Fashawn Talks "Ode To Illmatic," Upcoming Projects

With his Nas tribute almost done, Fashawn explains honoring a five-mic classic and prepping his second album.

During one of the last stops on Rhymesayers “Breakin’ Dawn” tour, HipHopDX’s 2009 Rookie of the Year, took a second to reflect on his past success and provide a brief update on some upcoming projects. In addition to getting verses from the likes of Talib Kweli on “Life’s A Bitch,” Fashawn also got an assist from DJ Green Lantern, who serves as Nas’ touring deejay while remaking the Queensbridge emcee’s classic album.

Despite being about five-years-old when Illmatic originally debuted, Fashawn said he took Nas’ command “buy my whole collection” literally upon hearing “Got Urself A Gun.”

“I did the history, unlike a lot of people,” Fashawn explained when asked about his initial memory of Illmatic. “I guess that was like a return for Nas as well, and Jay-Z was at his height. I remember being on the bus to school [hearing] all the arguments about if Nas or Jay was iller.”

After receiving instrumentals from Green Lantern as well as supportive fans, Fashawn says he’s only one song away from wrapping the project up.

“The only joint I can’t get is ‘One Time For Your Mind,’” Fashawn added. “It’s like it’s hiding from me. I already have the rhymes for it.”

Not that Ode To Illmatic is holding him up, as shown by the fact he keeps a Blackberry full of instrumentals, which he writes to constantly. He added that he still has designs on naming his sophomore album The Ecology. The non-stop writing coincides with an almost year-round touring schedule. While the “Breakin’ Dawn” tour is set to wrap up on May 2 in Des Moines, Iowa, Fashawn will have less than a week before heading out on another tour.

Remaining Breakin’ Dawn Tour Dates:

April 29th - Mojo's - Columbia, MO
April 30th - Otto's Nightclub - DeKalb, IL
May 1st - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee, WI
May 2nd - Vaudeville Mews - Des Moines, IA

For more information about the “Breakin’ Dawn” tour, visit the Rhymesayers Web site. To keep up with Fashawn, follow his Twitter feed.

Purchase Music by Fashawn


  • Butteryassfriday

    Jackasses hating saying he's riding a bandwagon, do you have down syndrome? This is an 'Ode' to let this generation & peopple that are ignorant to good music hear it, he's not trying to out-do nas

  • AzraelHaze

    Damn, I can't stand rap fans. When a up and coming rock band does a cover of a veteran rock band, they get praised for paying respect to the greats(as they should). When a rapper does the same thing he gets criticised for "tampering with shit." SHUT THE HELL UP, fucker.

    • Indiemuzik

      @HIHIHIHHH Yeah but the fiasco with Pink Floyd's remake only happened because the band doing it sucked out loud. And personally I'm going to get the "Ode to Illmatic" when it comes out cause I really want to see Fashawn succeed and I can't get enough of his music.

    • HiHIHihHH

      no not true. the flaming lips covered Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and people wanted nothing to do with it cuz that is an untouchable rock classic, like illmatic is an untouchable rap classic

    • AWIZ

      A yo i knew i would ruffle some feathers,ok man on some reverse psychology shit even tho you said shut the hell up fucker ,im not even gonna attack back becuase it only makes sense you say that because you start your shit off with" I cant stand rap fans"What a ass !LOL

  • AWIZ

    why do cats truly belive Talib is lyrically ill,ok lets take a piece of his verse right now infact i keep it on' just to get by' too ,this nigga said -We commute to computers Spirits stay mute while you eagles spread rumors We survivalists, turned to consumers" WTF?!Commute to computers ?Sprits stay mute? while you eagles spread rumors? maaaannn!Please stop ! his bars are way too complex and deep fuck all that inner meaning shit,just keep it simple but effective.just keep it plain english.learn how to use your vocabulary correct so your verses dont come out sounding extra deep ,using metaphors for no reason ,abusing the whole process. Please do not try to tell me Talib Kweli is lyrically iller than i know because his bars are far from clever .look man cats need to truly do they homework on Lyrically ill.Lyically ill is Rakim, research Lord Finesse ,Andre the Giant to Big L RIP,Reasearch Words of a Genius,research the Prizm to Cold Chillin era Kane, G rap, and what cats dont even realize is the term ILLMATIC came from Tragedy and thats what kills it ,lets talk Juice crew,lets talk BDP , Ultra Mag,Kool Kieth alone kills it,but seriously,try to find some old stretch armstrong and Bobito freestyles or some in control with marly marl before you can even think about whos nice in the game.as far as im concern G rap is still a Beast and will be til he dies.Maaaan Hip Hop Harry got more Bars than Talib,Talib Kweli redoing Lifes A bitch is like Black Eye peas redoing Follow The Leader,Niggas need to cut it out,How the fuck cats trying to tell me Talib Kweli is ill like Papoose dont exist,Please dont respond with no peaceful positive stuff just because i sound a little radical its just that the truth the truth,Man Nas him self could'nt redo illmatic so how the fuck is fashawn collecting verses? From Who?!!NAS is a prophet let it be and calm all that dumb shit down Early! and Green Lantern you know you know better cut the bull shit !

