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FAT JOE INFO AND FREE MEDIA    » Fat Joe Biography
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   » Official Site:  Fat-Joe.com
   » Related Artists:  Big Pun, Ja Rule, 50 Cent,


INTERVIEW: Fat Joe - Representing His Latino Peeps
DATE/AUTHOR: 8th January 1999 - by Yahoo!

"Folks gotta recognize that the Latino brothers and sisters have a lot to contribute to hip-hop music, partially because we have familiarity with struggling to get what's rightfully ours--and you don't have to look at the charts to see that our sh-t is hot," says Atlantic Records artist Fat Joe, who's extremely pleased with his new CD, Don Cartagena, the follow-up to Jealous One's Envy.

Joe makes this comment after sobering up from his contribution to DMX's off-the-hook platinum party and Carbon nightclub in the city that never sleeps. Just days earlier, he was spotted sitting with a woman he affectionately called "wifey" at the TNT-sponsored Sugar Ray Leonard/ Evander Holyfield-hosted Title Fight Night at Madison Square Garden. "I like watching the fights, and I think it's good for TNT to get more into showing fights like these [Sugar Shane Mosely and Eduardo Morales]," said Joe, cheering on the fight's victor, Mosley, like a true fan of the sport. Not looking quite as big as his moniker suggests (guess his low-fat, no-cholesterol diet must be working), he then added, "It's not like I'm a violent person or anything; I just like a good fight."

LAUNCH: What can listeners expect from Don Cartagena? I listened to the intro and it's as if you're playing the role of some big mob boss.

FAT JOE: I'm playing a lot of roles on this album. There's no better bullsh-tter than me and so I go to a lot of places and say a lot of things that I didn't get to say on my last album.

LAUNCH: The album seems to have this underlying Mafia motif. Are you infatuated with the gangster lifestyle?

FAT JOE: Everybody likes Mafia pictures. You can tell that by the success of The Godfather and Scarface. I like Mafia movies too. The way those gangsters in those movies dress is dope and plus, I like the respect they have for one another. On my album, we play black mobsters.

LAUNCH: Do you think being thin is finally going out of style?

FAT JOE: Yep. There was big Poppa [Notorious B.I.G.] holding it down for us, making big fly in rap. Now there's Hurricane G., Big Pun, Mack 10, Eightball, Pudgee The Fat Bastard and a lot of others. I can't get into how many producers got some weight on them. I could go on forever because hip-hop cats got a lot more money, so they are eating well and it shows. So what? Less ain't more in this case.

LAUNCH: What do you do in your spare time besides watching boxing matches?

FAT JOE: Oh, I love contact sports, but I'm a nice, humble guy. I go to the store, hang out with my boys in the neighborhood and do regular things. People in my Bronx community can see me on a regular basis. I ain't the type of guy who goes out and makes a record and then changes.

LAUNCH: Your album features a lot of guest spots. What was it like working with the same people you hang out with during your free time?

FAT JOE: It was real cool working with Puff [Daddy], Raekwon The Chief, Mack 10 and [Big] Pun. Since we're all friends it just made the experience seem a lot less like work and a lot more like hanging out having fun. I really wanted to make sure this album was air tight before I released it. When it came time to hand in the album, I completed three songs in three days, just because I wanted to get them in there.

LAUNCH: When did you realize that you really could have a successful recording career?

FAT JOE: When Lord Finesse made his record, and you know we're from the same projects, I knew I could pull it off. Seeing somebody you know real well doing their thing just makes you all the more excited. You, just wanna get your sh-t out there too to be a part of something dope.

LAUNCH: Would you say that you made this album for you or for the record-buying public?

FAT JOE: I like the album more than anything--it's hot--but if I had to choose, I'd say I made it for my people. I just want to give the ghetto an album to love. They need something to love too.



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