Interview: Fat Joe Gives His “Uncensored” Backstory About Making Peace With Jay Z


Fat Joe has revitalized New York Hip-hop with the release of his new “All The Way Up (Remix)” with Remy Ma, Jay Z, French Montana and Infrared. Even though the addictive chorus continues to echo throughout the five boroughs, there was a time when New York City wasn’t feeling the Bronx native’s musical direction.

During 99 Jamz “Uncensored” show in Miami last week (May 26), the Terror Squad chief told DJ Nailz and DJ Nasty that hip-hop heads from his city were upset when he dropped off his 2006 smash single “Make It Rain.”

“Because Fat Joe… being from real hip-hop, Diggin’ in the crates, Don Cartegena,” Joe explained. “They was so mad I made a record that was bouncing like this.”

There’s no way we can be mad at him now. After a tumultuous decade filled with highs and lows, Joey Crack is officially back in good graces with New York, especially after making peace with Jay Z. Joe and Hov recently buried their long-standing beef six feet under and covered it with the captivating instrumental of “All The Way Up” crafted by Cool & Dre and producer Edsclusive.

“We did it for New York City, for New York hip-hop, and all hip hop to be honest,” Joe exclusively told VIBE. “But we did it for the city. He respects me as an artist and obviously I respect him as an artist. It was something that was long-overdue.”

Now, Joe and his entire team are excited about working with the RocNation executive to ensure more success for the single and his upcoming LP. After the high-profile remix dropped exclusively on TIDAL earlier this week, the anticipation for Joe and Remy Ma’s joint album Plata o Plomo is higher than ever before.

READ: Fat Joe Says He Knows Who Biggie Robbed On His Infamous “Story To Tell” Song

Even though he’s still trying to keep the album’s features on the low, Joe did reveal that We The Best’s Kent Jones makes several appearances on his forthcoming LP. Before he hit the “Uncensored” stage, we got all the way up with Joe to discuss his thoughts about Jay’s Lemonade reference, why he and Jay Z squashed their remaining beef, and what we can expect on Plata o Plomo.

VIBE: After all your issues over the years, what made you and Jay Z squash your beef?
FJ: Well we’re grown men. We both love hip-hop culture. It was something that that had to happen. You see the tragedy that happened last night (Troy Ave shooting). In a sense, we’re trying to show the young boys that you can argue with each other and you can go through stuff with each, but you can actually come out with a peaceful ending. So that’s part of it. Part two is that it was long-overdue.

What were your thoughts when you first heard Jay’s verse?
I was just excited. I was like “Oh shit it’s really going down.” I think my team around me was more excited than me like Cool & Dre and all them. They couldn’t believe it. I was more like “Oh shit, this shit better be right” (Laughs).

What did you think of the Lemonade reference?
I loved it. I was like “Oh shit, we’re going to be on CNN now after he talked about that Lemonade on my record. It’s lit!

I know you as a smart businessman especially after speaking with you at Market America’s recent convention. Now that you and Hov are cool, do you plan to get more involved with TIDAL at all?

We dropped this song right here exclusively through TIDAL. I love what he’s doing for the artists. I love the quality of TIDAL. I appreciate what they’re trying to do and what they’re trying to accomplish. I wasn’t really educated on it. Then I sat down with Desiree at RocNation and TIDAL personally and she really broke it down for me. I was like ‘wow.’ I didn’t know how big of a fight it was and how much they’re trying to fight for the actual artist. You got a guy like Prince who fought for his name and fought for his masters all those years publicly, and he cosigned TIDAL. He knew exactly what was going on and what they were trying to do. I’m glad that we released it on TIDAL and got love for what they’re doing.

Other remixes of the track have also surfaced recently. What do you think of Fabolous and Meek Mill’s verses?
We knew when we dropped the song there were going to be 10 million freestyles. I have’t heard Fab or Meek Mill’s, but it heard they’re incredible. I heard Jadakiss dropped a freestyle. It’s just that kind of record, you know what I’m saying? Once every summer, there comes a record that n*ggas need a piece of. I’ve done freestyles on everybody’s shit too. I don’t have a problem with it. It’s everybody’s record man.

When can we hear more records off Plata o Plomo?
When you hear Plata o Plomo.. (Laughs) it’s going to be crazy from A to Z, b. This shit’s serious. Take it serious, bro! The next single, n*ggas is saying, is going to be better than this one, believe it or not. I don’t think so. I think “All The Way Up” is special but we really got n*ggas looking me in my face right into my eye and telling me ‘Yo this next single, this shit is harder than ‘All The Way Up.’ I promise you.’ The album is incredible bro.

Who else can we expect to hear on the album? I’m sure you and Remy got a couple of major artists on there.
We keeping it under the wraps but, someone who appears on the album a couple of times is Kent Jones. He got the single “Don’t Mind,” but don’t be fooled by the single. It’s a hit but he raps his ass off, and he produces.

I know you had Cool & Dre come through to do work on the “All The Way Up” remix. What else have all three of you been working on?
Well they executively produced the album with me. So it was Cool & Dre and a bunch of young producers they work with like Edsclusive and Illa on the beats. Also we reached out to Streetrunner for some music, and 808 Ray. They got a whole team of dudes they represent.

Word, and we’ll definitely hear their work on the album very soon.
Yea probably by the end of July or the beginning of August.