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Fab 5 Freddy  

American visual artist, filmmaker, rapper

Born Fred Brathwaite to Jazz loving parents in the Bed Stuy section of Brooklyn, Fab's introduction to pop culture came courtesy of a name check on the group Blondie's1980's hit Rapture. "FAB 5 FREDDY told me everybody's fly". That line was Fab's calling. He initially exploded on the scene in the early eighties as one of the first Graffiti artists to exhibit internationally along with close friends and contemporaries, Futura 2000, Keith Haring and Jean Michele Basquiat. Fab quickly used those opportunities and connections to explore all facets of creative expression. Linking up with budding filmmaker Charlie Ahearn, Fab came up with the idea that eventually became the cult classic and first film on hip-hop culture, Wild Style, which he also produced, starred in, and composed all the original music for.

Moving away from painting in the late eighties, Fab wanted to reach a broader audience so he decided to expand on his experiences from Wild Style and direct music videos. His first assignment was the song "My Philosophy" for hip-hop legend KRS-ONE. Fab would go on to direct over 75 music videos and commercials for artists like Queen Latifah, Nas, Snoop Doggy Dog and companies such as Pepsi. He also was a producer of the hit Hollywood film, New Jack City. Yet shortly after settling in behind the camera, MTV asked him to host a show called YO! MTV Raps, which immediately became the highest rated show on the network and blasted hip- hop culture into the living rooms of mainstream America and those of numerous countries around the world including most of Europe, Africa, Brazil, and Japan. Nearly ten years later Fab departed MTV to embark on business ventures including a brief stint as the head of independent label Pallas records where he signed and executive produced the Chicago rap group, Crucial Conflict.

Fab, now considered one of hip-hop's architects and pioneers, has lectured at schools and universities around the world, published numerous articles for various publications including The New York Times Magazine and written a book on hip-hop slang entitled Fresh Fly Flavor, words and phrases of the hip hop generation.


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