Today Bay Area rap veteran Mistah F.A.B. is releasing a street album comprised of all original songs entitled I Found My Backpack. Headed up by the soulful, self-motivating single "Quest," the project sees the one-time hyphy talisman making music that reflects on a tumultuous period of his life, capped by his mother passing away just a month ago. Fueled by a recent vow to create music that emphasizes the positive and is relatable for the "regular person," we caught up with Fabby Davis Jr. to talk about maturing as an artist, reacting to negative fan feedback, and how to snag an invite to Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion.
Your birthday party is on this Wednesday, January 19th. (It's not! See above.) How old will you be?
You should never ask a man his age -- how rude, ha ha! Nah, I'm actually turning 28.
What can people expect at the party?
Coming out, you'll see a lot of smiling faces, a great aura, and get to feel that love. Ever since I was a kid I always threw big birthday parties -- the purpose is to just give people entertainment, let people come out and hang and chill.
Will there be any special guests?
I have Curren$y coming through. He's phenomenal on the Internet, he had a great year last year, and he's a very interesting guy. I like that guy, he's very talented. I think his music's dope. He'll be alongside the legend, the myth, Too $hort. Everyone's just gonna help me celebrate my birthday.
Are you hoping for any birthday presents?
I'm not into presents. My presents come in the form of the happiness of everyone else. If everyone else is having a good time, that's my happiness. I just want people to come out, have no problems, no stress, and have a good time. Enjoy the moment and live for it. Life is very short and we have to enjoy every moment. So my present will come in seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone who comes through that door.
What's the most lavish birthday party you've ever been to?
I might have to go with Hugh Hefner's birthday party at the Playboy Mansion. That might top it -- that was amazing. Actually, I think that was beyond amazing! That's a once in a lifetime experience. I had a wonderful time there.
How did you get the invite?
You know, through people that knows people that knows people that knows people... Just being in the right place at the right time.
You mentioned that Too $hort will be at your birthday party. Can you remember the first time you met him?
Yeah, I was a little kid, and growing up in the city of Oakland, he was like a walking legend. To be able to walk up to him and ask for an autograph -- I cherish that moment. When I met him, I told him that one day I was going to rap alongside him. Now, he's like a mentor to me, a musical father-like figure. He gives me a lot of in-depth detail about being able to maintain longevity. He's a very respected man in my eyes.
Do you still have Too $hort's autograph?
Yeah, buried somewhere among all of my stuff.
Where did you meet him that first time?
It was downtown -- my mother used to run a club. She ran a club when I was younger and I had no business being in there! But I was there and he came by. He was a very cool dude. To this day, he's the same cool, laid back guy. You wouldn't think he's as quiet as he actually is. He's a cool, calm guy. Once you hear his music you think he's rash and crazy outspoken, but really he's shy -- until he turns into Too $hort.
What was the club your mother ran?
All I'll say is it was a strip club!
I went with him, he's who got me there! You've made me give out my secret, man!
The day before your birthday party (today), you're releasing a new mixtape, I Found My Backpack. What can people expect of that?
Actually, it's a street album more than a mixtape, because it's all original compositions. It's a well put-together project. I like it a lot. Not being biased, but I think it's my best work to date, 'cause it explains a lot of things going through my life and that I've been dealing with. My mother died last month, which was a devastating blow to me, because that was my best friend. Being an only child and being the relationship me and my mother had, it's hard to talk about how close our relationship was and how close our friendship was. It was more than just a mother and son relationship. So in my music I get a chance to really vent and I can tell my secrets without having to tell someone directly. That's what my music is -- I hide behind the beats and the snares and reveal my pain to the world through my music. So this project is full of those songs that allow people to say, "Wow, I got a chance to really meet who Mistah F.A.B. actually is." I'm really personable in my music and this mixtape is no different. I'm eager to see the feedback I get from it, but also give people the chance to listen. I want them to know it's not all just fun and games, money and fame -- this is personal and I'm going though the same things you guys go through. That's my point with this project.