Interview: D4L's Fabo Reflects on the Phenomenon That Was America's No. 1 Hit, "Laffy Taffy" (2023)

Interview: D4L's Fabo Reflects on the Phenomenon That Was America's No. 1 Hit, "Laffy Taffy" (1)

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On Jan. 5, 2006, Atlanta-based hip-hop crew D4Ldethroned Mariah Carey for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with their smash hit, "Laffy Taffy." The track, produced by Born Immaculate (Cory Way),Broderick Thompson Smith, and K-Rab(Richard Sims) and recorded by Fabo, Mook-B, Stoney, and Shawty Lo​, was featured on their first and only album,Down for Life,released in November 2005 via Atlantic/Asylum Records.

It'd go on to break the 2007 Guinness World Record for most downloaded song in the history of music, flood the charts for weeks, and become one of the biggest hip-hop tracks of the decade. Back in 2013, we named D4L one of the 10 major influences on today's rap sound,and it's without a doubt that Fabo'slegacy shines bright. Just ask Young Thug, whose hit "Stoner" references Fabo time and time again.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Laffy Taffy" hitting the top of the charts today, we hopped on the phone with Fabo who was down in Atlanta working in the studio. He's been churning out some new music over the yearsand plans to release a brand new project in a month or so. Fabo details the making of "Laffy Taffy," what D4L is up to these days, and how he views his legacy in the rap game.

Where did the idea for "LaffyTaffy" come from?
We were doing a lot of crazy gangster music all the time. We were from a bad neighborhood. We were in the strip club one night—we were at Babes, that's where it goes down—and we brought a couple of girls back to the studio, and I was just in the booth saying something like, "Tootsie roll," at first, and was like, "Nah." I had this piece of candy in my pocket and pulled it out and said, "Girl, shake that Laffy Taffy." And from there, we just perfected it. It was just that moment.

You literally got the idea from pulling a piece of Laffy Taffy out of your pocket?
Definitely. Everybody who know me know I'm the candy man. I always have some candy in my pocket. If you run into me and are like, "Yo, give me some candy," I guarantee I have some candy for you.

Was it recorded all in one night?
I was actually alone when I first came up with the concept but when me andK-Rab[Richard Sims] linked up the next morning, he did the beat to the track the next morning. Then people started to come in and that was it.

Did you know it was going to be a hit?
Actually I hated the song. I swear to God, I hated the song. I could remember Shawty Lo calling home from jail saying, "Don't put that song out!" [Laughs.] Me and all of the kids were doing the dance and we were so stuck on that or whatever but dealing with Mike Caren over at Atlantic and Johnny Cabell​, they were like, "Let's just go for it." We were doing shows at the time, and "Laffy Taffy" was taking over the shows before it was even out. We would perform "LaffyTaffy" and it would kill the "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me."

How did you come up with the dance?
My grandaddyused to do that little dance all the time, you can do it to any beat, and he used to always be up doing that dance. And he used to say that too, "Betcha can't do it like me,youngin." Unfortunately he wasn't alive to see it happen, but I know he was smiling down on me smiling like hell. "Laffy Taffy" means shaking your behind, I just got tired of people saying booty, and I wanted to come up with another name on it.

Did you ever officially premiere it?
We went on the road and Asylum Records sent us on the road and "Laffy Taffy" took over. WhenDown for Lifewas released in November, it was our primary goal to promote "Laffy Taffy." We went all over. We were literally likeThe Five Heartbeatspromoting this song, passing the microphone back and forth to each other. We never officially released it, I think it just jumped off with the album.

What was it like seeing it blow up?
I was in heaven that whole time. I was in awe. You could've pinched me 100 times, I'm still dreaming.

Did you still hate it?
Actually being on the road performing it, it started getting real fun. I grew to love it.

