Fabolous & Jadakiss on Joint Mixtape 'Friday on Elm Street,' Favorite Verses & Dream Collaborations
For years, the anticipation for Fabolous and Jadakiss' long-awaited joint effort, Freddy Vs. Jason, was at an all-time high. Inspired by their punchy Friday freestyle releases in 2015, New York's highly-touted lyricists joined forces to provide the city of Gotham with a hearty meal consisting of icy raps and bone-chilling metaphors.
After a series of delays and even a name change -- last month, they axed Freddy Vs. Jason for Friday on Elm Street -- Fab and Kiss liberate their elusive mixtape on Black Friday (Nov. 24). On Friday on Elm Street, Loso and Kiss exude seamless chemistry and New York moxie, most notably on tracks like "Soul Food" and "Principle."
Fab's elastic delivery shines on the former, as he throws a series of lyrical darts over the soul-laden record. "This big dinner shit baby, everybody up in here/ Find you what you bring to the table and pull a chair," he spews. His partner-in-crime, Jada, counters back with a barrage of heavy blows, as well. "Almost 20 years in the game and I'm still me/ N----s fear hearing my name, I got skills, b."
The two veterans sat down with Billboard to speak about their project, Friday on Elm Street, their dream collaborations for New York artists and NBA comparisons. Check out the interview below.
I remember we spoke in January and you guys compared the project to a "home cooked meal." With the tape out on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is it safe to say that we're expecting a feast?
Jadakiss: A finished meal. One of them meals that's so good that you leave your mom's crib, auntie, or whatever the rendezvous point is. You take a couple of extra plates of food, you take a couple extra plates of dessert and then, it's about two good strong weeks of leftovers. That's what kind of meal this is.
You got the yams, the greens and everything ready to go?
Jadakiss: You got the yams, the greens, you're making the turkey sandwiches out of the turkey. You still got the sweet potato pies left, pound cakes, everything.
Fabolous: I'm excited for it. Like you said, when you're preparing that home cooked meal, you want to take your time with it. It's not a microwave meal. It's not a pop-tart.
Jadakiss: It's not a hot pocket. [Laughs]
Fabolous: You gotta season the turkey. You gotta put it in there and you gotta warm the oven up. You gotta do certain things to prepare that type of meal. I always felt that it was a winter project anyway for some reason. I felt like it was something you'd really grab hold to in the winter just because how dark and what was embodied in the project.
So, when the weather warmed up, I was kind of like, it's not the time for it anyway. You want people to be in that mold for this project. And Thanksgiving, like you said, is the perfect timing. I love holiday releases. People's attention are a little bit more focused because they're at home, they're chilling. They're normally at work everyday, but then [during the holidays], they're not in the hustle and bustle of their careers.They're more chill.
Even sometimes, when you're at home with the family, you need a break from them, really. By the time this come out on Thanksgiving, you're tired of the family and you wanna go into your own little space, have a drink and pop something, too. I think it's gonna serve its purpose. I think Thanksgiving time is a great for it.
I remember when I first heard Fab's "Keepin' It Gangsta (Remix)" with you Jada, Styles P, Sheek Louch and M.O.P. Just hearing you guys on that record, in addition to Jeezy's "OJ" and Fab's "The Hope," you can feel the chemistry there. Was there a record or moment that you two guys had together that birthed this idea of a joint album?
Jadakiss: We really never said it until after I started doing the Friday freestyles with [DJ] Envy and he was doing the joints with [DJ] Clue. After that vibe hit the world, he was like, "Yo. We should do the Freddy Vs. Jason project together," but, previously to that, it's like people would always call us two for collabos. Not together, but separate. Whether it be Mary J. [Blige] or J-Lo.
Everybody would call me or Fab or The Lox and Fab, we'd always end up being on stuff together. So, he was always like my little brother ever since he came into the game. Always been a good solid stand-up dude, plus his music is always relatable when it comes to representing New York. Whenever two people stand next to each other, they're considered the state representatives.
Fabolous: Truthfully, I've collab'ed with so many people, but I felt like once we were doing the [Friday] freestyles, that's when it came to mind. I can't hold you, I never saw the actual project before that time. Like, I've seen the freestyles and that helped gel it together and get the engine running to it. Like you said, we've collab'd on many different things.
From the "Keepin' It Gangsta (Remix)" to "The Hope," which is probably 10-15 years between each other. For the "Keepin' It Gangsta (Remix)," I was really a fan of that back and forth, Kiss and Styles flow. Then, with M.O.P., I think I may have heard them do it here or there, so "[KIG]" was one of those remixes that changed the format. It was a dope thing.
Jada, you just mentioned New York and the idea of state representatives. I know French Montana and A$AP Rocky have something in the works. Fat Joe & Remy did a joint project together earlier this year. If you guys could see two New York rappers pair up and do a joint album together, which two would y'all want to see and why?
