[Exclusive Interview] Professional Photographer Xavier Thomas (ArtLikeUs) Takes His Shot

What happens when passion meets motivation? Ask Uniontown, Pennsylvania native Xavier Thomas. It wasn’t too long ago that Thomas was finding his way while honing his craft. Now he’s turning his craft into cheese.

A few years ago Thomas launched his own photography brand called ArtLikeUs. The prolific photographer quickly made a name for himself in the Pittsburgh region, shooting Hip Hop heavyweights such as Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Young Jeezy and more.

Cardi B

With building a foundation for his brand, it was now time for Thomas to build. And it wasn’t long before he began to do just that. ArtLikeUs received a major boost after a photo taken by Thomas, of rap veteran Fabolous, was shared by the emcee and mainstream outlets like XXL and The Source.

“I was with Heemi and he had a show in New Castle. He was opening for Fabolous and Red Cafe and we went out there and he did his performance. When Fab came out…at that point he was still the legendary Fab. Like I couldn’t believe I was looking at that nigga. I was in the crowd in low-key awe. At that time that was the biggest celebrity I had ran into.”

Thomas took the opportunity and was able to secure a – pun intended – fabulous shot of the Brooklyn emcee. “I swear it seemed like he walked up to the front of the stage and was looking at me, and I took a picture. It felt like he was almost posing.”

Fabolous

That night’s photo (shown above) went viral and a new relationship was soon created.

Thomas continued to work with Fabolous and has taken photos of him all across the country. “Fab is real laid back,” Thomas said. “He’s real chill and funny. He’s just a real nigga, but famous as fuck.”

Most recently Thomas worked with Fab in Philadelphia at the Live Nation produced Made In America festival. Thomas said his experience working the music event was highlighted with an unexpected encounter.

Thomas recalled his time during the event at the D’usse Lounge. “It was heavy…and then they said no more pictures and started locking the shit down. I’m at Made In America, I knew what that meant,” Thomas said. “But I didn’t want to stop shooting pictures because if I didn’t shoot it, it didn’t happen.”

“So then I see headlights, and I’m like someone is really violating, that’s wild,” he said. “And then (Jay Z) steps out. And then Beyoncé and Blue get out. So I’m mind-blown right now. And then these niggas come up the steps, and in my head I’m going crazy. But in that situation I couldn’t let it show.”

Jay Z & Fabolous – Made In America festival

While definitely a milestone for the young photographer, Thomas said his most memorable moments range from his time at DJ Khaled ‘s house to spending time with Fabolous to having full access at a Wiz Khalifa concert in Pittsburgh.

“That was like the ‘I made it moment,’” Thomas said about working the Wiz show. “I’m shooting the reason I started shooting. Like the reason I picked up a camera is right in front of me on this stage, in front of thousands of people. And my duty right now is to take pictures…man that shit meant so much.”

Similar to his relationship with Fabolous, his time with Wiz has also taken him around the country to places like Atlantic Records in New York, Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, and even to Wiz’s mother’s house.

Wiz Khalifa

So what’s next for the photographer? The sky is the limit. Right now you can catch him on the road less traveled, striving to reach the next limit, while taking photos of your favorite emcee’s favorite emcees.

Check out more of his featured photos here on our website, and also at artlike.us.com. And stay tuned…because it’s only a matter of time for this aspiring photographer.

Follow us on Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Mixtape of the Week!] Fabolous & Jadakiss: Friday on Elm Street (Stream Official Album Here)

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

#MixtapeMotivation

[Mixtape of the Week!] Fabolous: Summertime Shootout 2 The Level Up

summertimeshootout2

 

#MixtapeMotivation

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Hot New Music!] Uncle Murda ft. Fabolous, Future, and Jadakiss – “Right Now” Remix

right-now-remix

Just when we thought the Golden State Warriors were the greatest team assembled, Uncle Murda puts together his own triangle offense for the official remix to his “Right Now” track. The remix features Hip Hop heavyweights Future, Fabolous, and Jadakiss.

The rap pack delivers as expected over the Metro Boomin production. Each emcee provides dope bars that will leave you in withdrawal.

The “Right Now” remix is filled with punchlines and plugs, so just be prepared before you hit play below. There’s a real good chance that you will be coming back for more.

Press play.

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Hot New Video!] Fabolous feat. Chris Brown – “She Wildin”

image-500x357

Brooklyn bred emcee Fabolous dropped The Young OG Project last year on Christmas, his first studio album since 2009. This year for the holidays he drops the visual to one of the album’s hottest tracks, “She Wildin.” This remake of Nas’ “Oochie Wally,” featuring Chris Brown, is a passion themed track with a House Party themed visual.

This House Party vibe is just in time for the New Year celebration. The Gerard Victor-directed video has a dope 90’s throwback feel to it and is sure to get you on your feet.

Watch the new video below and be on the lookout for The Young OG Project 2, dropping in February.

 

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Hot New Video!] Fabolous – “The Plug”

fabolous-summertime-shootout

Fresh off his Summertime Shootout mixtape, which dropped yesterday, Fabolous releases the visual to one of the project’s standout tracks, “The Plug.” Check it out and listen to the full mixtape below. Let us know what you think by connecting with us via Facebook and/or Twitter.

 

 

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Hip Hop News Now] Jay Z Announces “Tidal X: 10/20” Event Featuring Beyonce, Prince, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, & More

jayspan

Have you jumped on the Tidal wave yet? Well, if you have, you are one of the now one million Tidal subscribers. To celebrate the recent milestone by Tidal, Jay Z has just announced a mega-event. On October 20th, Jay Z will hit the stage at the Barclays Center. I know, I know, this is nothing new for Hov…but what makes this event special is the list of musical artists who will join him on stage.

Some of the biggest names in music will be performing on this day along with Jay Z. Beyonce, Prince, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Usher, and more will be joining Jay Z next month for the epic event. Tickets will be available to the general public on Friday, October 2nd. Tidal subscribers can snatch up their tickets now by clicking here.

Check out the entire lineup below and be prepared for this show to sellout out in record fashion.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 7.35.19 PM

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Hot New Music!] Fabolous – “Friday Night Freestyles”

fridaynightfreestyles_clue

It’s Friday and we have the perfect mixtape to get your weekend started. Brooklyn’s punchline king, Fabolous, has put together an official mixtape that features all of his most recent blazing Friday Night Freestyles. There’s really nothing much for us to say here other than press that play button and let’s get it poppin. #TGIF

  

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp

[Hot New Music!] Fabolous – “Quiet Storm 2015” (Mobb Deep Remix)

fab

It’s the weekend, so that means there had to be a FREESTYLE FRIDAY somewhere.  DJ Clue never lets us down and this past Friday he nabbed Brooklyn emcee Fabolous to turn out an oldie but goodie.  The New York rapper grabs the instrumental to Mobb Deep’s epic 1999 hit record “Quiet Storm” and puts his own spin on it.

Listen to the new Fab freestyle below.  Just click play and let us know what you think.

  

Download it here! https://soundcloud.com/myfabolouslife/quiet-storm-freestyle

fab2

Follow Us On Twitter @Roundtable_Emp