Fat Joe is an iconic figure in New York hip-hop and, as one of the first Latino rappers to gain commercial success, changed the face of East Coast rap music. However, there is one lyricist from his city that he once revealed he listens to every day.
Speaking with Angie Martinez in an interview for Warner’s Iconic Records podcast, Fat Joe (real name Jose Cartagena) revealed that he listens to Biggie Smalls regularly and detailed how he was close to the emcee. Cartagena even claimed to facilitate the collaboration between Biggie and Bone, Thugs ‘N’ Harmony for the track ‘Notorious Thugs.’
As a native of the Big Apple, the Terror Squad founder told Martinez that Biggie didn’t just represent Brooklyn but was the representative of the whole city in the US, and admitted that no one could overshadow him.
However, in a sombre tone, the ‘Lean Back’ musician explained how Biggie’s murder in 1997 hurt New York and is still impacting the city to this day. Detailing the pain, Cartagena insisted, “It’s always going to give us a bitter taste. We’re never going to get over it.”
He continued, “Every time I have a good time — if I’m on a yacht, if I’m celebrating life — anytime I want to feel good, I put on Biggie Smalls. I hear a Biggie Smalls song every single day of my life.”
Fat Joe often downplays his relationship with Biggie Smalls. During an interview on Cam Capone News, Cartagena revealed that he and Biggie (real name Christopher Wallace) once both wrote some diss tracks for 2Pac during the height of the East Coast-West Coast beef.
Speaking about the songs, “We made a bunch of songs, y’know what I’m sayin’? But it was like really disrespectful and hateful, and so [Biggie] died, and 2Pac died. They might have burnt them shits, to be honest with you, ’cause you know, it was distasteful after the fact.”
You can listen to Fat Joe and Angie Martinez speak about the Brooklyn legend below.