Fashawn Freestyles A Powerful Message To Young MCs Who Are Acting Reckless
Fresno, California’s Fashawn is currently on tour with his Mass Appeal Records label-mates. Approaching the tenth anniversary for his and Exile’s stellar Boy Meets World debut, the MC delivers a clean and lyrically exploratory freestyle. Fresh off of his latest Nas collaboration (this month’s “Apostles”), Fashawn hits Power 106’s L.A. Leakers show. There, the Grizzly City artist juggles between clever ad-libs and poignant messages, all carried by the charismatic eloquence that Fash’ has made his trademark.
After some friendly chatter, Fashawn kicks off with a reference that hits close to his Mass Appeal home, “I made it out the Jungle like Jabari.” The line references Nas’ younger brother, Jabari “Jungle” Jones, who was a member of The Bravehearts. From there, he weaves through an almost solid three minutes of astute wordplay and verbal imagery over J. Cole’s “1985” beat. From self-awareness to braggadocio, he barely takes a breath, only stopping briefly to declare, “I never bought a ticket to the lottery,” creating some repartee with the hosts.
The journey from “Wiggling through the industry as if it was the avenue / You in it for the clout, I’m in it for the collateral” to “I attract money like Magneto” is seamless. He pushes the envelope further, with references to real life issues, “You get carried by six in a box, usually pine / I get judged by 12, get locked and do the time,” to posing legitimate questions, “How ni**as let Zimmerman live?” All of this told with the smooth cadence of a written and recorded track. Although this kind of quality has come to be expected from the well-versed MC on wax, it comes out of nowhere in the freestyle moment.
He closes with an ominous warning to the new generation of MCs who have become extremely reckless with their words and deeds. “A pistol and a vest is no longer protection/When you live life with a death wish/These lil ni**as yappin’ like they ain’t never seen a casket/Ackin’ as if it can’t happen to you…/You seen the murder rate?/You want an early grave?/You should listen to these words I say.”
Since the drop of his Manna EP in 2017, the artist also known as Santiago has made appearances on albums by Chris Orrick (fka Red Pill), Murs, Beatnick & K-Salaam. This month, he blazed three cuts on Mass Appeal’s The Starting 5 compilation, including that aforementioned collabo’ with Nas. Fashawn is currently touring with his label-mates on a national run of free shows.