The woman behind Fabolous

I recently read an article on about rapper Fabolous girlfriend of 8 years. It was an interesting read and I thought I would share it with you. His girlfriend Emily was interviewed by Swizz Beats ex-wife that put Alicia Keys on blast for being a “home wrecker” and the mother of his son singer Mashonda.

Here is the interview in her new weekly column called Pandora’s Box on

In 2002, Emily Bustamente met rapper John “Fabolous” Jackson. Her life would never be the same. Like most hip-hop relationships, it has been bittersweet; Emily has stood by her man when he was shot, arrested, and surrounded by countless groupies on tour. She is Fab’s lady, friend, stylist, and the mother of his child. I had a chance to catch up with Emily for some real talk, after a recent tapings for her upcoming reality show on VH1.

Stunning, even without any make up on, and casually dressed, the 29 year old, Puerto Rican/Dominican welcomed me in her home. She showed me all of the renovations that her and Fabolous were making to their beautiful, 4-story townhouse. Johan, the couple’s two-year-old son was joyfully running in front of us. Finally, we choose a spot in her bedroom where we could get relaxed. After 20 minutes of non-stop laughter, toddler tips, and summer adventure stories, there was an awkward silence between Emily and myself. I didn’t hear a sound, but Emily insisted that Fabolous was home.

“Yo” Em says.

“Yo” the person replies.

In my mind I’m thinking, “Theres no way she felt him in the house before I could even hear him.” Emily looked at the amazement that came over my face.

“Yeah, I can always feel his presence,” she says.

Johan immediately screamed “Papa” and ran down to meet him. As we lay on their California King size bed, I instantly thought, ”Maybe I should get off?”, but Emily insisted I stay. He greeted Johan, “Heyyyy”. And as his footsteps got closer to the master bedroom, Emily stayed relaxed but glowing. As he got closer, I can tell he was trying to figure out who was in his room.

Mashonda:  How did you meet Fabolous?

Emily: I met him in 2002 at an event. He sent his brother over to me to get my attention. I told his brother, “If he wants to talk to me, tell him to come here”. He was there promoting his album. When he finally walked over to me, I asked him why did he send his brother. Why couldn’t he talk to me himself? His response was: “I’m shy”. Those words, and his soft-spoken tone, won me over instantly.

Thats sweet. What happened next?

He asked where I was from, and said that I should visit him next time I’m in New York. I gave him my number and watched him store it in his sidekick as “Emily VA”. I felt like, Wow, hes only going to know me for my state. I never asked for his number, I felt if it was meant to be, he would call me. We stayed in touch on the phone and when he finally came back to VA to do a show, he called and invited me. We spoke everyday from then on and saw each other often.

How did you finally get to New York?

After seeing each other off and on for 3 years, and spending our summers together, he finally asked me to move to NY to be with him. We built a friendship and we used it to develop our future. It took some time before we got physical; we talked a lot and had a lot of the same passions. I remember the first time he told me he loved me. I couldn’t believe that he said the words. It was a lot for him as well. I knew he was serious when he asked me to move in with him. He said “I have an extra room for your daughter, and bring your Yorkie too.”

I look up and catch Fabolous peeping through the side of the chestnut wood and frosted glass door. “Stop peeping” I said. He smiled and came in the room to greet us. The energy that filled the beautifully decorated room was phenomenal. There you had it—John the man, being fabulous with out being Fabulous. I was completely taken and impressed by his non-celebrity. He sat on the floor and played with Johan as Emily and myself went through some photos on her laptop. Nonchalantly, Emily said, “Your food is in the microwave.” His reply was simple, soft-spoken but so sincere “Thank you.”

Experts say women develop their taste in men at a young age. Did you know you wanted to date someone musically inclined? What kind of values do you look for in a man?

I was always into hip-hop and music, but never cared about dating an entertainer. I look for family values, the way they treat their mother, is a good sign of the way they will treat me.

Do you recommend dating a rapper?

I don’t recommend women to go seeking after a rapper. Make sure you like the person underneath the title. Rappers need love too, they are just men at the end of the day. When they are 60 they wont be rappers anymore. It bothers me when people say “Oh you date a rapper.” No, I date a very intelligent man that has a career and a future. I recommend any woman to find love. It doesn’t matter what form. Just make sure he’s single and responsible.

I know you struggle with Fabolous “the rapper.” Why do you think entertainers let their jobs come between their morals?

These guys struggle with image. Its about bottle popping, women and money. Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit into the Fabolous life, but, I’m a major part of his world. I dress him, but I’m not a part of his brand. I can tell the difference. Having a family is not a topic a rapper can rap about. I respect it, but I fall back, play my position as his life partner. I have no choice because he had that career before he met me. I love his music, I support him, but when he walks through the house door, I prefer to be greeted by John, not Fab. I know the man, not the rapper. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good rapper, but he’s a great man.

What makes women stand by their men through all the pain? Why do we torture ourselves?

Love is so powerful. We put faith in our men. When in a relationship, we have hope that things will be better tomorrow. We base our lives on this hope. I never wanted to change my man. I want him to change for himself. I would never force him to marry me; I want him to want to marry me. I don’t recommend marriage in the twenties. This is what works for me; my relationship is designed for me. Some days are harder than others, but I know what counts and I know the grass may not be greener on the other side.

Whats big in Emily Bs world?

I’m working on a reality show with VH1. It’s so outside of my character to do this and people are shocked that I’m doing it. I can’t give to much info, but I’ll just say it’s along side a few other women whose lives are similar to mine. I’m also styling a few artists and getting ready to launch an online consignment store. My biggest job is being a mother. I get the most fulfillment from that.

After the interview, I decided to return the peep through the small crack in the door. Johan was sitting on his daddy’s lap, and Fab was reading to him aloud. What a classic moment. I looked over at Emily, she smiled. I then understood more than ever why she believes in her man. Even through all the pain, the sleepless studio nights and the millions of groupies, she continues to fight for her family. It was clear. You just never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Mashonda’s Last Words…

The element of love is somewhat the same as the element of freedom—both are worth fighting for. I look at Emily, a mother of two fantastic children, and see a strong woman with an amazing story. However, there is a struggle that exists. When in love with a person that practically lives in a false world, there might always be a battle. It is genuinely easy to give love to others, but sadly, sometimes it’s easier to forget how to love oneself. Know your limits, know what you will and won’t accept. I’ve watched Emily come into her own and grow from her experiences. My belief is this: If no one is being hurt by your decisions and you believe it is worth the fight, then fight for what your heart desires, but always know when to graciously wave the white flag.

Always, Mashonda


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