Anyone that knows anything about hip hop knows that good shit always comes out of New York City. Except for a few exceptions – they’ll remain nameless, as to not throw off the good vibes – I’ve never been disappointed by what I’ve heard coming out of the city. During college, I spent a lot of time going into different parts of Harlem, Brooklyn, and Queens, and those spaces have always felt like they are in the process of helping to mold someone great. It always feels like someone’s story is beginning there. And FaFa’s story has the potential to be one of those great ones.
Brooklyn-bred – Fort Greene, specifically – FaFa’s passion for creating started in 5th grade with a sketchbook from a 99¢ store. The sketchbook was a blank canvas for FaFa’s creativity, and the pages in the book became a home for both his poetry and drawings. Between those two passions, FaFa would craft stories, using his reality as inspiration. He spent time telling stories about growing up in a single-parent household and watching his mother work multiple jobs at a time to provide for him and his siblings. Making those stories tangible gave FaFa the drive and “hunger” – as he puts it – to bring his family (and himself) success, with his independence being at the forefront of that work.
However, when FaFa’s Godfather passed away from complications with sickle cell anemia, the loss of his father figure led to a loss in motivation to write. Instead, he found himself using other people’s music to find comfort and solace; finding and downloading music from different artists with a variety of sounds became a quick hobby and an effective coping mechanism. And after spending his time primarily enjoying the music of others, a visit to a studio in Brooklyn, where he and his friends “[explored] adlibs and [put] together…rhymes,” brought back his love for creating music. And ain’t we glad of that?????
“Stuart Little” is such a great song. In a little less than two minutes, FaFa gives us crazy wordplay, a solid flow, and a little bit of a nostalgia trip! And his newest song “Stand Down” is just as good. I asked Fafa about his musical influences and he mentioned that he drew inspiration from folks like Roddy Ricch (did “The Box” start playing in your head, too???), Lil Baby, and Migos, and I think you can hear a little bit of all of them in “Stand Down.” You can listen to it here.
It takes a lot of strength to turn your struggle into an opportunity, instead of letting it take you over completely. Not a lot of people are able to do that; that, in itself, is an incredible power. So, I’m excited to see what the next chapter FaFa’s story holds. If the stories of other great folks from Brooklyn are any indication, I’m sure we’ll be witnessing the creation of something amazing.
Tamar: Where – or who – do you draw inspiration from?
FaFa: I draw inspiration from the music I listen to on a daily basis. Notable artists are Roddy [Ricch], Lil Baby, and Migos.
T: What does the creative process look like for you while working on a project/song?
F: When I am writing a song, I usually start with verses and bars I thought of in my head. I then use the rhythm and flow of that to look for a beat. Then I just lock in and start writing.
T: How do you choose who you make music with?
F: [It’s] based on how well I like their music. I am very selective with the music I listen to. I like listening for what’s unique about the artist/music before I think of collaborating.
T: Who is your music for?
F: Anyone. I listen to a variety of different music with different styles, so I am always open to working with other artists.
T: What made you write “Stuart Little”?
F: I was randomly thinking about low-top cars, and I just remembered Stuart Little. After that I just started writing.
T: Your favorite song/album right now?
J: My favorite album right now is Roddy [Ricch]’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial (2019). Literally every song on it is replayable forever. I love that I can see the thought and creativity that went into the album, such as transitions in between tracks and just the thought that went into [it].
T: What wakes you up in the morning?
F: What gets me out of bed every morning is my hunger to try something new and challenge myself each day. I like to plan events out in advance as well to inspire me to keep striving.
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