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Heavy Rotation with Fashawn


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Fashawn has been one of the dopest MCs on the underground circuit for years now. And thanks to a strong co-sign by Nas and a deal with Mass Appeal Records, Fresno’s finest is in position to take his already blossoming career to another level. His new album, The Ecology (available on iTunes now go get that), puts his full range of rapping and songwriting talents exquisitely on display over perfect production by Exile, The Alchemist, DJ Khalil, Beewirks, and more (Esco makes a guest appearance on “Something to Believe In” and he executive produced the LP as well). Yup, Fashawn’s more than living up to his potential, and all the praise he’s getting right now is well-deserved, for sure.

Since we’ve been rocking with Fashawn at NahRight for a minute now (we still knock The Antidote on the reg), we figured we were overdue to tap him for our Heavy Rotation series and find out what he’s been listening to lately—so that’s what we did. And for those already on the wave, it should come to you as no surprise that his taste is impeccable. Check out five songs that Fashawn has in Heavy Rotation below.

1. Roc Marciano “76”

Fashawn: “That’s one of my favorites. I still play that shit every night, when I’m just riding. It has to be nighttime when I’m blasting that song in the whip. I love that track. I don’t know where the fuck they got that sample from, it’s probably from Portugal or some weird place. But I love that sample that they cooked up. And that nigga’s rhymes over it, it’s like a movie. Every time I listen to that shit, I go into a zone. It’s not a new song, but I still bump that shit like it came out yesterday.

“Anytime me and Alchemist would take a break from making music together, this nigga would play me some Roc Marciano shit, like, ‘You don’t know about this dude? Hempstead? This dude is sick.’ And he would play me so much unreleased shit that [Roc] would send him personally because they’re tight like that. And it just blew my mind, like, ‘Who is this guy?!’

“Then I finally got to meet him and do a song with him. It’s a song with me, Roc Marciano, and Action Bronson [produced by Alchemist] that niggas might not never hear. You never know. Alchemist be holding all the songs, so you gotta talk to the Don. But I actually got to meet him and get on the song with him and see him do his thing, and I became an instant fan. And he’s a cool cat. I wouldn’t say we’re personal friends, but we’re definitely comrades in this rap game.”

2. Flying Lotus “Until The Quiet Comes (Short Film)”

“I love the whole album, but sometimes I just go to YouTube to hear the [short film] version because it’s like a gumbo pot of the whole album in three, four minutes. That’s one of my favorite visuals, too. It’s just as entertaining as the audio. I can close my eyes and listen to it, or put it on YouTube and press mute. It’s that incredible to me.

“I’ve never met Flying Lotus, personally. I think we might’ve shook hands at the Low End Theory in L.A., but I’m a big fan of him. I did a song over one of his beats on Grizzly City 3. It’s called ‘Desperado,’ over his ‘Rest EZ’ track that he did on one of his plethora of tapes.”

3. Lupe Fiasco “The Cool”

“The imagery in that song is like, ‘Damn.’ The theater in your mind goes to another level when you listen to every lyric. I love that song. The production is crazy. That’s the shit I used to skate to when I was coming up, like 16, 17. We used to skate to Lupe, and that was my favorite song. It was always a battle between that and ‘The Instrumental.’ But ‘The Cool’ always won for me. ‘Hustler for death, no heaven for a gangster.’ That’s how he ended the song. Man, bravo.

“I had no idea [Kanye West] produced that beat, I never looked that deep into the credits. It makes sense now, though.”

4. YC the Cynic “Molotovs at Poseidon”

“Man, I think I was on NahRight matter of fact, and y’all posted one of his videos. That’s how I came across him. I decided to press play on it, and my mind was blown. That’s one of my favorite records that came out in the past five or six years by a new artist that really impressed me. Sometimes I still consider myself a new artist. To hear somebody that was a youngin’ kicking shit like that was inspiring.

“When Nas bought my plane ticket to SXSW last year, one of the first niggas I ran into when I got off the plane was YC the Cynic. It was the same day I met Nas for the first time. But we had a relationship prior to that moment. I was in Europe doing shows at festivals, doing my thing. And I would hit him up on Twitter, and he hit me back and sent me his GNK album. And that’s all I listened to when I was in Europe and on the plane coming home.

“[We haven’t worked together] yet. We haven’t found that right record yet. But in due time.”

5. Nas “The Season”

“That’s the number one joint I play. That’s just the soundtrack to a beautiful time in my life right now, man. And it’s by J Dilla, who is one of my favorite producers. The first mixtape I ever put out had a track that was produced by J Dilla. And, Nas is my dude. That’s my boss, my favorite rapper ever, etc. That history is really deep.

“I love that song though. One of the first things Nas told me when the new year hit was, ‘Yo, it’s our year.’ And that shit meant a lot to me, for him to say it’s ‘our year.’ So when I hear the song ‘The Season’ it’s just like, ‘Yo, y’all niggas have no idea what we’re about to do.’ With the Mass Appeal deal and everything. That just keeps me motivated. That’s one of those songs I play in the morning.

“I’m still waiting on Esco Season to officially return. I remember the Big Homie was on stage in Germany, and he was like, ‘Of course you’re gonna get my new album, but before that, you’re gonna get this young man Fashawn’s album.’ And I say that to say this—my album is out now. It’s here. So now I’m waiting just like y’all on the new Nas album. I can’t wait to see what the Big Homie has in store.

“[Nas is] super secretive with everything. I tried, I definitely tried, like, ‘So, you got some new shit you gonna play?’ Kna’ mean! But he’ll dodge it, like, ‘Yeah, but I ain’t bring it with me.’ But I definitely try to pry that out of him.”

Photo via Fashawn’s Instagram, taken by durty harry.

Cop Fashawn’s new album The Ecology on iTunes.

Previously: Right or Nah? with Your Old Droog

Catch up on all NahRight features HERE.


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