Radio disses, Photoshop handiwork and in-person fist-swinging — it's been a long weekend in the Fat Joe vs. 50 Cent saga.
50 played host on New York radio station Power 105.1 on Thursday and Friday and took time to play some music from Joe — his most bitter hip-hop rival not named Ja Rule or the Game. The thing is, he talked over the record while insulting Joe. Papoose was on-air with 50 during one of the tirades.
On Friday in North Carolina, a show promoter who clearly is not in the know booked Joe and Pap for the same show. Both MCs, and their accompanying parties, came to blows. Other than that, the story is murky. Some reports say Fat Joe and his large entourage thumped Papoose and his folks down. Other reports say Pap handled Joe.
"What happens in the streets stays in the streets," Pap told MTV News on Monday (March 3). "It was definitely an altercation. I stood tall. Yes, I invited [Joe] for a fair [one-on-one fight], he refused. Yes, I put my hands on him. That's all I'm saying."
Papoose said in a radio interview Monday on San Francisco's KMEL that Joe's camp outnumbered his, "9 or 10 to 2."
Pap said a falling-out between Fat Joe and Pap's mentor DJ Kay Slay is at the heart of his problems with Joe.
"It goes back to the same thing," he said. "If you having problems with any of my people, you have a problem with me. I'm a loyal dude. Don't come at me sideways. I'm from Brooklyn. I consider myself to be the most hated MC. A lot of people don't wanna see me come up because of fear of losing their position. You can do your homework — I just keep coming with consistency."
Papoose has also had recent run-ins with underground artist Max B ("You disrespect Kay Slay, you disrespecting Papoose," Pap sad of his problems with Jim Jones' protégé) and Uncle Murda.
"I deal with pure talent," Pap said of all his hip-hop beefs. "I don't come to the industry to try and glorify [violence]. I never had to dis nobody to get ahead. When those things came at me, I always reacted to them. I'm a counter-puncher."
If you believe the pictures of Fat Joe that have been floating around the Web the past couple of days, Papoose is the second coming of Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and the Soda Popinski from "Mike Tyson's Punchout" rolled into one. Photos show Joe sporting two black eyes, a bandage and stitches. A blog post from 50 Cent's Web site was sent out via e-mail saying Pap had beaten the stuffing out of Joe during their fight.
It's all great comedy, if you ask Fat Joe himself. The photo was clearly digitally enhanced, and the Bronx MC told MTV News that the pic was taken last year while he was at a Knicks game. The real photo has indeed surfaced, showing Joey Crack with no scars.
"If I did get black eyes, why would I go to the Knicks game with black eyes?" said Joe, who performed Friday and has made a gaggle of personal appearances over the past few days. "C'mon, my n---a. I'm always OK."
"Do you think for one second Papoose could beat up Fat Joe?" he added. "C'mon. Are you serious?"
On Monday night, Joe shot some video of himself without a scratch. In the clip, he's rapping, dancing and smiling. Again, he addressed the Papoose conflict, singling out 50 Cent.
"You in the Neverland Ranch over there in the house over there in Connecticut," he said of 50, blaming him personally for the doctored photos. "Can't come out your f---ing house playing with this Internet sh--."
Papoose, on the other hand, said he admires the G-Unit ringleader.
"I got a lot of respect for 50," Pap said. "If you don't like 50 Cent, you might just be a hater. You might be mad at yourself. This is a dude that came form the bottom, the gutter. At one time, the industry was so closed off, nobody could get in. 50 was the dude that opened the door and broke through. He went to the top."
Papoose just released his new mixtape, Build or Destroy, while Joe is touring the country promoting the release of his new LP, The Elephant in the Room, which drops March 11. Meanwhile, you knew 50 wouldn't stay out of the mix: He recently announced on his Web site that on March 11, he's dropping a new G-Unit mixtape called Return of the Body Snatchers Vol. 2: The Elephant in the Sand.
[This story was originally published on 3.3.08 at 7:27 p.m. ET]