Rapper-Singer FAME Talks Rockstar Style and Top Stylish Men of Hip-Hop

As I prepared for an interview with rap's latest golden child, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had seen and heard of FAME, but working in an industry where personal style is traded in for a team of stylists and designer labels, I wasn't sure if the the image I had been sold was one that was real. Quickly, I learned that the 20-year-old Brooklyn rapper was well matured beyond his years and in control of both his music and his image. Not only did FAME assure me that he was ready to take the rap game by storm, he made it clear that in an industry where it takes more than good music to reach fame and fortune, he was destined to achieve just that.

Born to a single mother in the heart of East Brooklyn, his story is similar to New York rappers before him. But having spent time living in Los Angeles and traveling around the world, his eye for fashion leads many to believe that he is today's generations' music and fashion phenom, like Biggie was to the 90s and Kanye was to the millennium. With an ear for music that is on par with his sense of style, it's no wonder the young artist caught the attention of music execs and signed a deal to MBK Entertainment, quickly launching a career that shows no signs of slowing down. With appearances on 106 & Park, a spot on the BET Music Matters Tour and his latest mixtape Hybrid Season 2 scheduled to drop this year, FAME is not only catching the attention of rap fans, but the eyes of fashion executives, editors and young females.

Once unheard of in the world of rap, FAME (with his unique mix of R&B and rap) wants his turn to prove to the world exactly where his music and style fits in. He sat down with VIBE Vixen to tell us more about the artist, the music and the wardrobe.
VV: Just a few years ago, labels wouldn't take the singing/rapping artist seriously, but with the success of Drake and now Chris Brown doing it, did that make you more comfortable doing both?
FAME: I wouldn't say more comfortable, because that's where my comfortability has been since the beginning of my career, even before it was accepted and before Drake had his success, I was in the studio working. I acknowledge what Drake did because he kind of opened the door for it and made people see that it's not as dumb and not as ridiculous that many people think. I remember when I first said I was going to do the whole singing and rapping thing, a lot of people looked as me as if I were crazy. I just never stopped because I knew it was going to be a time. Now I'm just happy the world is starting to accept it.

I read that while you draw inspiration from Jay Z, Biggie, Fab-- but also Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sublime and retro-80's. How did a rapper from East BK get familiar with rock groups?
With me, it was my family who was very musically inclined. Music was something that was very broad in my household.  I would travel with my mom and I would hear different types of music.  I fell in love with melody and song… I love the whole Rock Star persona and fell in love with it early on.  I just want to bring that element to hip hop."

Your love for the rock style persona is very apparent in your style. Describe your style and fashion? I notice that you rock vests a lot.
I'm definitely a vest dude. I like a lot of things. My style is a little different than the typical NY rapper style. I like the whole rock star look and the leather; I love the whole LA look with the snap backs, too. I love army fatigue, and I'm a big sneaker head. Name a sneaker and I probably have two pairs.

We see a lot of rappers who have no style, but are married to labels?  Is that something you're into as well.
Nah, I'm not a big label whore. I have labels that I love, just because I love the material that they make. I like Dolce and Gabbana; I love their jeans. I love Alexander McQueen and YSL. I shop urban, like RockSmith and Vinnie Styles. I like to keep my ear to the streets and knowing the latest and hottest thing out. When you keep your style relevant, it keeps you relevant and keeps your career going. I like to grow with my culture, but I like to give it my own twist.

Who would you consider the most stylish men of hip hop?
To me, Kanye just constantly pushes the ball. At first glance, it just instantly catches your eye. You may not understand it, but it catches your attention.  You may not get it, but you have to respect it. He brought back the 5X tee from 2001 on the Watch the Throne tour, on stage killing it.

Fab is just clean cut with his. I remember back in the day wanting the top throwbacks. To this day, I love the way Fab puts his look together.

I've seen Tyga do his thing, and I've been seeing the Last Kings line he has coming up.

Could you see yourself in a Drake sweater?
[Laughs] Why you gotta call it the Drake sweater? Nah, no Drake sweaters. I'm a vest guy.

With bouncy, melodic sounds Hybrid Season 2 is an elaboration of its predecessor Hybrid Season. Creating who he is and drawing from his own life to make what he thought would be a great artist, FAME has created a new true collaborative sound.

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SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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