Introducing Joeprah. That’s Fat Joe’s new nickname thanks to his brand new REVOLT series “The Fat Joe Show.” On the show, the recording artist turned media personality chops it up with some of your favs for dope conversation and good laughs. Get into it.
It doesn’t get much more real than Fridays with “The Fat Joe Show” and we’re back this week with the juice straight from two living hip hop legends Jermaine Dupri and Wyclef Jean. This episode took viewers back years as we heard untold stories from Wyclef working with late great Whitney Houston and DJ Khaled to JD’s experience on one of the first-ever hip hop tours. However, the 411 really spilled when we got Dupri’s take on Fat Joe’s previous New York vs. Atlanta discussion with fellow rapper T.I.
Fat Joe opens up with “T.I. was on here talking about New York never had love for the south, and we wouldn’t play the south’s music, and it was harder being from the south. Do you agree with his theory or was it really like that back in the day?” Without a pause or moment of contemplation, JD responds, “100 percent!”
“He don’t even feel what I felt,” the executive producer and entrepreneur continued. “T.I. came so far after me that he didn’t really see it the way I’ve seen it.”
With JD being such a figure during 1990s hip hop — having discovered Kriss Kross and creating So So Def — he says it was just a time where rap from the south wasn’t even thought of. “It wasn’t even to be, you know, and this continued after T.I. came out. When I put out Dem Franchize Boyz and I put out Bone Crusher at the same time, and this was when New York started embracing the south,” Dupri added. He went on to share how “Oh I Think They Like Me” and “Never Scared” were huge in NYC, which marked the start of the East Coast’s biggest city embracing of Atlanta’s music.
Nevertheless, things weren’t good to go from that moment either. “I’ll never forget this,” the then-president of Virgin Records stated. “I was going hard with the street teams in New York — I was living in New York. I was going stupid. One of the days the street team came back and they were like, ‘Yo, we went to a club, we gave the DJ a record and he was like, If you bring me one more goddamned south record, I’ma break this motherfucker.’”
Dupri describes that as an eye-opening moment, “This shit still going on,” he added. Joey, surprised by the information and validation of T.I.’s theory, says he felt like a white guy who doesn’t understand the plight of Black people getting beat up by the cops until they see it on video. “I’m so naive. You know, I’m probably the first to work with south artists. Do “Make It Rain,” move to Miami, so I never, and I’m not bullshitting, I never looked at the south any different.”
Although Joe’s statement was a positive takeaway, it further proved T.I.’s point regarding entitlement. Tip stated during his interview with Joe that artists from NYC get credit just for being from the “Mecca of hip hop,” and have all of the capital. While not proven 100 percent true, this could be used to explain why Joey Crack himself was able to move seamlessly throughout the south to create bops that have withstood the test of time.
Although JD was welcomed and has continued to work with numerous New York artists, he still experienced the rejection as he pushed through. “I was going against the grain because I knew that was there,” the mogul said. He details adding Diddy to “Welcome to Atlanta (Remix)” was a necessary move because for years, the general public assumed they had beef, “but me even still putting him on the song people tried to make it like Atlanta against New York.”
However, on another note, one could say the tables had turned when it came to female rappers — mainly the first female soloist rapper to go platinum, Da Brat. JD revealed that Kriss Kross found her while on tour and they encouraged him to give her a shot. For several reasons, he had chosen not to go down the route of having a female artist signed to him, but Da Brat proved herself to be exceptionally special upon their introduction.
“Her aggressiveness, the way she acted, it was just like different than any female rapper that I had ever really come in contact with,” he said. “From that point on, I was like, ‘You really rap.’ So, I’ma try to figure out a way to make sure that that’s all that matters with you.”
Holding onto his word, JD shared the album process took nearly two years to finalize, as the two worked together day in and day out to produce it and build the connection they still have today. “That was like the hardest project out of any project that I ever put out for me to get right,” he said.
To hear the rest of the story and much more, be sure to watch this week’s episode of “The Fat Joe Show” above!