Fat Joe is a legend and has been the face of Latino hip-hop for years. A product of the early and mid-90s, the Bronx artist was previously a member of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew alongside Lord Finesse Big L and others. However, in the late-90s, he formed his own collective that would later become the renowned Terror Squad.
While gathering recruits such as Big Pun, Cuban Links and Remy Ma for his Bronx-based collective, the rapper (real name José Cartagena) was simultaneously recording and releasing music as one of the first and biggest Hispanic rappers ever.
Although Fat Joe (real name Jose Cartagena) is now known as a successful rapper who rose out of the Forest Houses, a low-income housing project in the Bronx, he was an aspiring emcee before fame. However, has now made it his mission to warn new rappers by telling them to “Get a job!”
Fat Joe’s Terror Squad counterpart, Remy Ma, has previously admitted that her success through Big Pun was luck, and now Cartagena has decided that, in 2023, aspiring MCs should be wary about the financial insecurity that comes with attempting to make it in the music business.
Taking to Instagram Live the ‘Lean Back’ lyricist told his fans, “If your man said he raps and he don’t have a deal. There’s a problem with that! Plan A, get a job. Plan B, hope you make it. This has never changed!” He continued, “Some guys be like, ‘I gotta get a regular job?’ [Yes] bro, you gotta get a job!”
However, many accused Fat Joe of stopping young people from having a dream and removing hope from new rappers trying to make it. During the live, one user wrote, “I bet Joe would have hated for someone to tell him that and crush his dreams when he was coming up.”Another user told Cartagena he should be encouraging people to work for themselves, writing, “U tellin’ ppl get a job instead of start a business?? Ight homie!”
This isn’t the first time the ‘What’s Luv?’ act has warned aspiring musicians about the volatility of income within the business. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cartagena likened record deals to Ponzi schemes and stated when it comes to sales, “they do funny math.” You can watch Fat Joe’s live below.