The art of storytelling is an ancient craft. It’s the root of human speech, a testament to our ingenuity. Only music can challenge storytelling as the most significant form of human creativity. When the two concepts merge, they are capable of sublime and affecting power. But sometimes not in the conventional way you might be expecting. If you haven’t met him already, allow me to introduce you to one of the most quaint and curious storytellers of the 21st century. Pete Atkinson b.k.a Fabp aka Fabpz the Freelancer attended I.A.R in NYC. Pete engineers and makes beats using Reason with synths and Protools. Hip Hop & Dancehall is Fapk’s main genre, who cites his major influences as being Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Jay-z, Bounty Killer and Lady Saw. He started to produce beats and rhymes officially in 2006 after attending I.A.R for the first time and at that point decided to make music his career. A member of ASCAP, Fabp launched his own record label called X-Calade Promotionz.
Fabpz the Freelancer has taken the storytelling roots of rap music, mixed it with Dancehall ruminations, and germinated a tremendous hybrid that crosses outside the borders of both. Fabp has a catalog brimming with singles and mixtapes released via his own label.
One of his latest releases is the 12 track album “Classical Rap @TheRealFabp”. The diversity of his past experiences aptly match Fabp’s genre-bending music and wide scope of themes. The music of this new album is just as raw as his previous works.
The synth shanties, savage drums, abrasive basses, and spacey chords come together like a ramshackle small town orchestra high on hashish. The songs convey a sense of honesty of bygone ages when times were tougher, sometimes bleaker, but somehow purer, more in focus.
From the opening track “Gal Ah Nike”, which comes just after the “Classical Rap Intro”, Fabp jumps into his lyrical cauldron and goes in hard, having a of couple shots directly at modern society, and the industry in general.
The lyrics move in a seductive rhythmic weaving, working listeners over and charming the audience, but underneath Fabp is firing bullets and breaking glass as he strives to get his messages across. Particularly topical are the tracks “Gal Ah Nike”, “Dealing With A Clown” and “West Is on Fire”.
His also smart with his self-promotion on “Going Nutz” and “Advertisement 2018”. And Fabpz the Freelancer never forgets the ladies on “Miss Punanny Chang” and “Girl I’m Pursuing”. The diversity and cleverness of Fabp’s narratives are hidden under eclectic sources and live and breathe in the complexity of his persona. This is exemplified in “Rock Rock On” and “Throw Stones & Mp3’s”.
Fabpz the Freelancer’s stories, are raw, surreal tapestries spun with a conversational nonchalance that adds to his musical diversity. It’s full of the cockiness that you’d expect from an original path-maker, but there’s still a high level of humbleness to his verses which adds to his unconventional still. Clearly he’s curious – as many of us are – with what this world is and our role in it.
The difference is he’s willing to bare his soul and put it out there. The album, “Classical Rap @TheRealFabp”, or Fabpz the Freelancer himself, isn’t for everyone, and maybe only a select few will fully appreciate the gist of his music, but Fabp already knows that, and says so in his song, “Going Nutz”: “That’s why I love this game and I spit that fire flame…if you like it or not, if you like it or not…”