Tell me about the day of the video shoot.
The video was crazy though, right? My car broke down on the way to the video shoot. I'm out there—if you see my outfit that I had on in the video, I literally stopped at the mall right before the video shoot and had to buy all new clothes because I was drenched in sweat. I had to wait on someone to come get me, the video shoot was 45 minutes away, and everybody was screaming at me when I pulled up. Somebody started spraying me with a watergun. [Laughs.] I was sweating bad. I don't think I stopped sweating the whole video shoot. I think somebody had a blow dryer like, "Come on, come blowdry Fabo." The video shoot was really fun, it was a party. The girls were very nice. [Laughs.] That was one of the first places I did that leg thing—I just said it in the song and I was like, "Wow I can wipe this out." That was one of the first places I did it.

Can you still do the leg move to this day?
Oh definitely, I can hit flips, all that.

Interview: D4L's Fabo Reflects on the Phenomenon That Was America's No. 1 Hit, "Laffy Taffy" (2)

What was it like seeing it climb the charts?
I just remember going to all the different radio stations, and they had us No. 1 everywhere. I thought it was just a joke, I was like, "They're just joking the kids from the South." It wasn't until I got to New York—the Mecca—and we were No. 1 there and I was like, 'This ain't no joke." When we got to New York and L.A. and saw the love we were getting, all the DJs were treating us with mad respect, I knew something was going on then.

Did you celebrate it going No. 1?
Believe it or not, we're such hood cats, I don't think it resonated where we were until we made the Guinness Book of World Records [for most downloaded song in the history of music in 2007], It was ridiculous at the time.

Where's the craziest place you've ever performed "Laffy Taffy?"
Mexico. Craziest place. We got robbed, man. We was in this condo on this dirty beach—rocks everywhere, it was beautiful, but it was dirty. You couldn't play in that water. Someone tipped someone off that we were there before the show, and we were coming out the gate and people were yelling, "Hide your jewelry!" I think Shawty Lo in some kind of way got to Texas and got home and dipped. It was crazy. We went on and performed and rocked the house. There was 10,000 people, but we got robbed. They took everything they found.

At the time, did you feel like people weren't taking you seriously?
We just come from where people have nothing. So, all the talk and hoopla, if you grew up and your mama was on drugs, daddy on drugs, your rent is $65, the world really ain't there until you step out into it. When we stepped out a little ignorant, naive at the same time, I don't think it really bothered us. We just really didn't care what people said. At times, it'd get to you that people don't get your struggle. But trying to explain it to someone ignorant is just gonna make you as ignorant as they are.

What's the first big thing you bought with that "LaffyTaffy" money?
A big house, 10,000 square feet, indoor swimming pool, long driveway. I moved up to North Georgia in the house, but I stayed in a condo in the city.I never really slept [at the house]. I swear there were ghosts in there. [Laughs.] I swear, the doors would just shut every now and then.

I believe you.
Hey, I don't know, I swear nobody is closing doors for another door to close.

I thought my childhood house was haunted because doors would just slam.
What?! It's scary just trying to tell people, "I see ghosts in my house," when I already say, "I see spaceships." [Laughs.] It's crazy, man.

When you look back on your legacy now, do you think you still get the proper credit?
Your everlasting life is your name. I listen to the radio nowadays and all I hear is "I'm geeked up" or "I'm Fabo," and I think the good Lord blessed me and I did my job, so to speak. I'm just trying to add on to my legacy and keep it going. I've been around the world myself, and this is coming from a guy who dropped out of school and didn't care about the world or whatever, I learned to live in it and love it.

That's what happened with Young Thug's "Stoner." Didn't you guys have a collab in the works?
Yeah! I was so busy, I went overseas, and went back on tour. When I came back over here, bought a house, but this cat, he's in the wind now, and it's hard to catch up with him. He's always showed me love, but we just haven't had a chance to sit down and get it done. Everybody shows me the same matter of respect so I love that. We need that collab. [Laughs.]

Is everyone in D4L still close?
Yeah! We're brothers. We never broke up, the group just disbanded. But as friends, we all still go to the same BBQs, we play Spades everyday. We're just real dudes. When it get too thick in the kitchen, you gotta learn that it's a whole house, it's not all about the kitchen.

