Fabolous Reveals Artist Past Touring Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibit

Fabolous Reveals Artist Past Touring Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibit

"Before I was a musician, I drew," says Brooklyn rapper.

Published August 7, 2015

Fabolous reveals his secret past in a Billboard interview, where he tours the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Brooklyn museum.

As it turns out, the Brooklyn native has an affection for art. "Before I was a musician, I drew," he explained. ”The housing projects in Brooklyn weren’t much of a canvas; people didn’t know that I had it in me -- but I actually went to an art and design high school."  

                                CLICK FOR WHEN RAP MEETS THE ART WORLD 

During the museum visit, Fab viewed “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” consisting of more than 160 pages of the artist’s poetry and sketches. The 37-year-old rapper notes that Basquiat composed words like a lyricist. “[Basquiat's] composition books, those are the same books I used for school,” Fabolous said. “And even though he didn’t think of himself as a poet, a lot of rappers write down ideas and verses in the same way he did.”

When it comes to music, Fab prefers the freestyle nature of art to writing things down. “I don’t like the idea of premeditated music," he said. "Things like freestyling, the element of surprise -- I think people need to scale back and refocus on making moments again.”

Basquiat, who was born in Brooklyn and died from a heroine overdose in 1988, is lauded for the “suggestive dichotomies” in his work. His legacy has crossed over into the music world, earning him lyrical name-drops from Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, and J. Cole.

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(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Written by Latifah Muhammad

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