Fat Joe is a legend in New York hip-hop and was one of the first Latino rappers to maintain a career in rap successfully. The Bronx artist was previously a member of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew alongside Lord Finesse Big L and others. However, he made some big mistakes in his career.
Eminem was a fan of Fat Joe (real name Jose Cartagena) and, on one occasion, gave him a demo. However, Cartagena was so devoted to Big Pun and Remy Ma that he never really listened to the Detroit musician’s demo, even though he had it.
In an interview with Big Boy TV, the Terror Squad founder once admitted that he was ignorant then and even disclosed that Mathers once reminded him how he brutally rejected him. However, following the explosion of Eminem in the late-1990s, Fat Joe once waited in line overnight just to get a hold of his album.
In a discussion with Brian ‘B.Dot’ Miller and Elliott Wilson of the Rap Radar podcast, Joe recalled how he and Pun spent the night before the 1999 Grammys waiting at Tower Records to hear Eminem’s major-label debut, the Slim Shady LP.
Detailing that night in 1999, Cartagena recounted, “We’re nominated for a Grammy and the night before we go to the Grammys, we are waiting in line in LA at Tower Records for the fucking Eminem album. In line! Nominated for a Grammy [but] me and Big Pun were in line to get that muthafuckin’ Eminem album.”
Fat Joe proceeded to label Eminem a god stating, “Eminem is a god, I don’t give a fuck who or what you think, he’s a god. Somebody shifted the whole algorithm when he came up.” Cartagena has professed his love for Eminem on many occasions, and when Billboard ranked Mathers the fifth greatest of all time, he defended him against Melle Mel, who insisted Eminem was placed fifth because he was white.
In an Instagram live video with Fat Joe, Melle Mel proclaimed, “If Eminem was just another n*gga like all the rest of us, would he be Top 5 on that list, when a n*gga that can rhyme just as good as him is [number] 35? If he was a Black rapper, he wouldn’t even make the list probably.”
However, the Bronx musician fiercely refuted this, stating, “I disagree with that because even though Eminem is Caucasian, you cannot front on his skillset, man. You can’t deny that skillset!” He followed up later, disclosing, “As much as I love and worship Melle Mel, I think he’s wrong with this one.” You can listen to Fat Joe recall waiting in line for the Slim Shady LP in the video below.