How's Shawty Lo?
He's probably home, just waking up right now. I talked to him the day before yesterday, he's good. I talked to him when I was in Detroit for the Geeked Up challenge.

I saw that on Twitter.
It's crazy. I went and judged the contest up there, just to get a feel for it and visit some dispensaries.

How were the dispensaries?
Great. They were great.

What else are you up to these days?
Me and Lo record all the time, he's like a big brother to me. Me and Lo gotta lot of songs, me and Mook-B got a song here or there. I've got my own company and have some artists I'm working with. I'm an international entrepreneur. Too busy nowadays—it's just Fabo, Fabo, Fabo sometimes. I'm trying to put an EP together, trying to get it out next month and I'm going to Japan this month on tour, trying to get a few of these singles to pop off.

When you're on tour by yourself, do you still perform "Laffy Taffy?"
Yeah, I perform "Laffy Taffy," I perform "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me." I gottagive the fans what they want.


What is the meaning of the song Laffy Taffy? ›

Laffy Taffy is a kind of chewy candy. The song is a series of candy references that are stretched into metaphors for sex and a woman's body. D4L wasn't the first to explore the naughty side of seemingly innocent candy: 50 Cent had a hit in 2005 with the sweet and sexual "Candy Shop."

Where is D4L from? ›

The Snap Rap movement ensemble D4L (Down For Life) was formed in 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was organized by Shawty Lo, born Carlos Rico Walker on March 22, 1976, in Moultrie, Georgia.

Why do they say shake that Laffy Taffy? ›

"Laffy Taffy" means shaking your behind, I just got tired of people saying booty, and I wanted to come up with another name on it. Did you ever officially premiere it? We went on the road and Asylum Records sent us on the road and "Laffy Taffy" took over.

Who are the original members of D4L? ›

D4L (an acronym of Down For Life) was an American hip hop group formed in 2003, composed of Atlanta-based rappers Fabo, Mook-B, Stoney, and Shawty Lo.

Why is it called water taffy? ›

The sweet is said to have received its name after a boardwalk candy shop flooded with water from the Atlantic Ocean in 1883, soaking all the taffy in salty seawater. Reportedly, the shop owner joked with a customer that all he had was salt water taffy, and the name stuck.

Where did the term salt water taffy originate? ›

So where did salt water taffy get it's name? There's a legend that in 1888, a man named David Bradley had a candy shop which got flooded during a storm. As a result his soft taffy got soaked in ocean salt water. A young girl came in his shop asking for taffy and he joked about only having salt water taffy.

When did Laffy Taffy by d4l come out? ›

What is the difference between salt water taffy and Laffy Taffy? ›

Since salt water taffy gained its moniker following that offhanded comment after the flooding in Atlantic City, there is really no difference between salt water taffy and regular taffy. There was little or no salt added to the candy over 100 years ago or now.

What texture is Laffy Taffy? ›

Deliciously stretchy, Laffy Taffy is known for its authentic long-lasting fruit flavors, chewy texture, and whimsical jokes on every wrapper.

Who discovered D4L? ›

D4L Records, is an Atlanta, Georgia-based record label founded in 2003, by Carlos "Shawty Lo" Walker.

Who was D4L signed to? ›

Who is Crenshaw rapper? ›

Crenshaw is the eighth official mixtape by American rapper Nipsey Hussle.

Is Shawty Lo still alive? ›

Where is black Youngsta from? ›

Where is YEET the rapper from? ›

Yeat spent his early childhood in Fullerton, California before he and his family moved to Portland, Oregon, he attended Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon. After graduating, Yeat moved to New York City to pursue his music career before eventually moving to Los Angeles, where he currently lives.

What does pulling candy do? ›

hard candy

may be obtained by “pulling” the plastic sugar. This consists of stretching the plastic mass on rotating arms and at the same time repeatedly overlapping. With suitable ratios of sugar to corn syrup, pulling will bring about partial crystallization and a short, spongy texture will result.

Does salt water taffy go bad? ›

Does salt water taffy expire? Yes, taffy can go bad and generally expires six months after purchase. Homemade taffy expires even sooner and only lasts 3-7 days.