  • Umashin

    Isn't elzhi meant to be doing the same thing on elmatic and didnt he get the idea from some unknown cat who posted his version on 2dopeboyz.com I heard the unknown guys it was alright. I don't really have a problem with it cuz elzhi and fashawn are nice but I dunno i feel like there's a bandwagon being ridden

  • Malmoe88

    There's nothing wrong with tribute albums. It's done all the time in rock, jazz and other forms. Why is it HipHop always tears each other down. Do your thing Fashawn. I'll just take it for what it is. It's either gonna be a dope tribute or a weak one. You've been on a roll so far so I got faith. I honestly believe he is not doing this to try to outdo the original, let's just be calm about this and wait til it drops. Peace Y'all.

  • AWIZ

    seriously this is the shit im talking about,niggas always trying to fuck with shit ,leave it alone!even on a mix tape level,just kill it right now,you see its shit like this that got niggas like Talib walikng around like he really lyrically ill,come on man listen to the lyrics on" just to get by"WTF,this nigga always trying to be so deep he ends up burying he's self with his wack metaphores and mumbo jumbo shit,and now niggas want to redo illmatic and have this nigga do lifes a bitch?are you crazy,ay yo trust when this shit come out i Promise that shit gonna be hilarious i cant wait to start breaking down niggas bars for fun,Talib please stop and reconize your limits cause you can be serious

    • hayoooo

      no, Talib is lyrically iller than your favorite MC. but I'm not down with tampering with illmatic either

  • gvreg

    there is a "web//site" named "sexyblackwhite" for dateing or relationship, black or white singles can go there to find something sexy or beauty online !!!!

  • harris89

    i got the one time 4 your mind instrumental, where can i submit it? e-mail me at Dopeskill@gmail.com...

  • Indiemuzik

    Personally I want to hear Fashawn's "ode to Illmatic" mixtape so I can see how well he performs on that type of theme. I already know he has skills based on "Boy Meets World", but I think it would be awsome to get my hands on as much material from him as possible because it's inevidable that he's going to blow up. Also I have J.Cole's remix of Jay-z's best song (Dead presidents 2) and he did a pretty good job on it, so I don't think it would be blasphemy if Fashawn tried the same thing with some of Nas's best songs.


    An Illmatic tribute? That's a tall order homie...That's like making a tribute to the bible!

  • thizzle dance

    I'm a Fashawn fan (Boy Meets World may be future classic shit) and a Nas fan but I'm not really down with this project. If you wanna do a Nas/illmatic salute do like one song like Nas did for Rakim, and like Jay Electronica did for Nas. Fashawn is a favorite rookie and Kweli is one of my very favorite MCs, but I wont listen to the Lifes a Bitch remake they did again. idk man, you won't see me playin an illmatic remake or any variation of that album, ever.

  • Gonzalo

    Come up with your Own F****** Classic Stop Piggy Backing And These Are The MF's They Say Is Hot Rap Game Sucks Right Now It Died Years Ago Be Original Dog

    • RomaPgh

      calm down man, it's a f'n mixtape tribute. he's not pressing an illmatic remake as an actual album. Almost every mixtape out there uses someone elses beat or concepts. Also, Fashawn is pretty damn good. Have you even bothered to listen to Boy Meets World? Dudes like you kill me, saying rap sucks and it's dead right now. Granted, you have to search for the good shit, but it's definitely out there. Hip hop has some good shit going on, but when people just hate on shit they never heard or bothered to give a chance then it will die.

  • Dee Goodz

    Shouts to Fashawn!!! One of the illest niggas in it!!!

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