When Fat Joe promises to keep his mouth shut, he's not just referring to his hit single "I Won't Tell." He's also talking about his business in the streets. Joe told MTV News he has gotten into fights with plenty of rappers of before, but he has never mentioned names, in accordance with his code. Joe also had no plans to go public about last week's altercation with Papoose — until an e-mail blast was sent out detailing what he insists is a false version of events on 50 Cent's ThisIs50.com. (50's anti-Joe campaign continued Tuesday [March 11], when he released the G-Unit mixtape The Elephant in the Sand.)
"He's a Pho-to-shop-aaaaaah," Joe said Monday in New York, smiling and obviously mimicking 50's song "Window Shopper." Joe was referring to the doctored pictures of him beat up black-and-blue that surfaced on the Net. He blames 50 and company for the defamation.
"I don't have nothing to gain from putting out stories that I beat up Papoose," said Joe, who claimed victory in the squabble with the Brooklyn MC. "Papoose, this is an approach he chose. He felt he was taking a negative and turning it into a positive, but in the long run, time tells the truth. Time will tell."
Joe said after the fight, he and Papoose made peace and actually hugged.
"As a man, I kept it moving," he said. "That was it. It was squashed. Four hours later, I heard I got beat up. [There were] too many people there for him to get away with those lies. If we were in a little room alone, maybe he could pull off [the lie], I guess. I don't think no one would believe a 60-pound guy could beat up Fat Joe."
Joe's recollection of the fight goes like this: He and Papoose were on a bill to perform at a North Carolina concert along with several other rappers. All the acts were staying at one hotel. A member of Joe's entourage found out that Papoose was staying on the first floor. Joey Crack said he started acting like Javier Bardem looking for Josh Brolin in "No Country for Old Men."
"I knocked on every door," Joe said. " 'No Country for Old Men'! You better believe it."
Finally, Joe found the room where Pap, Cassidy, Yo Gotti and Gucci Mane were chilling with their crews. He approached Pap and asked if they had a problem.
"I was hoping he would say he didn't have a problem," Joe said. Neither man would back down, and the altercation ensued.
Joe's disdain for Pap came on the heels of 50 Cent's takeover of New York radio station Power 105.1 several days ago. While on-air, 50 threw shots at Joe and his family. Papoose and Remy Ma were guests at the time, and Remy even took a few jabs.
"Unfortunately, I felt I had to make somebody pay," Joe explained. "[Papoose] was up there laughing.
"It's hard," he added. "Sometimes you reach that boiling point. Sometimes they try to pull you back in. 'Prove it to us again. Show us you're a tough guy.' "
Ironically, Joe said his latest big record, "I Won't Tell," was fueled by learning that 50 Cent and Remy Ma had made an alliance.
"They make me deliver hits," he said. "They say success is the best revenge.'
"I Won't Tell" features J. Holiday, though Joe admits that he originally had someone else in mind to sing the hook.
"This guy here, he's very talented, he's special," Joe said of Holiday. "He's real talented. The girls at my label were like, 'You gotta work with him.' 'Cause originally I was gonna use R. Kelly. But J. did it, and he killed it.
"It was so much fun," the Terror Squad Don added of the song's clip. "It was like a real party. You know how you do a video, and it's work, and people are trying to make it look like a party? Nah, this was a real party. Miami, everybody is there. ... They almost threw Junior Reid out 10 times. He was like, 'Because I'm Jamaican, they think it's me [smoking].' "
Diddy, LL Cool J, Sheek Louch, Bow Wow and DJ Khaled are among those making cameos in the video. Joe's new album, The Elephant in the Room, was released Tuesday.