New school Hip Hop has been needing a leader for years; a voice to guide the sea of young MC’s from industry mercies to rap glory. Atlanta Hip Hop artist Fa$t Life, 23, has answered that call.
The self proclaimed ordinary person’s favorite rapper, Fa$t Life has been winning the hearts of listeners everywhere with his Atlanta based flow and DC hustler mentality. But the young rap star’s story extends far beyond the bars; uncovering an insatiable hungry for success and an ever growing fixation for the fast life of Hip Hop.
Following the release of his new single Legendary featuring Atlanta rap typhoon Waka Flocka, Fa$t Life sat down with Hip Hop Headquarters to set the record straight about his growing brand, outlandish lyrical flair and his bold humbleness guaranteed to catapult him to the top of the charts.
How did you first get introduced to Hip Hop and decide it was the career path you wanted to embark on?
Well I was actually born in DC and raised in Atlanta. I went to college at Parsons School of Design in New York. I basically dropped out of school for music. I was working with Def Jam at the time and Gale Jones was showing me a lot of love at Atlantic as well. So I had a couple meetings with the labels and they were talking about 360 deals at the time and I was super young. That showed me I had enough talent to get there, it was just about the journey of getting there the right way. And so I dropped out of school and years later, I’m at where I’m at right now. I started doing music since 13 and before I started rapping I was just rapping over dubstep records with Jesse Rose and Diplo. I was about 17 or 18 years old when I finally took rap serious.
What was your parent’s response to dropping out of college to pursue a rap career? Did they support your decision?
First off, going to school at Parsons School of Design is one of the best schools in the world. Definitely is one of the top two in America. So it was a big deal getting into that school because, for me, I was a troubled kid in high school. I went to four different high schools or whatever. So I only got accepted to WestPoint and the best fashion school in the world [laughs]. It was like do military or do art. And I’ve always been a very artistic kid so my parents have always been supportive from day one. They’ve always known that I’m a different type of person; I like to create. That’s what I do. Even as a child, I would win awards in Georgia before I started rapping for writing sheet music because I play piano, drums and a bunch of instruments. So they were super supportive and it’s still like that. When I dropped out of school, they were more or less happy because, at the time, Big Sean had just put me in the Memories video back when he was doing his Finally Famous run. And Big Sean was showing me a lot of love during my early teens and just taught me things like how to do shows and took me to the SOB’s. It was super lit! So it was just a good time for me to pursue my dreams. It was perfect timing.
“DC doesn’t get a lot of credit for the making of hustlers; for the making of go-getters. Like you can be born in DC and go get it in any city anywhere!”
How did you get the moniker Fa$t Life?
My name is super funny [laughs] because I never really picked a rap name. My name was just my name. But people called me Fa$t Life just because they knew the life I was living. I started a company when I was 16 called Fast Life Society. And at that point in time, when I was 16, I started my first LLC and that whole company was based around management and artist development for the youth by the youth; pretty much exactly what’s going on right now in 2016. It’s youth grooming youth for success, that’s what’s really going on. That’s what the whole concept was but I basically became the artist I wanted to work for. And people started calling me Fa$t Life and I couldn’t shake. So now, that’s just my name.
How do you think being born in Washington D.C. but raised in Atlanta influence your musical style?
You know, I’ve been doing interviews all week and that’s one of the most lit questions I’ve been asked so far. DC doesn’t get a lot of credit for the making of hustlers; for the making of go-getters. Like you can be born in DC and go get it in any city anywhere! I grew up liking Alpo style; looking at Alpo, Richard Porter and all these people who were coming to DC, that was always cool to me as far as the MCing and taking the Gucci print and making coats with it! All of that was lit! And growing up in Atlanta was even more dope because I had that inside of me already. And Atlanta is like a ping pong city so, for me, I was growing up listening to Waka. Then, later in life, I was able to work with Waka just due to the fact I’m from Atlanta and I be in the city so it was naturally bound to happen. I just did a song last night, I don’t know whose album it’s going to be on, but it’s Guwop, Rid The Kid, Lil Yachty and me on it! But that’s that Atlanta shit right there like you can’t really beat how Atlanta moves. Atlanta has done more for me than any everywhere. I’ve lived in New York and LA and, granted it’s a lot of things out there. But Atlanta is for the sound and you can’t beat the sound here because everything is authentic. And if you’re dope, you’re going to be around dope people. This is the city that’ll show you, fasho.
