Fresno has Fashawn.
“If I’m in Lithuania, I’ve probably got a Fresno jersey on,” says Fashawn, who was featured on the cover of XXL Magazine as one of it’s Freshman class back in 2010. “I’ve got one foot in the music industry and one foot on Shield’s Avenue.”
Tonight, he’ll have both feet in Visalia. He plays the Cellar Door for a birthday bash (he just turned 25) that includes some friends — Los Angeles rapper Evidence, Fresno’a Omar Aura and others.
As much as the rapper reps Fresno, he has a place in his heart for Visalia, where he spent countless hours skateboarding at down at Redwood High school and Providence Park. “I wanted to give some love to the City,” he says.
It’s his first local show since he co-headlined the Catacomb Party in July. A thousand or more fans were there to see him perform on the Fulton Mall. It was a defining sort of moment. He finally felt like an artist in his hometown.
It wasn’t just about Fresno fans. There kids from all over the Central Valley who showed up. “It means a lot to me. It was a mission of mine since day one,” he says.
Since the release of “Boy Meet’s World” in 2009, Fashawn has become one of (if not THE) biggest talents in Fresno. He’s toured the world and done of series of collaborations (including “This Generation” with Murs). He created an annual concert — Grizzly Fest concert, which he’s planning again before the end the year.
He’s also become a father.
He’s grown up, become a man, he says. Those themes are front and center on his sophomore album, which should be released in the first part of next year. The album is mostly done, and he’s eager to have fans hear it, there are those final touches that have to be made, he says.
“I can’t just put out songs anymore.”