Just under two months after news of his signing to Nas’ Mass Appeal label, Fashawn spoke exclusively with HipHopDX about visiting the Def Jam offices shortly before the release of his debut album in 2009.
Explaining the unexpected meeting that followed, Fash told DX that the iconic label invited him to advise against signing there.
“I went up to New York, flew up to New York, Boy Meets World era,” he said. “I think this is before the album came out. I was at the Def Jam offices, they invited me up to the Def Jam office. I’m walking through, I’m just looking at the history of Def Jam: LL Cool J, DMX, Hov, Nas, you name it. They invited me just to tell me that I shouldn’t sign with them, that I should not sign with Def Jam. I’m not gonna name any names specifically of who told me that but they invited me and said like, ‘You’re an artist of quality and you’re like a really innovative artist. We’re all big fans of you in the office, but don’t come over here,’ basically. That was just the weirdest thing ever to me. I don’t know.”
In July, Fashawn spoke with HipHopDX about the experience of working with and receiving input from Nas.
"What I gathered is that I feel like I really belong in Rap," he said. "He told me that. He said, 'You're about to do damage in the game.' I needed to hear that from a person of that caliber. His specific words were that I'm 'about to part the game like The Red Sea.' That was big to me coming from The Don.
"I feel like, just on a competitive nature, yes, I belong," he added. "I can probably destroy more than half the rappers out right now. I say that with all modesty. But yeah, I feel like my style is a lot more different. It's a lot more authentic. It doesn't sit comfortably in radio. It doesn't sit comfortably in the mainstream, but now I'ma get the chance to get my tyranny on and just become a tyrant and infiltrate the game and keep carrying the torch for a style of Rap that I feel like Nas invented. I feel like I'm carrying tradition."