Fat Joe Hides behind his Hits

by: Andrew B

This month marks the date that Fat Joe hits the market with his eighth solo album, The Elephant In The Room. But what does it all really mean? Joey Crack has rested his shoulders on the game for the last 15 years and is still able to be consistent. But Mr. Lean Back has never really hit the top of the Emcee lists in the urban community. Unlike many other artists who witness a week of success and bless us with their departure after one or two singles, Joe continues to stay ahead of the curve and tackle the game head on with radio favorable hits and club records that keep the urban community talking, but for some reason they aren’t witnessing the stats.

Not many artists in hip hop reach the commercial status that Fat Joe has obtained. Many people only know him for a nickname I previously mentioned – Mr. Lean Back. But if you think a bit harder Joe has been in our ears for many years before that. Fat Joe introduced us to the late Big Pun, brought us Terror Squad, linked various regions together, and still his records are placed on auto-reply on the radio. Hip hop heads listen to music, but are we really listening?

It is about time for music fans to take a look at why a heavyset man is so hidden in his hits. Fat Joe steps to the plate and discusses all this and why his big hits (and big ego) sometimes go unnoticed. Joey C also talks about major labels and how owning your own product is better than letting others control your career. So Lean Back and relax while Fat Joe Makes it Rain with insight on being successful in the industry. 

Why do you think you can relate to every region out there?

FAT JOE: What I do is I make music. I am universal. I make music for kids all over and I like to make hit records. First of all, when I drop my singles, they’re always hit records that can play everywhere. The album is fire and is nothing but hits. I gotta make that hit record that the fans know me for; I make hit records that are relevant for the time. This new single [“I Won’t Tell”] continues that.

Has the decline of music sales affected your career?

FAT JOE: Not really, I’m independent so I own my own career and it helps me take it where I want to go unlike these major labels.

You are a success within the independent world. What separates you from major labels?

FAT JOE: The radio gives me a lot of my success. People want to hear my records in the club and on the radio. I own my own independent label, so I manage my success personally. 

You have a consistent style and a mad shoe game. Talk about that.

FAT JOE: I stay fly! I always dress sharp and put a lot into my personal style. My shoe game is mad crazy. It is always growing. I stay in the streets so I always know what is hot, so that reflects in my personal style.

What difference will we hear on The Elephant in The Room compared to your last albums?

FAT JOE: Fat Joe always improves over each album. I’m taking it to another level and it’s going to be crazy. I’ve always stayed consistent in all my records but this one is going over the top. People don’t realize how I’m like an elephant – I’m right here – I’ve been making hits for years. It’s time people realize that.

Talk about the J. Holiday track.

FAT JOE: That’s a hit record. I wanted to make a classic record and I did it with that. It’s top 20 material and will stay like that. But rap is a crap-shoot, I’ve just been fortunate.

So what’s behind you naming the title, “Elephant in the Room?”

FAT JOE: The room is hip hop and I’ve been here. I haven’t gotten the credit for my success but I’m still here. I’ve never been mentioned in the top ten emcees, but I’ve been here and my career is deep. I’m the elephant in the room that nobody notices. You might want to mention Fat Joe.