Fabolous is a Grammy-nominated East Coast rapper who was able to attain platinum status by balancing hardcore hip-hop with pop-rap and punchlines, similar to fellow NYC stars JAY-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and Ma$e—who Fab drew comparisons to due to their “slow flow.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York on November 18, 1977, John David Jackson grew up in the borough’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood and began rapping in high school. In 1998, he showed up to NYC radio station Hot 97 for a meeting with DJ Clue, which instead ended up being an on-the-air freestyle between him and N.O.R.E. on Clue’s radio show. While freestyling, he misspelled the word “fabulous” as “fabolous,” which became his stage name from then on. Following this, Clue signed him to his label Desert Storm Records and Fabolous was featured on several Clue mixtapes.

His debut single “Can’t Deny It” was released in the summer of 2001 and was positively received, with it peaking at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and its music video reaching number one on MTV that fall. His debut album Ghetto Fabolous would follow on September 11, 2001, a date that not only saw releases by JAY-Z, Mariah Carey and Babyface among others, but was also plagued by an unfortunate series of terrorist attacks. In the aftermath of the latter circumstances, Ghetto Fabolous debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Fab’s second album Street Dreams upheld his momentum in early 2003, debuting one spot higher on the Billboard 200 and selling more copies in its first week before going Platinum six months after its release. Before the end of 2003, he would would put out More Street Dreams, Pt. 2: The Mixtape, his debut mixtape consisting of tracks centered on his hardcore rhyming abilities. His third album, 2004’s Real Talk, would serve as his first and only project with Atlantic Records because of poor decisions made by them during the album’s promotion.

The year 2006 was full of twists and turns for Fabolous, with him establishing his own label Street Family Recordings, leaving Atlantic Records for Def Jam in a de facto trade with Musiq Soulchild, and finally surviving a shooting only to then end up arrested. His next two albums, From Nothin' to Somethin' and Loso’s Way, marked the peak of his commercial success and highest presence on the rap music charts at #2 and #1 respectively. His efforts in the 2010s were mostly mixtapes and the albums The Young OG Project and Summertime Shootout 3: Coldest Summer Ever.

Fabolous is the recipient of an ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Award, a BET Hip Hop Award, a multi-nominee of various ceremonies from Teen Choice Awards to Grammy Awards, and was given a #8 ranking on MTV’s Hottest MC In The Game list for 2009. Aside from his own music, he joined forces with fellow rapper Jadakiss for a collaboration album titled Friday on Elm Street, appeared in the horror parody film Scary Movie 4, and on shows such as Wild ‘N Out and The Rap Game.