Is taffy an American thing? ›

Taffy is a type of candy invented in the United States, made by stretching or/and pulling a sticky mass of a soft candy base, made of boiled sugar, butter, vegetable oil, flavorings, and colorings, until it becomes aerated (tiny air bubbles produced), resulting in a light, fluffy and chewy candy.

What state is famous for taffy? ›

While saltwater taffy probably originated in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the late 19th century rather than in Delaware, and Dolle's candy company actually began in Ocean city, Maryland, the Rehoboth Beach Dolle's location was famous for its iconic sign at the Dolle's Candyland on the boardwalk.

Why is salt water taffy only sold at the beach? ›

Though it contains no saltwater, taffy—and fudge, its sister seaside treat—may benefit from being made in a beach climate. Perhaps the salty air simply gives people a hankering for something sweet; it's also possible that the candies' decelerated drying and oxidation in humid air give them a unique “coastal” flavor.

Who made the first taffy? ›

Most food historians believe salt water taffy was invented in the early 1880s. The story begins with a gentleman named John Ross Edmiston. The owner of a small boardwalk postcard shop in Atlantic City, Edmiston hired a man named David Bradley to sell taffy alongside his wares.

What flavor is red Laffy Taffy? ›

Classic Laffy Taffy Stretchy and Tangy Cherry Taffy, now with added sparkles! Perfect for Valentine's day, birthday parties or whenever you want a red Laffy Taffy bar that has a little extra something on it. Of course it has still has great cherry flavor and joke on the wrapper for you.

What happened to chocolate Laffy Taffy? ›

In January 2018, Nestlé announced plans to sell its U.S. confectionery brands, including Laffy Taffy, to Italian chocolatier Ferrero SpA, maker of Nutella, for $2.8 billion. Ferrero folded the acquired brands into the operations of the Ferrara Candy Company and will increase investment in marketing into 2020.

What Flavour is mystery Laffy Taffy? ›

Chewy, Stretchy, tasty and funny. What more could you want? It's a mystery flavour which is infused with grape, Apple, strawberry pretty much every LAFFY taffy ever.

What is an interesting fact about salt water taffy? ›

After the storm, a candy store owner named David Bradley realized his entire stock of taffy had been flooded by the ocean salt water. When a young girl came to see if the store had any taffy for sale despite the flood, Bradley jokingly responded that he had “salt water taffy.” And so, the moniker was coined.

What flavor is pink and yellow salt water taffy? ›

These yummy old fashioned, gourmet salt water taffies, come in Pink & Yellow and are Strawberry Banana flavored. They are perfect to use for a baby shower or just to get your Strawberry fix.

Does salt water taffy taste salty? ›

Salt water taffy is a tasty treat that's right at home in shops all along coastlines everywhere. If you've ever had a mouthful of seawater, though, you probably know that salt water taffy is sweet and doesn't taste anything like seawater.

What flavor is pink Laffy Taffy? ›

Old time favorite Laffy Taffy is juicy, tangy, and bursting with sweet Strawberry flavor. This pink candy isn't just good to eat, each wrapper has a joke imprinted on it. 145 pieces of Laffy Taffy Strawberry per order.

Can you swallow Laffy Taffy? ›

Or maybe you just let it dissolve in your mouth, just like our new friend and savor every last second of it while drool seeps from the corners of your mouth because of the delicious goodness that is our taffy. We recommend all of the above. There really is no wrong way to eat a piece of taffy.

Who was the first Chicano rapper? ›

The first widely recognized Chicano rap artist was former electro musician Kid Frost. His 1990 debut album Hispanic Causing Panic was driven by the hit single "La Raza", which combined Latin and Tex-Mex influences, to bring new attention to Chicano rappers on the West Coast.

Who was the first Native American rapper? ›

Gary Davis, the First Native American Rapper, Shows.

