Terror Squad legend and former Diggin In The Crates crew member Fat Joe is a potent rapper, and with his partner in crime, Big Pun, was a musical kingpin in the Bronx during the late 1990s. However, the emcee (real name Jose Cartagena) recently recalled how Brooklyn rapper Big Daddy Kane blocked him from participating in a cypher alongside 2pac and Biggie Smalls.
In an appearance on the Iconic Records podcast series hosted by Angie Martinez, Cartagena recalled how he could have been on stage with 2pac and Biggie at New York City’s Madison Square Garden if it wasn’t for Big Daddy Kane (real name Antonio Hardy) intervening. Recollecting the event, the Bronx native explained how there was an all-star cypher at the 1993 Budweiser Superfest, which was headlined by Big Daddy Kane and disclosed that 2pac himself had invited him onto the stage.
Cartagena detailed the concert, remembering: “I was in the front row … and all of a sudden, you see the whole crowd turn back looking at the entrance, like the tunnel, and it was ‘Pac and Big — and this was Juice’ Pac.” He continued: “The whole crowd’s like, ‘Ahhh!’ They couldn’t believe it was ‘Pac and Big.” Several other MCs joined the late legends for the cypher, including Big Scoob of the 57th Street Rogue Dog Villains and Wu-Tang affiliate Shyheim,
Explaining how 2pac (real name Tupac Shakur) saw him and encouraged him to join them, Joe disclosed: “While they were walking, they see me. ‘Pac is like, ‘Yo, come on, Crack!’ So I go with them, and we go up on stage. I think Shyheim the Rugged Child from Wu-Tang was there too. We went up stage, and they start that cypher.”
Cartagena confessed he was “nervous as hell” to rap in front of Shakur, Biggie and an entire arena but really wanted the exposure. However, was denied the opportunity because just as he was about to come on stage, Big Daddy Kane stopped the cypher.
This is where Cartagena left the story. However, the Juice Crew legend himself had some issues with the ‘Lean Back’ musician’s recollection of the story. During a 2018 appearance on Noreaga and DJ EFN’s Drink Champs podcast, Hardy gave his version of events and explained why he prevented Fat Joe from freestyling.
As he delved into the details, Hardy recounted: “Joe was next up to rhyme when they gave me the ‘wrap it up,’ like, ‘You got five minutes.’ So I wasn’t even able to bring Joe on, but Joe was standing with the mic ready.”
Hardy continued: “If I would’ve had five more minutes, he would’ve been on there, real talk.” Although Big Daddy Kane may have been forced to prevent Fat Joe from rapping due to time constraints it is indisputable that had he not done so, Fat Joe would’ve been part of the historic moment as well.