Fat Joe addresses his use of the N-word
(Credit: Alamy)


Fat Joe addresses his use of the N-word

‘All The Way Up’ rapper Fat Joe has once again responded to his critics concerning his use of the N-Word in his music. The emcee (real name Jose Cartagena) has come under attack before about his use of the term as a white-passing individual of Hispanic descent and has decided to clarify why he continues to include the word in his lyrics.

In a recent appearance on Talib Kweli’s People’s Party podcast, the musician elaborated on how he was introduced to the word. However, before he did so, Kweli came to his defence, stating, “For those of us that grew up in New York City, Latino people who grew up in Black neighbourhoods, they say n*gga just like Black people do.”

Cartagena seconded this and, in an attempt to silence his haters, responded, “Explaining it to people at this point is like, mind-boggling to me, ’cause it’s been like, ‘What’s up Fat Joe? You my n*gga!’ since I’m 2 years old. You taking it offensive, then what do I look like a slave owner to you? Or I look like the cop who killed George Floyd?”

He continued, “I gotta think about you. ‘Cause you obviously know that you just said I’m the most important piece of Hip-Hop. You obviously know I’m wit Black people all day. I fight for Black people. I fight for Latinos every day of my life. I don’t try to let people make me second guess what I do because that’s not what Hip Hop was founded on. The origin of the word is foul, anyway. I don’t know how we made it cool.”

The ‘Lean Back’ act has been defended previously by his good friend Remy Ma, who detailed that growing up in the Castle Hill neighbourhood of the Bronx, Latinos and African-Americans integrated and used the word casually.

Last year, Cartagena explained to The Breakfast Club why he feels the allegations being made against him are hypocritical and insisted that no one was going to compel his speech, stating, “I want them to know no one’s going to pressure Fat Joe into feeling or saying anything that he loves or believes in, no one’s ever going to do that.”

He concluded by breaking down the demographics of his housing scheme and how people from the Bronx still support him and his use of the term irrespective of what others think, explaining, “My projects was 90%, I’ll give you 80% Black still. My grandmother’s projects is 99.9% Black, to be clear. I’m Spanish. I knew I was Latino, but the whole time I thought I was Black anyway. So my mom lived there 40 years before I was born in this project, and I’m born blonde hair green eyes.” Cartagena is unapologetic about his use of the word and insisted he will continue to use it as he feels it is a part of his culture and upbringing as a Bronx native.