Who brought up rap? ›

The major pioneers of rapping were Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kurtis Blow, and the Cold Crush Brothers, whose Grandmaster Caz is controversially considered by some to be the true author of some of the strongest lyrics in “Rapper's Delight.” These early MCs and deejays constituted rap's old school.

How old is the rapper Fabo? ›

Who is the rapper Lil Durk signed to? ›

Durk Derrick Banks, better known by his stage name Lil Durk, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He is signed to the NYC-based record label Alamo Records, which is an imprint under Interscope Records.

What religion is Crenshaw? ›

Personal life. Crenshaw married Tara Blake in 2013. He is a Methodist and hosts Hold These Truths, a podcast he launched in February 2020.

What album did Nipsey sell for $1000? ›

Nipsey Hussle only made 100 hard copies of his album 'Mailbox Money' and decided to sell them for a $1000 each!

Is Ice Cube A Crenshaw? ›

B. O'Shea Jackson, 15 June 1969, Crenshaw, South Central Los Angeles, California, USA. Ice Cube made his name as a controversial hardcore rapper in the early 90s, building on his ...

What is the meaning of taffy candy? ›

: a boiled candy usually of sugar, molasses or corn syrup, butter, and often vinegar and vanilla that is pulled until porous and glossy. : insincere flattery.

What is a taffy girl? ›

Taffy Girl is a Candy Person who appears in "Slumber Party Panic." Finn uses her taffy as blindfolds for the Candy People, so they will fearlessly hit the "piñatas," which were actually Candy Zombies.

What happened to Laffy Taffy? ›

You may remember Laffy Taffy being sold under Nestle's Wonka brand, but it's now a product of the Ferrara Candy Company (via Snack History). Laffy Taffy has a long history, meaning many of us grew up eating it and have a soft spot — and a sweet tooth — for the stuff.

What year did the song Laffy Taffy come out? ›

What candy stage is taffy? ›

The soft crack stage is used for semi-tough candies like taffy and butterscotch, while the hard crack stage can be used to make hard candies, such as lollipops and brittle.

What is the history of taffy? ›

Most food historians believe salt water taffy was invented in the early 1880s. The story begins with a gentleman named John Ross Edmiston. The owner of a small boardwalk postcard shop in Atlantic City, Edmiston hired a man named David Bradley to sell taffy alongside his wares.

What is the difference between taffy and salt water taffy? ›

Salt water taffy is taffy, and they are made using the same techniques. Every brand will have its own special recipe, but taffy and salt water taffy are often considered to be the same candy, with one key difference—the design.

Is taffy male or female? ›

The name Taffy is both a boy's name and a girl's name of Welsh origin meaning "beloved friend".

Is taffy a girl's name? ›

Taffy is a gender-neutral name of Welsh origin. It's a shortened form of the Welsh name Dafydd, a variant of the Hebrew name David, meaning “beloved” or “friend.” A fitting name for a little one who's sure to be loved by everyone they meet!

What do Americans call taffy? ›

Taffy is considered an earlier rendition of the word toffee, but the word taffy continued to be used in America while toffee was used in Great Britain.

Are Laffy Taffy vegan? ›

Laffy Taffy is vegan when it's fun-sized.

The fun-sized versions of Laffy Taffy candies are vegan-friendly. But, be cautious with the larger version, it is not vegan because it contains eggs.

Is Starburst just taffy? ›

Starburst (originally known as Opal Fruits) is the brand name of a box-shaped, fruit-flavoured soft taffy candy manufactured by The Wrigley Company, which today is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.

Is there a green Laffy Taffy? ›

Laffy Taffy Sour Apple 145 Piece. Old time favorite Laffy Taffy is juicy, tangy, and bursting with sour apple flavor. This sour green candy isn't just good to eat, each wrapper has a joke imprinted on it.

What was the original taffy flavor? ›

Taffy, a soft chewy candy you can pull apart, has been around since the early 19th century. The flavors, originally plain molasses or sugar, evolved into an assortment of basic fruits, chocolate, vanilla and peppermint. Today, that handful of flavors have grown to more than 80+ flavors at Taffy Town alone.


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