Locals: Fabrashay A

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the February 21, 2013 edition

The spoken introduction to Columbus rapper Fabrashay A’s new mixtape, The Resurgence, goes like this: “Resurgence. There’s a technical definition to what that means. But when I’m talking about the resurgence of you, the resurgence of Fabrashay A, it means that you’ve been here, but now you showing n----s that you here.”

Fabrashay, born 23 years ago as Shad Wilson, has been around. He made waves in 2010 by linking with the Short North boutique hip-hop scene, aligning himself with King Vada and P. Blackk and dropping his promising The Art Show tape.

Then family drama interfered. His mother died. Fab fought a custody battle for his little brother with the boy’s father. The struggles kept him from focusing on music as much as he wanted to.

Meanwhile, he couldn’t get on the same page with collaborators about his vision for The 10th, a mixtape he intended to follow The Art Show.

“I found it hard explaining what I wanted The 10th to be,” he said. Eventually, he moved on from those songs: “That scenery had gotten old to me.”

Fab found inspiration by accident. While hanging out with his friend DJ Corey Grand in a Cleveland recording studio, he began rapping on some beats by Grand and Touch Money. The energy was infectious.

Before they knew it, they had recorded almost 20 tracks — the space-jazzy “Boogie Nightz,” the 808s and Heartbreak-inspired digital brooding “Dats Life,” the cathartic anthem “Free Pt. 2” — and Fab had a new release. Set to drop Feb. 26, it represents more than just a rapper’s return to the spotlight.

“It’s also the resurgence of me saying some real stuff,” Fab said. This is his attempt to be authentic — not “conscious” or “swag” or whatever buzzword you like. It’s his most fiery, immediate work to date.

More is coming. The 10th might still emerge as an EP. He intends to release a series of EPs called Gunpoint too. And while he’s cautious about living in the shadow of his friends King Vada and P. Blackk — “To some people, I’m their sidekick,” he lamented — one project with Blackk called Dukes is completed, and another with both Blackk and Vada called Supreme Kings is percolating.

What’s next isn’t clear, but this much is: Fabrashay A is resurgent indeed, and Columbus is better for it.