Jadakiss: I would love to see a lot of artists do a [joint project]. There's a lot of artists and I can't even name two. There's more than two that I would love to see like a Hov and Nas album, A me and Styles [P], Sheek and Redman. I can think of incredible collabos that I would love to see and hear. That's what this project is a little bit of too. It's to set the vibe off for New York. Maybe we can get that French and A$AP. I've seen Dipset back and rocking out strong. We need that. That's what it's all about. Getting it where it's supposed to be at.
Fabolous: Jay and Nas. That's the epic collabo.
Why do you guys think collaborative albums are more prevalent now in contrast to when you both first came out? Now you have a Travis Scott and Quavo album on the way. Future and Thugger just dropped their tape.
Jadakiss: In Atlanta, they've been doing it since the beginning of time.
Fabolous: [Atlanta] always worked well together. I feel like New York had its collaborations, but full projects are different. I think it's more prominent for everybody now because there's so much music that comes out. Projects in the 2000s and early '90s, it would take a long time [for it to come out]. You would even rest with a project for a while. I remember Purple Tape, we would listen to it for like six months. Now these kids want a project a month later.
Jadakiss: A month?! Two, three days!
Fabolous: They're like, "I know you just drop this, but what's up with this?" Like, damn. They got a microwave mentality, so that's why I think with collaborating too, you can do something over there and it feeds the fans. You gotta keep cooking now. I also, tell the story of when I first came in. It was a New York thing to just be standoffish, but everybody was still in their bag.They holding down their shit.
When I came in, it wasn't like n----s were arms wide open. I ain't have no Hov verses or Nas verses, but now, if you hot, you can get a Hov verse or a Nas verse like a Kendrick [Lamar] because they're in a different space in their careers. When they were 28 and I was 20, 21, they wasn't giving me that because at that age they were still trying to be those guys.
Obviously you guys have been fans of each other for a long time. If you can give me your favorite verse of each other's from past works and on this new album Friday on Elm Street, which ones would you guys choose?
Fabolous: Oh man. I'm gonna have to think on the [all-time] one [Laughs]. There's too many joints that I f--k with. On the project, I like the solo joint he did on there and I like the verse on there too, because it's classic Kiss and it really fits into the [album] without trying to fit into it, you know what I mean? It's one of them joints that's classic Kiss.
Like this joint could have been a joint from '97, it could have been a joint in '04, you know what I'm saying? It's classic Kiss. He has another one from a joint called "Ice Pick." I think it's a really strong joint and it takes you back to the essence of Kiss.
Jadakiss: One of my favorite Fab verses on the album gotta be his verse from "Soul Food." I like his verse from "Soul Food." I like his verse on the "F Vs. J Intro." He got a couple, but I think I like his verse on "Ground Up." He got a a lot of verses that I like on there. One of my favorite Fab verses of [all-time] is from a mixtape when he was rhyming off 50 [Cent's] "I Whoop Your Head Boy" beat. That's one of my favorite Loso freestyles.
I know we've done basketball comparisons before with you both, but let's switch it up. Fab, if you can give Jada his NBA comparison, who would you choose and why? Last time, Jada told me he's both Carmelo Anthony and Klay Thompson.
Fabolous: I definitely see the things with the Klay and the Melo. Klay is a deadly shooter that people sometimes forget about, but then he has to light you up.
He can score 50 points quick.
Fabolous: He'll light you up quick and then you're light, "Damn." Klay is a good one. Sometimes, Klay gets overshadowed by Steph [Curry] and Durant. Like there's no doubt about it that Klay can play. Klay can go crazy if he wanted to.
Jadakiss: Fab can be like a mixture of a Kyrie [Irving] and Paul George. They're sleek. Hard to guard.
How did you both prepare mentally going into this project considering Jada, you've worked with The Lox all your career and Fab, you've generally kept things on the solo front? Did either of your game plans change going into Friday on Elm Street?
Jadakiss: Nah, nah, nah. Having Styles and Sheek as my brothers and my partners makes it easier to work with anybody 'cause that's the bar of bars right there. Being in the sandwich of them two, you can throw me in the cage with lions and I'll feel comfortable because everyday I'm at bloodsport with them.
That's a good part of our career that helped all three of us individually because we had the other two to worry about. It steps everybody's game up. That's the same with being in there with Loso 'cause there's people that we go into the studio with and don't even acknowledge they're there, but when you have that mutual respect of those two [artists] that are still sharp as steel, that's how it goes.
That's what happens with dudes of that caliber like the Styles', the Sheek's, the Hov's, the Jeezy's, the Nas', the Joe Budden's, the Eminem's and the Royce Da 5'9's. It just elevates on its own.
Fabolous: I think that's the beauty of collaborations. It's when two people bring what they bring to the table, you know what I'm saying? [Kiss] not trying to conform to me or me trying to conform to Kiss. I just think we bring what we bring to the table and it also brings our fanship and people that just want to see what that collision of sounds sound like. That can even create a whole new fan, or a fan who wasn't as aware before. I just think you come to the table with what you bring.