Oakland-born Mistah F.A.B. spoke out Wednesday against the rising violence in his city.
He has a Dope Era clothing store on Broadway in Downtown Oakland but said his celebrity status as a Bay Area rapper didn’t get him there.
That’s because he started his business by selling T-shirts out of the truck of his car.
“We had no history in clothing line,” said the rapper. “I knew nothing about running a business in a retail space.”
Now, the space is more than a place to sell clothes. It’s a place where people gather.
“When we pull up in Lamborghini cars and Maserati, I don’t praise those things but it’s the leverage of their attention,” said Mistah F.A.B..
The attention needed in some cases to save lives.
“To these young guys on the street, indulging in the negativity is far more interesting than going to school or opening a business,” he said. “A lot of kids are viewing life like it’s a video game. I want to be the first to tell them there’s no reset button on this game called life.”
Sunday’s massacre in Sacramento, followed by the deadly shooting near the Alice Chalmers Playground in San Francisco on Monday let Mistah F.A.B. know setting an example is vital to his community and he hears it everyday.
“You never been to jail, you never been shot, you never shot nobody really. Now that their attention is there, we can show ‘em,” said the rapper.
He’s showing people who want to start a business by conducting several master classes on how to be successful with a third coming up on April 24.
“My goal if you can change one mind one person one person come up say, ‘because of you I look at life different,’” said Mistah F.A.B. “As a God-fearing man I am adhering to what god put upon us to do. To go out and be the change.”