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Who are some artists who inspire you or that you listened to growing up that kept your ears to the stereo?
Growing up, really it was Waka man. Waka really did a lot for me because it was just young, wild music. It was unfiltered, young, wild music so he was speaking to, what I felt like was, all the 90’s babies. Which included me, you know what I’m saying. It was like ‘Damn we don’t have no filter.” And he (Waka) kicking shit with no filter. So it was cool. I felt like Waka was speaking for us. Especially with the content he was kicking; it was a lot of stuff that we were living by and doing at the time. I have a lot respect for Waka and how he just keeps reinventing himself. Like the man has literally been on tour for five years and people don’t even know [laughs]. My boy has been touring for so long, while other artists are worried about radio and this and that, but I learned a lot from bro.
What is it about the Fa$t Life brand that is different from other MC’s in the game?
I’m the regular person’s favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Its been that way. I’ve been had songs with Kendrick Lamar and Raekwon. I’ve been doing songs with Future and Pusha T. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been doing the red carpets, the big furs and 20 thousand on a ring; I’ve been doing all that in my young years. So the thing about me that’s bigger than life is that I speak to not only for the people who want to go for everything people say is impossible but for the single moms out there trying to get it on their own. I speak for the single dads out there trying to work a job. I’m really speaking from all sides. The difference between me and everybody else is that I’m kicking this shit for them [laughs]. Everything I’m saying in my music is what I’m doing to get to where I want to go or where I’ve already gone. My music is like a compass. I’m not going to give you some music to just bob your head and do nothing with. I’m going to give you some music to go chase your goals to; I’m going to give you some music to go grind harder at whatever you do. That’s the thing about it and, for me, it’s really about empowering the people and speaking for the people who can’t even speak for themselves. There’s a lot of people who are talented. There’s a lot of people who could’ve went to the league. But they’re not in the league. And that’s the difference between me and everybody else. I’m going to get to the league because I understand the dynamics of a team. I understand the importance of delegating things you aren’t good at; I understand how to build a machine.
What would be the ultimate lasting impression you’d like to leave on the music industry?
It’s already understood that Fa$t Life is the new Thug Life. If you look at your TV, things are happening so fast. I’ve been saying this. For me, I’m going out like Thug Life. I’m going out like Machiavelli. And that’s how I’m coming in. I go hard for it! I speak about the things we don’t want to talk about. I give insight into the reasons why youngins are doing what they are doing; I’m giving you that intellect into why he’s doing that. That’s really what Illmatic was, but I’m doing that for right now. I’m really giving you the mental processing as to why niggas do to get what they want. For me, I’m about substance and people really being able to provide for their communities. And my music is just the first step to that because even when the music and the fame fades, I’m still going to be speaking to the people. And that’s what’s going to always be.
“It’s already understood that Fa$t Life is the new Thug Life.”
What’s coming up next for Fa$t Life this Fall?
What’s coming up next is the movie now [laughs]. Everybody going to sleep so I’m about to amp up everything. I’ve been putting out two songs a week and I think, in these last four months, I did over a quarter million plays on Sound Cloud. I’m about to drop a song with Metro Boomin soon. Also got this Gucci, Lil Yachty, Rich The Kid track coming out October 5th. Somewhere in October I also have my debut video coming out so the rest of this month is going to be busier than ever! I’m about to put the pressure on them; applying pressure like it’s the first quarter of 2017. I’m in 2017 right now!
Visit http://fastlifeatlanyc.com/ to get to know more about Fa$t Life!