Fabolous scored his first Top 40 pop hit, "Can't Deny It," right out of the gate in 2001, instantly establishing himself as a rising East Coast rap star with a combination of street-savvy toughness and crossover appeal. The Brooklyn rapper was one of the first East Coast MCs to embrace the bling mentality of the South as well as the gangsta swagger of the West Coast, all the while incorporating a subtle undercurrent of pop into his music. Among the first of a new breed of New York City rappers, later and most notably to include 50 Cent, who were able to cross over without losing street cred, Fabolous put together a streak of five Top Ten albums throughout the 2000s. These include the platinum pair of Ghetto Fabolous (2001) and Street Dreams (2003), and the chart-topping Loso's Way (2009), featuring the Grammy-nominated "Money Goes, Honey Stay." A Def Jam affiliate since 2007, Fab has eased into veteran mode with a couple of proper albums amid several mixtapes. He tallied additional Top Ten projects with the Jadakiss collaboration Friday on Elm Street(2017) and Summertime Shootout 3: Coldest Summer Ever (2019). "Say Less" (2022) followed numerous featured apperances as Fabolous' first headlining single of the 2020s.
The rapper born John David Jackson got his break when he performed on DJ Clue's Hot 97 radio show. Signed to Clue's then Elektra-supported Desert Storm label, he hit number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his 2001 debut single, "Can't Deny It," a Rick Rock production featuring a 2Pac sample and a Nate Dogg vocal.