Open Space: Fat Joe
Recognize a real don when you see one
“All I really knew was four corners—you know, my projects,” says Bronx legend Fat Joe to kick off one of the more epic Open Space interviews in recent memory. You may have already heard his thoughts on Prodigy’s passing, but there is much much more to our conversation with Joe Crack.
“The Bronx invented this culture,” says the BX legend. “Let me put it in perspective… Hip hop is global right now. You drop this interview, somebody’s watching it in Tokyo. The Taliban is watching it. That’s real shit. You know how big this country is? And to be born in the little place that created it? And then created it out of nothing,” he continues. “You seen the Rubble Kings out there? This shit was looking decimate. It looked like we got blown up. Right? We had no parks. We would flip on pissy mattresses. We had nothing. It looked like a burial zone. And to come up and make a natural resource that you and me, twenty-something years later, we could feed our families out of this art form? So I take huge pride in knowing I come from there, and I never lie to myself because I know where it came from and I know who the pioneers are and what they did for us to be in this place. So I always gotta salute these guys.”
Joe’s gift for storytelling is second to none. His tales of Terror Squad’s origins as a graffiti crew—that would eventually evolve into TATS Cru—and his run-ins with the law deserve to made into a movie. The same goes for his memories of growing up in the birthplace of hip hop, his excitement at getting the chance to perform with KRS-One, how Khaled inspired him to get Eminem on the “Lean Back” remix, his memories of Pun kidnapping DJ Whoo Kid and of Tupac battling bootleggers in Harlem. Not to mention his perspective on Remy Ma’s lyrical skills, her time behind bars, and the roots of her beef with Nicki. Only Fat Joe can tell tales like these. Hit play up top for an experience you will not soon forget.