped so I was busy being a father and a rap star at the same time. I had to take some time off and be a man. I gotta handle my business. I handled business at home and now I’m back on the road, back in the studio and just grinding. Getting it in.

Brooklyn Bodega: Do you feel pressure following up Boy Meets World? That’s a phenomenal album.

Fashawn: Nah, it actually feels like a relief, man. I’ve been doing all this other shit trying to find a sound and it’s been successful to a degree. But there’s nothing like that first person you worked with that gave you your sound. I think Exile, he gave me my sound that I was looking for when I was 20 or 21 years old and that kind of epitomized everything I wanted to do. I think it’s only right that I’m connecting with my brother again.

Brooklyn Bodega: Your slated to be on 9th Wonder’s, The Wonder Years coming up. How was it working with 9th?