Q&A: Fabolous Talks Allen Iverson’s Retirement And The Real ‘King Of New York’

Despite postponing the release of his sixth studio album, Fabolous receives a warm welcoming upon arriving to the summer’s final EBC game at Harlem’s Rucker Park. His demeanor casts a cool, calm and collected local, one who has been to the court nestled in between the polo grounds projects before. Today he is serving as a celebrity coach. His aura incites the crowd, urging them to stand and catch a glimpse of the slick-talking Brooklyn rapper, born John Jackson. Robed in leather shorts with a matching crew neck t-shirt, Fab chopped it up with VIBE about his NBA counterpart, throwback jerseys and Kendrick Lamar’s audacious “king of New York” lyric. —Christopher Harris

VIBE: How’s it feel to be out here at the Rucker tonight for the final game?
Fabolous: It takes me back to old memories of coming here and seeing some of the greatest play—Uptown vets, New York city legends, playground legends, legends from all over the city. When you walk in you start having all of those memories.

What are your thoughts on Allen Iverson retiring?
A.I.’s put in a lot of years, he done crossed a lot of people over. He had a remarkable career. He’s one of the players that you always would say put his heart into the game. I salute him. I congratulate him on moving to the next stage of his life, whatever that is.

Which NBA baller would you compare yourself to?
I guess now that we’re here in New York, he’s in New York now, I would have to say Melo. People know you got that skill but we still go out every night and have to prove ourselves a little bit. He’s my guy, too.One of the guys I look at as a role model, as far as for me and my community because he came from Brooklyn as well. He grew up in Baltimore but where he was rooted from was Red Hook, Brooklyn. So I would say Melo, man.

Can jerseys make a comeback?
The style is cool, I don’t know if it’s the same as back then when it was everyday attire. When you feel like cooling out real casual or even representing some sports memorabilia at the same time, I think it’s cool for that.

Will there be a Loso’s Way 2 mini movie?
Yeah, I have a couple visual ideas, I don’t really want to give them up I don’t want anyone to steal our stuff but we definitely have a few visual ideas.

On Big Sean’s “Control,” K. Dot proclaimed himself the King of New York. But who is the king of N.Y. in your opinion?
The original king of New York passed. Biggie was the king of New York to me, I don’t feel like he passed it on to anybody. If you have to say somebody inherited it, you would have to say Hov. He’s in a place where he’s iconic to hip-hop, he’s going to be one of the faces on the hip-hop Mount Rushmore. The King is still left to be seen. You gotta claim the crown and the people also gotta crown you, too. It’s not just about somebody saying they king.

Would Martin Luther King Jr. be proud of us today, 50 years after the March On Washington?
There’s definitely some progress that happened since ’68, since he passed. I definitely think he would want some more things to take place in the black community but I think he’d see the progress that us African-Americans have made in the country.