There Is No Competition mixtape series and EP—Fabolous (2008, 2010)
“My whole aim with the mixtapes is to do some music free-spirited and for my core listeners. With the There Is No Competition series we wanted to try something different. Part 2 was called the Funeral Service, which was supposed to mean there is no competition because I’m killing them all. I even came up with the moniker Funeral Fab. The ‘All Black Everything’ [party] came out as a gimmick and played into the whole There Is No Competition theme because you wear all-black to a funeral. And the title of the songs were like ‘Body Ya,’ ‘Light’s Out,’ and ‘You Be Killin’ Em’—all connected to the [death to the competition] angle. It was my strategy to make the series into a piece of work that everybody could get into from the metaphors to the punchlines.
I even did press in a funeral home in Harlem. It was a vanity project. I was doing interviews in the embalming room [laughs]. Like I said, the mixtapes are for the core listeners. I coasted all the way through the whole year with There Is No Competition 2. I didn’t know it would go that far, but Def Jam came back to me because ‘Body Ya’ did so well on the radio that they were like, ‘Well, let’s put it out as an EP.’ And that’s what we did when we included ‘You Be Killin’ Em,’ which ended up becoming a big radio hit. That song has so many elements to it. It’s directed to the ladies, but it still hard enough for dudes to nod their heads to it. Then it still has the clever bars, and the production was done by Ryan Leslie. I always get that feel from him because he has that bounce that’s universal. You can do anything you want you want to do with Ryan’s tracks.
And when I did ‘Lights Out,’ it was part of me catering to all ears. Lex Lugar came up this year and was doing a lot of joints with Waka Flocka, Rick Ross and now Lil Wayne. And I wanted to be in that mix as well to keep myself in tune with what’s going on in the game. I didn’t want to say, ‘I’m not from the South, so I can’t do a Lex Lugar beat. I wanted to show I could do it all.”