Fabolous

Fabolous scored a bit hit, "Can't Deny It," right out of the gate in 2001, instantly establishing himself as a rising East Coast rap star, the song's combination of street-savvy toughness and pop crossover appeal representative of the rapper himself. Streetwise and hardened yet young and graced with poster-boy good looks, the Brooklyn rapper (born John Jackson on November 18, 1977) 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-rap into his music. He was 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 well among multiple markets without losing street credential. His youth was key, but so was his bravado, and when Fabolous could balance this persona optimally and find himself a production formula to fit, commercial success resulted.