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Interview with Fatal of the Outlawz

When Tupac Shakur exited this physical plane called Earth, he left behind millions of fans. One of the biggest was fellow Immortal Outlaw Fatal Hussein, who is still in the world living Thug Life.

Tonight is another one of those nights. A hot summer night in the city where tension is climbing steadily. New Jersey native Fatal and his entourage of wild ass brothers prepare to perform at a small community center in the innermost city of Wilmington, Delaware. Nappy headed children scamper about the streets, up way past their bed time and the teenagers grow up a little bit faster tonight. The crowd outside is fronting on the $10.00 cost of the show and only a few trickle in the heavily guarded doors. Eventually a couple hundred die-hard fans will enter and get rocked aback by Fatal.

Seeing Fatal perform is disturbingly similar to watching his old mentor and friend Tupac Shakur thug it out on stage. He sports many of the same tattoos, including the "Thug Life" arched across the stomach. And even though Pac is dead, Thug Life is very alive. Fatal talks at great lengths about Tupac and Khadafi- Pac's cousin who was also murdered. Khadafi was gunned down in a New Jersey housing project, apparently because he prepared to testify as to who murdered Tupac. Both unsolved deaths still haunt Fatal and it's evident because it dominates his conversation when interviewed.

He is often assailed with criticism from those who say he resembles Pac too much, in sight and sound. But those who say he is a deception are mistaken. They don't know that he and Khadafi visited PAC two hours everyday while PAC was incarcerated for rape. At times, he even refers to PAC in the present tense, as if he were still alive. And that he often receives word of revenge and death threats from cats that love Biggie Smalls just a little too much. His crew packs heat wherever they go, even to little urban community centers like this. Even though during much of his show he rips some of PAC's greatest hits, the crowd seems to pretend that it is Tupac Shakur before them. It would seem that the stage is the only place where Fatal is completely comfortable.

interviewer: What are you giving people?

Fatal: I just gave (the people) some shit. I was just letting niggas know. I came home. My man Pac got killed. My man Khadafi got killed. I ain't get hit. It ain't like I bounced on Death Row either 'cause I'll still be on the Row if i felt like rockin' that. I ain't feel like rockin' or rappin' then. Fuck rapping. Fuck rocking. (getting louder) My niggas died! I went the fuck home. When Khadafi died, when PAC died, we left California. Me and Khadafi, we were on some straight Jersey shit. Khadafi died in Jersey so we ain't never want to go back to Cali. It ain't like I left the world. I still be chillin' over there 'cause it was dope over there. It was love. Even when I go back now, shit is still off the hook! All the niggas down with PAC are cool with me. I guess all the people that are enemies with him are enemies with me, but I don't give a fuck.

Being from New Jersey, Do you ever have problems on the East Coast?

Niggas playa hated on me one time over some Mic Geronimo bullshit.

What do you mean?

That (song) "Usual Suspects" I guess they felt I stole his show 'cause I said, "One deep from Jersey on the Island doing sticks." So they felt a nigga from Jersey can't go to Rykers Island, but it ain't nothing like that, jail is jail.

With all the heat surrounding Tupac, did that affect the last album you dropped?

Hell, yeah. It affect my album. I don't know the whole shit on how it affected it. Everybody knows what's going on, politics is politics. Everybody knows who controls New York, who controls the radio. (Everybody knows) who's funny, who's twisted, who's gay and shit. If I had it like (those in power), I would control it too. Ain't nothing wrong with that, but I got to show them that PAC s shit ain't never gonna die. I gotta be strong. The mainstream to me ain't really nothing. As long as I got the streets, mufuckas can't shut me down 'cause these niggas ( points to his crew) gonna be here. Other niggas is losing they job, hiding in Hawaii or staying home. Fuck that staying home.

In terms of your career, do you feel the whole Tupac situation helped or hindered it?

(Yelling) Oh, hell no! That's the best thing that could've happened to me in my life. On the real, I don't care what else happens to me. That's the best thing that could've happened to me because I wouldn't be able to provide for my kid, if i had one. I was able to come up outta that slump when my nigga died. PAC died. That fucked me up, but if it wasn't for Khadafi, there would be no (connection between) me and PAC So I'm saying, "Fuck rap." What the fuck is rap? It ain't got nothing to do with niggas dying.

Does that scare you, the fact that those close to you have been murdered like that?

Nah. It don't scare me 'cause I know shit like that happens everyday to mufuckas. I can't fear it because it will make me more paranoid. As long as I don't smoke no weed... but it keeps me paranoid. I stay one point when I'm paranoid.

What do you want people to get out of you're music?

Really if niggas don't like it, I don't give a fuck. It ain't gonna be easy. And that little bit of play I'm getting now is suitable by me.

You still cool with artists on the East Coast?

Freddie Foxxx, Coco Brovaz, Cormega, know certain people don't care about that (East-West Coast) shit, they chill with me. They got love for me. I be in the hood. The problem is them (playa style rappers) don't be at home. They be somewhere in Manhattan, living it up. I'll be in their hood soaking up all the love. Downtown in Brooklyn handing out PAC posters for the first time and niggas is taking 'em on some real "Against All Odds" shit. I ain't trying to be naming my man in every phrase or nothin' but that's how it gotta be.

What inspires you to to write lyrics?

I be in the slumps still. I be on the block and shit. Chillin' with niggas. It's like I got two jobs. I gotta be loyal to my dogs. First things first and then i gotta build off my niggas 'cause that's real reality.

Do you feel like rappers got away from that?

Hell yeah. Too many niggas are on some growing money shit. So all the Rollies and the nice clothes, that shit is dope but, come on, don't take it to that extreme. Niggas ain't making that much money.

Are The Outlawz still together?

No doubt. PAC's mind was too strong to let niggas break up. He bonded niggas. I wasn't no little muthafucka, I was on the front line. I just recognize mad, mad, mad rappers is faggots. I'll tell a muthafucka that in the studio. But that nigga PAC? He keeps away from the streets because your friends will kill you. That's probably my only weakness, 'cause I love my niggas.