Now Fabolous is opening up about the incident. While he says it didn't take him even two weeks to get back on his feet after being shot, he hasn't shrugged the attack off. He says he took it very seriously.
The MC admitted that getting shot caused him to re-evaluate his inner circle as well as his priorities.
"I just fell back, took it easy," he said. "Maybe I was doing a little too much. Let some things take their course. I had never been shot before. I had to chill for a minute and got focused on the music and other things rather than being out and running around.
"It was a good thing that it happened towards the end of the year," he added of the shooting. "It happened in October, and I had two months to really think about what was going on. I didn't have my structure around me right. Once that thing happened, I had to get a structure within my life and make sure I get this sh– moving right. I had a lot of things that wasn't moving right. Everything was moving on spur of the moment. Anybody who's in a leadership position or a boss position, you need to have some structure. You need to have certain people who … make the whole clock keep running smoothly. I look back at the shooting like if sh– would have been structured right, maybe none of it would have been happening."
Not only did Fab come under fire from the New York Police Department in the wake of the shooting, some fans and critics started questioning whether the whole situation was just a publicity stunt. Shortly after the incident, his new label, Def Jam, announced that he was dropping his album, From Nothing to Something, while the shooting and arrest were fresh on everyone's mind (see "Fabolous Album Moved Up To December After Arrest, Shooting"). The LP was delayed thereafter.
"I think Def Jam was doing that because they really wanted to get me out," he explained about the previous December 26 release date for the LP. "I don't know if they looked at [the shooting incident] as something to capitalize on, but they definitely wanted to get me out in December. We had talks about that months before, but I guess they wanted to use [the shooting] as a opportunity to get me out because my name had lit up. It put a little bright light to my name, so why not? But I had no knowledge of trying to capitalize on being shot as a reason to put my album out. And really, [the album] wasn't ready yet. When they [made the initial announcement], we wasn't ready. So they was just doing that on their own."
Fab's LP still isn't 100 percent done, but he's getting there. He's progressed far enough with production that a March 27 release date has been set and two songs have already hit the streets: "Return of the Hustle," which features Swizz Beatz and production by Just Blaze; and "Diamonds on My Damn Chain," a collaboration with Lil Wayne and producer Steve Morales, who's best known for his work with Celine Dion.
"I actually was staying down in Miami, we was staying at a crib [Morales] works at, it has a studio," Fab said. "Steve came through and said, 'I wanna play some joints for you.' One of the joints hit me instantly. It had a chopped-up loop from the song me and Jeezy did called 'Do the Damn Thang.' I said, 'Damn, I need somebody who can talk this bling talk and still make it a good record.' Weezy was perfect for it. We go way back."
The official first single, though, is "Make Me Better." The track — which features Ne-Yo on the hook and was produced by Timbaland — finds Fab in a very familiar mode, talking to the ladies. The strings will remind hip-hop fans of Raekwon's classic "Rainy Dayz"; as for the lyrics, Fab and Ne-Yo tell ladies they are forces to be reckoned with on their own — but with their ladies upgrading them, they're that much better.
"You want a girl that completes you and makes you better," he explained. "You don't want a girl who brings more arguments and more bills. … You want a girl who, when you're walking around with your tie crooked, she fixes your tie. …. That's the kind of [woman] I'm looking for. Whether she's a celebrity or non-celebrity don't really matter. You just need somebody you can connect with.
"It touches so many places," Fab added of the song. "It's a sexy record, plus a swagger record, an anthem record all in one. … I played it for a couple of dudes a week ago, and they was like, 'I'mma tell my shorty that: "Yo, shorty, you make me better. I'm cool, I'm fly and sh–, but us together, we make a great pair." ' Dudes can take it — it's giving them some game. I felt it could work on all levels."
On the production front, while Timbaland helped man the boards on Fab's debut, Ghetto Fabolous, the rapper and super producer actually didn't get together in the studio this time.
"I never got to actually hook up with Tim," Fab said. "But I was in Miami working for two and a half months. So I would see him out, see him around. I seen him in [Miami hot spot] the Forge a couple of times, and a couple of his records would come on and I'd be like, 'This is what I need.' He'd be laughing and say, 'All right.' He definitely knows I respect his work. [When I went to record 'Make Me Better'] Ne-Yo came in and attacked them strings. He already had a vision. When I came in, all I had to do was put the spice on the sh– and it was ready. It was smash already to me."