*Twenty years later and Fat Joe is still in the game.
The rapper made his first major debut in 1993 with the summer release of his single, “Flow Joe.”
Since then, the Bronx native has witnessed transformation in the industry as well as his own career.
In an interview with The Boom Box, the rapper celebrates his 11th LP, “The Darkside Volume 3” and also talks about his beef with 50 Cent and why Big Pun is still called the greatest Latin rapper.
BB: Your last project The Darkside Vol. 1 was a serious rap record, where you went back to the underground. How do your new LP compare to the last one sonically?
FJ: Well, this new album can’t compare to any other album because it’s a collabo album. It’s me and a bunch of artists that got together and put together some great music and it’s nothing like you’ve ever heard before from my stuff.
BB: “Another Round,” featuring Chris Brown, was a big mixshow record. Is it on this album?
BB: Chris Lighty was such an important part of your early career. How did losing him affect you?
FJ: It was sad for his family and was a bad day for hip-hop. This guy changed my life. I came from the streets and if it wasn’t for him finding me I wouldn’t have a career in hip-hop.
BB: What was the significance of you and 50 finally putting your beef to bed?
FJ: Well, the Chris Lighty thing happened, and we were all supposed to perform at the BET Awards. When we went to rehearsal, 50 came over to me and was like, “You know Chris wanted us to be cool with each other. He wanted this to be over with a while ago.” I agreed with him, and it went from there. Chris would’ve been happy ultimately with how we handled things, so I’m glad that that is over with
BB: From Big Pun to Cool & Dre to DJ Khaled, your eye for spotting great talent is amazing, if not underrated. Why do you think you’re overlooked as a tastemaker in that respect?
FJ: Critics out there always seem to overlook what I have done, yet I have been the one to discover a lot of this talent out there, on top of putting out my own stuff. “Lean Back” was number one for 19 straight weeks. “I Won’t Tell” with J. Holiday went number three; “Another Round” just went number three in America last year. “We Thuggin” went number five. These are facts, man. I just don’t get it. You got Remy Ma who is one of the best female rappers in the game. DJ Khaled has his own company and is a huge mega-producer out there. Chances are if I am the one to cosign people they will become a big part of the industry.
Check out the full interview here.