Hussein Fatal biography
The story surrounding Hussein Fatal's rise to fame is something straight out of classic American gangster flicks; a rags to riches story almost reminiscent of Brian DePalma's Scarface. Substitute a Cuban Tony Montana with an African American Bruce Washington, and cocaine with hip-hop, and both stories share similar patterns. A high-speed lifestyle, an "I don¹t give a fuck" attitude, greed, murder and an untimely fall. This is the story of a street hustler turned rapper, turned hustler, turned rapper again.
Born Bruce Washington in 1977, Fatal was raised in Montclair, New Jersey, living with his mother, brother and four sisters. As a young rapper he looked up to legendary KRS-One and MC Shan, honing his skills and donning the name Fatal. Entering local underground rap battles, he developed a reputation around Jersey as a hot up and coming rapper and battler. At the same time, he was earning another reputation on the streets, dealing cocaine for a living between 1987 and 1989. Fatal was arrested a total of twenty four times as a minor, charged with various crimes including assault, robbery, drug trafficking, possession of narcotics, illegal firearms and trespassing. As an adult, he has been arrested at least twenty-five more times.
In the early 90s, with the help of then unknown hip-hop group, The Fugees, Fatal recorded a demo in Wyclef Jean¹s basement with his group, The Plague. Unfortunately no major label showed interest, and Fatal left the group. In 1995, he ran into Yafeu ³Yaki Kadafi² Fula, an old high school friend who was also rapping at the time, helping his godbrother, Tupac Shakur, search for talent for a group they were forming. At the time, 'Pac was incarcerated at New York¹s Rikers Island Penitentiary; Kadafi asked Fatal if he was interested in joining the group, and the two made their way to visit 2Pac in jail. Before Fatal had a chance to introduce himself, 2Pac asked him to freestyle. He then immediately promised to take him under his wing once he was released from prison.
When 2Pac was released on October 12th 1995, on a US$1.4 million bail paid by Death Row Records, Interscope Records and Time Warner, he agreed to sign a three album record deal with Death Row, at the time the most successful record label in the hip-hop industry. Fatal and Kadafi turned down a recording contract with Interscope, and immediately flew to Los Angeles to be with ŒPac. They immediately started working on Tupac's Death Row debut, All Eyez On Me. 2Pac formed his new group around Fatal and Kadafi, bringing in his old group, Thug Life, and other family and friends. He gave Fatal the alias Hussein, but it was Fatal who thought of the group¹s name, the Outlawz.
All Eyez On Me, which took only two weeks to complete, was released on February 13th 1996, as the first ever hip-hop double album, and is currently certified nine times platinum worldwide. For Hussein Fatal, the next seven months were filled with fame most people only dream of. He reached star status when ŒPac¹s ³How Do U Want It² single was released with "Hit Em Up" as the B -side; the vicious diss track had everyone talking about 2Pac and the Outlawz. Everything came crashing down on September 7th 1996, when 2Pac was fatally wounded in a drive by shooting. He died a week later on September 13th, at 25. Fatal had gone back to Jersey the day before to attend court. After 2Pac¹s murder, Yaki Kadafi also went back to Jersey with Fatal; both of them believing Los Angeles held nothing for them without 'Pac.
Only a couple of months later, on November 10th, Kadafi was murdered at the age of 19. Having lost two of his best friends within two months, Fatal decided the rap game was more dangerous than the drug game. He went back to the streets and began selling drugs again, a decision that would later have a great impact on his career and life. After months of chaos, he decided to sign with Relativity Records. He released his solo debut, In The Line Of Fire, in March 1997. Unfortunately, the label went bankrupt and the album got little to no promotion, resulting in poor sales.
Fatal then signed with Houston-based Rap-A-Lot Records - home to such legends as the Geto Boys and Scarface. He started working on his second solo album, Death Before Dishonor. He recorded over forty songs, including tracks featuring Fat Joe, Gang Starr, Gotti, Ja Rule, Lil' Mo, New Child, Outlawz, Rowdy Rahz and Scarface. Unfortunately, Fatal was arrested in December 1999 due to an assault charge from three years earlier. In 2001, he was released to a halfway house in Jersey, and paroled in early 2002. On November 19th 2002, Rap-A-Lot Records released his second solo album, re-titled Fatal.
In 2003, Fatal teamed up with Ja Rule, whom he had known for some time; Fatal was supposed to be part of the original Murderers with Rule, Jay Z, DMX and Mic Geronimo before that project fell through. Last November, Rule's fifth album, Blood In My Eye, was released. Fatal made guest appearances on four songs: "The Life," "Blood In My Eye," "It's Murda (Freestyle)" and "The Wrap (Freestyle)." He also appeared on Ashanti¹s "Rain On Me (Remix)."
Fatal¹s career is one of the unlucky ones in the hip-hop game. Now taking matters into his own hands, he has recently launched his own independent label, Thugtertainment and released two mixtapes, "Fatalveli Volume 1" and "Fatalveli Volume 2".
"I just gotta watch how I do shit right now, because everybody¹s been waiting for shit and there¹s been little bits and pieces that¹s come out," Fatal says. "I just gotta watch how I do my shit and make sure everything's promoted right."
While many rappers nowadays are satisfied with the independent grind, Fatal has his sights set on bigger things. He is currently in negotiations with various major record labels for a new solo deal, and a new album is expected sometime next year. Only time will tell whether or not this ghetto drama has a happy ending. With a new label, new street buzz and a new album coming soon, Hussein Fatal may finally be on his way.
Rest in Paradise our brother Hussein Fatal. He passed away in a car accident on July 10, 2015.