BY: SONNY PINKNEY
When we arrived at his store for our scheduled interview, it was business as usual for three-time platinum recording artist and the founder of Dope Era clothing, Mistah F.A.B. located in downtown Oakland —with customers purchasing items, taking pictures and wanting to converse with the entrepreneur and community activist. Folks wanted to show their gratitude to a man, that’s committed to his Oakland community. Because F.A.B. bleeds, breathes, and sweats “The Town.”
A conversation years ago with his brothers and a good friend changed his life forever. That discussion became the impetus to create, Dope Era clothing.
“We were just sitting down and joking around and thinking about some things, [I] cracked a joke about what would be cool on a shirt.” Cox recalled. “We did a few test shirts. My brother does ninety-eight percent of the designs.” FAB acknowledged.
Born Stanley Cox, F.A.B. told feedbackthemagazine.com that Dope Era is more than just creating different styles, the brand is all about giving back to the community.
“We’re not just clothes. It’s not about fashion with us. Dope Era isn’t limited to just clothes.” Cox said.
He added: “If I stop making clothes today, that’s not going to change my daily movement in what I’m doing in these streets, the philanthropy work and the community activism.”
With the assistance of writer, filmmaker, and activist, Dream Hampton who edited Cox’s debut book titled ‘DOPE ERA THE BOOK’ and Derrick Grace pinning the foreword. Cox explained the foundation of his book.
“It’s a book about principles of purpose that all the book is about. You can flip it up to any page and find something that applies to you.” Cox explained.
The 38-year-old has come to terms with the deaths of his parents, his mother who he said, was his ‘best friend’—while Cox’s father died when he was a kid. During the interview, the rapper, entrepreneur and record producer disclosed that his late mother was addicted to drugs.
“I never respected the dude on the corner who was selling crack, because I felt like you were probably the one of the dudes that sold my mom drugs that was something I never wanted to do.” Cox said.
F.A.B.’s establishment is walking distance of his cousin’s business, former NFL superstar and Super Bowl champion, Marshawn Lynch. The former [Seattle] Seahawks and [Oakland] Raiders running back has a clothing store called ‘Beast Mode’ also located in downtown Oakland, which sells items such as: hats, t-shirts, and hoodies for men, women and kids.
Mistah F.A.B. gave his view on why successful black men across the country with thriving businesses and giving back to their communities are rarely been highlighted by the traditional media.
“They never want to highlight a black man.” Cox feels. “Why should we expect white media to put us in a great light? That’s why we must take the initiative and do our own media. We must highlight our own heroes. We have to pick our own people.”
You can watch the full interview here: