Fabolous Wanted To Show Grittier Side Of City In ‘So NY’ Video

By Maurice Bobb with reporting by Nadeska Alexis

When it came to giving New York City–the city he loves and reps to the fullest–the visual treatment in the video for “So NY,” Fabolous was very particular about what he wanted to convey.

“I didn’t want monuments of New York,” Fab told RapFix. “I didn’t want all the places that people, you know, tourists go. I wanted to show the grit, the everyday worker, what they see in New York: the taxis, the traffic, the steam coming from the potholes, the bridge. I wanted to show that and that’s what I wanted to more come across.”

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The guitar riff-heavy, Just Blaze-produced ode to NYC works well with the gritty visuals helmed by the video’s director, TAJ. In the clip, the Brooklyn-bred spitter eschews the glamorous and glitzy side of New York in favor of bridges, subways, street traffic and the viewpoint of the city’s everyman. “[I'm] not glamorizing the city cause everybody’s done that in different visuals all throughout time,” Fab said. “But I wanted to show the hustle and bustle of the city. The guy who can’t get a cab, standing outside and pissed off, you know, the packed trains.”

As great as the end product is, the S.O.U.L Tape 2 MC also gave props to a fan-directed version that incorporated the city’s fighting spirit.

“It was actually a dope video that a fan did where he mixed in the Hurricane Sandy stuff,” Fab explained. “It was from news coverage of it and stuff, so it actually couldn’t be the real version but I wish it could. You have to have rights to use news footage. Overall it was a dope piece, like he mixed it in with the visuals that we had and he made a great video. And it was so great that it showed New York City in a spot, a time tragedy, but New York is such a strong place, it always overcomes and it always stands up in the face of adversity. That’s what the video looked like it was showing to me. We went through Hurricane Sandy, but we will, we are gonna bounce back.”

NYC is the city, but Brooklyn will always be the borough for Fab, who loves how the Barclays Center has changed things in BK for the better. “Brooklyn is a place I can always remember being and frequenting,” he said. “Of course they have the Barclays Center now. I go to the games there. It feels at home for me. At the Barclays, they have people working there who live in the community. You see the workers and there are real Brooklyn people working there, so it’s a real good thing.”