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Fresno MC and Mass Appeal artist Fashawn stopped by #DXLive to give us the exclusive on his forthcoming effort. “It’s about to drop on y’all, probably April 29th, the day of Grizzly Fest. Y’all the first people I’m telling this to,” says Fashawn. “It’s called Manna. That’s where the beauty comes from. I had to figure out a title that really encompassed [how I feel],” Fashawn explains to the #DXLive cast as HipHopDX Editor-In-Chief Trent Clark pointed out the parallel to the Bible where manna was “coming down from the sky.”

Fashawn also discusses the confusion between mixtapes and albums. “It’s a project. I don’t even know anymore [if there’s a difference between albums and mixtapes], the lines are so blurred. I just call them projects. The Fresno MC also goes into detail about what we can expect from Manna, “It’s just me,” Fashawn exclaims when asked about features. “I got love for everybody in Hip Hop but a lot of cats just didn’t make the cut. I still got time to work on the project so I’m still laying the finishing touches on it [so] you never know. I got a few people in mind so hopefully if their schedules permit it [and] if they got enough love for the kid they can [send their verses in].”

He also exclusively reveals that fans can expect to hear him on production from the likes of Large Professor, Exile (of course) and Evidence.

Being signed to Mass Appeal, Fashawn also discussed his interactions with Nas. “I talk to him a lot. Any time I call him he picks up or when I text him he hits me back. It’s weird to me because, you know, his icon doesn’t wear off. His legend doesn’t wear off. [I] can still get a text from Esco and be like ‘damn’. It makes me want to write even more and chase his legacy even more.”

On Nas’ demeanor since finding business success:

“He’s a lot more excited to work. He’s excited to be in the studio, excited to work with his artists. He’s excited to see his businesses flourishing. It’s a different Nas than [the one] I grew up knowing. I didn’t know him personally then but just through his music he gave us so much. He’s still relaxing and calm, still probably smoking blunts in the back of the Ghost. [But] I can see the excitement in his eyes and I talk to him I can tell he hasn’t lost one ounce of love for this shit. He’s still going forward with this rap shit. [When] we was in the studio in New York, he flew me out to come work with him in the studio. First of all he changed outfits real quick like Superman because I saw him at the hotel [and he had on one outfit], he went from just some regular outfit [then he changed clothes] and [it was like] he went from Nasty Nas and then he came in as Escobar. He had the leather, the fur, and I’m like, ‘Ok this is really Nas.” He pulled out some notepads from his pockets and just threw rhymes on the console and I’m like, ‘That’s how you roll, still?’ That made me proud just to know that a millionaire, probably soon to be a billionaire, still rolling around with rhymes in his pockets.”

Manna will serve as Fashawn’s first project since 2015’s The Ecology. Watch above as Fashawn takes on Jake Rohn in an intense game of #BetterSquad and stay up to date with #DXLive every Thursday at 6pm EST on Facebook/HipHopDX. And, as always, keep it locked here on HipHopDX for all of your exclusive music and news.