You didn´t have an exactly easy childhood. Was music the main thingthat helped you stay cool? How did you try not to think about the fact that your father was behind bars and other negative things in your life?
If I wasn´t pursuing music I could´ve easily fell victim to the
streets like most of the youth in my city. I chose to put my energy in
to something more productive like writing raps, graffiti, skating,
etc. I took the negative aspects of my life and wound up making a
positive impact. Having music made it easier to cope with the fact my
parents weren´t there.
Anyway, it looks like you managed to get over it. Apart from a
couple of songs where you remember your growing up, the new album
is quite positive. The whole album was produced by Exile. Wasn´t it a
bit of a risk to let only one producer handle the beats, especially when
it´s your first album and good beats are always half of the
I was impressed by what he did with Blu on “Below The Heavens”. To
me… that album was a phenomenal piece of work. I was Excited when
the idea of doing an album with Exile was presented. I can honestly
say now I realize how big of a risk I took by choosing Ex but, at the
time It never crossed my mind.
As your last mix tape was also done with only one producer –
Alchemist it looks like you are comfortable working with only one
producer. What do you like about this type of collaboration? Do you
plan to feature more than one producer on your future
I just love creating a certain sound with one producer. You can feel
the chemistry in each record when it´s done that way. I work with
many great producers and I haven´t stopped working since “Boy
Meets World” dropped. Rather I do an album with only one or various
producers my fans know I will deliver a solid body of work.
Can you describe your feelings on the day your album release?
Did you feel nervously, excitement or something else?
I was amazed when I found out I made the top ten Hip Hop/Rap
albums on Itunes. In the company of people like Jay Z, Drake and
Eminem. I felt like I had a came along way and finally I´m getting
acknowledged for all the hard work I put in.
Do you follow the sales of your album, or is your main concern to
make a name on the scene and build a certain fan base? Do you read
reviews? Do you take critics seriously and try to think about things
that people negatively criticize?
If I paid too much attention to sales and what critics say about me I
would catch writers block. It would drive me crazy. I do read reviews
that people write about me when I get the chance. I mostly read fan
comments, how they feel about my music means the most to me.
When I interviewed Evidence, he told me that it would be a great
idea to form a project that would feature himself, Alchemist and you
and that he would name it The Far Left. What´s your opinion, is it
possible to happen?
I would be down for that. That´s sounds like an amazing idea. That´s
my grammy family. (laughs)
To me it seems like the West has lately introduced more talented
acts than the East. How would you explain it? Is West coast starting
to dominate again?
The west coast has a lot of hungry new talent and a rich history. It´s
a matter of time before the world takes notice once again. I´m just
doing my part as a representative of the far left.
You are doing a lot of collabs with people like J. Cole, UNI, Pac
Div etc. Is it a part of mutual support, that you help each other to gain
attention by featuring each other on your records?
For the record, I haven´t worked with Pac Div yet. I´m reaching out to
them for the 2nd album though. I just want to help usher in this new
regime of new talent. I feel like people look at me as one of the
leaders of the new school and I don´t take it lightly.
How important on today´s California scene is clothing and fashion?
You cooperate with Orisue, UNI are known for their love of sneakers,
and there´s a lot of talk about hipster scene that loves rap…
I don´t know anything about the hipster scene. I´m from central
california…not too many hipsters there.
You said that if you were not rapping, you´d like to be a journalist.
Do you have any journalist education? Have you ever thought about
your future when you won´t be able to make living off music
I used to write for my school paper at Mclane High School. My
passion for writing goes back further than rap. Other than that I´m
actually opening a skateboard shop in my hometown soon. I always
wanted to do that. I want to be more than just “Fashawn” the Mc.
You´ve been on European tour with Evidence this year. Ev told me
that it was your very first visit of Europe. How did you like it? Do you
remember any particular moments of your visit that stand
I love Europe! I can´t wait to go back to tell you the truth. One of
my favorite places were Amsterdam. Smoking weed at Dampkring is
all I remember. The fans were amazing over there. I will be back in
How did European listeners accept you? Did you feel like you are
“only” Ev´s opening act, or do you think they thought of you as
Fashawn, “that talented rapper from Cali”?
The european listeners embraced me with open arms. I would hope
they saw me as just that “talented rapper from cali” . If they saw me
as just Ev´s opening act that´s fine. Evidence is my big brother in this
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Thanks for supporting me and all that I do. I won´t let you down. New
LP coming 2010.