Representing: The BX
Independent Album: The Elephant in the Room
411: OK, we'll tell you upfront: We are not going to be rehashing the Fat Joe and Papoose fight. We have plenty of articles in our archives where you can relive it. But we will shed a little more light on Joe's falling-out with Papoose's mentor, DJ Kay Slay.
Slay told DJ Absolut that he and Crack basically stopped messing with each other because Joe gave Slay an ultimatum to take his side when the 50 Cent beef started to broil a few years back.
"He and 50 got into a situation, and [Joe] felt I shouldn't f--- with 50 because of the relationship me and him had," Slay explained. "But what it was, I had a relationship with 50 Cent too."
Kay Slay said that he told the Terror Squad General to "lighten up."
Fat Joe has a whole 'nother tale to tell. "He was 'the black Fat Joe,' " Crack said about Kay. "Today was the first time I told anyone we wasn't getting along. I treated him like my brother. Took him to my house, cooked for him. I really loved Kay Slay. When I took the beef with 50, his answer to me was, 'Yo, they got money. I gotta get money with them.' I was like, 'Wow.' Because I got love for him, I never told you, 'F Kay Slay.' I never disrespected him. Now, with this Papoose thing, I heard Kay Slay was talking greasy. I don't think you should do that."
Joe further elaborated that he didn't mind Slay playing G-Unit records as well as his songs.
"I understood he had a relationship with them," Joe explained. "He started shying away from me, and one day I confronted him, and he was like, 'I get money with them.' I was like, 'Wow.' He just went the other route. It was crazy. It was sad, 'cause I treated him like my brother. I thought he would be my friend 20 years from now."
Obviously, controversy gets you noticed, but Fat Joe really wouldn't mind if it all went away. He wants his shine to come from making good music. He titled Elephant in the Room — his second independent release — out of frustration that his skills and track record haven't gotten the proper recognition. But with his album now in stores and "I Won't Tell" a big hit, Joe finally feels he's turning the corner.
"I worked real hard on this album," he said last week in New York, as his promo tour began winding down. "I been on that grind. My whole career has been a work in progress. I'm glad I got to this point where I'm considered one of the best rappers in the game. Working with Lil Wayne, working with [Rick] Ross and them. They definitely influenced me and motivate me to be making better music and working faster."
Elephant is a disc on which Joey Crack juggles flows and fluctuating subject matter from dwelling in the clubs, ripping boats through cascading tropic waters and bagging dimes to being the street king begging for combat (even referencing the "300" battle cry "We want warrrr!"). Joe doesn't just wild out, though. He does think about the consequences, as you'll hear on "My Conscience."
"This addresses all the critics talking about the N-word, B's and H's," he says about the record, which features one of his idols, KRS-One. "The fire hip-hop has been under. The microscope hip-hip has been under. I been debating myself: 'Are these people right? Are the Oprahs right?'
"The second single is featuring Plies and called 'Ain't Saying Nothing,' " he continued. "That's sure to be a banger. That's produced by Cool & Dre, going straight to the clubs. 'Cocababy,' produced by Danjahandz, that's my favorite song on the album."
Joints To Check For
» "My Conscience" (featuring KRS-One). "KRS-One is the reason I rap," Joe said with a smile. "It's God and it's him, just one tier down. He's the guy I look up to. I studied him. Live shows. ... I studied him and everything he does — even how he pronounces words when he's speaking in interviews. Back in the days, when I look at my interviews, I would be like, 'Yamean? Yamean?' I had to watch tape of KRS-One being so articulate in interviews to where I got to become Fat Joe. Everything Fat Joe is is just a reflection of KRS-One. He's the guy. I hyped him up at a show in New York City. I was his hypeman. I'm hyping him up on every song. A fan in the crowd told me, 'Yo, why don't you do a new record with KRS-One? Why don't you put him out on one of your joints?' It stuck in my ear. This guy is phenomenal."
» "The Fugitive." "This is my intro," Joe said. "The way I do this, I like to think about my fans going to get the album — taking the wrapper off, putting it in that hooptie — not even thinking about the rich guys. But when they play that intro, I want them to know I mean business lyrically, so I shoot it down and I go crazy. 'The Fugitive,' I went all-over-the-place crazy. The girl [on the sample] is saying, 'I'm a fugitive 'cause I raaap.' It's crazy."
» "That White." "I linked up with the man I describe as the definition of hip-hop," Joe explained. "If we took a chainsaw and cut him in half, blood wouldn't be gushing — hip-hop music would coming out. This guy, it's an honor and privilege to work with him. DJ Premier produced it. I had to go in lyrically and have fun with it. It's been a couple of years since I rocked with Primo. But I was honored when he gave the track."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» 50 Cent and DJ Whoo Kid - Elephant in the Sand (G-Unit, Volume 2)
» Big Mike and the Empire - Interstate Trafficking Reloaded (Clash of the Titans)
» Busta Rhymes and Superstar Jay - I've Already Outshined Your Favorite Rapper
» Lupe Fiasco and Tapemasters Inc. - Follow the Leader
» Talib Kweli and Mick Boogie - The MCEO Mixtape
» Young Buck, the Empire and the Cartel - Rumors
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» Freekey Zeekey - "Big Brother"
» Gnarls Barkley - "Who's Gonna Save My Soul"
» Lloyd - "Love Spaceship" and "Girls Around the World"
» Rich Boy - "Monsta"
» The-Dream (featuring Young Jeezy) - "I Love Your Girl" (remix)
» Wale (featuring Bun B and Pusha T) - "Back in the Go-Go"
Fire Starter: "The Lower Ninth"
So intimate you really feel that you're on that roof with the characters, "The Lower Ninth" is an off-Broadway play centered around three men stuck on a roof in New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina starts to flood their city. One of the men happens to be dead. Written by Beau Willimon and directed by Daniel Goldstein, the drama takes you inside the tragedy as the characters deal with confusion over what is happening and try not to lose hope. Fans of "The Wire" are going to dig seeing Gbenga Akinnagbe (the HBO series' Chris Partlow) as Low-Boy. "Friday Night Lights" co-star Gaius Charles (E-Z) and "NYPD Blue" actor James McDaniel (Malcolm) also star. The play runs through April 15 in NYC.Celebrity Faves
Yeah, it's been a couple of weeks, and we still can't let "The Wire" go. Sad days. HBO, please make a movie like you're doing for "Sex and the City."
In the wake of the season finale, you've been seeing all types of outlets saying what their favorite moments from the show are. Well, we asked the cast what they thought.
Sonja Sohn said a highlight for her was when her character, Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs, almost got murdered during a drug bust. "I cried when I got shot," Sohn said. "When I watched the episode of me getting shot and all my guy co-workers came as characters to save me, for a minute, I thought they really did love me that much. 'Oh my God, they really love me!' "
"The love was real high, and the admiration and morale amongst co-workers was real high from day one," said Michael Kenneth Williams, who played Omar. "When I walked on that set, you can feel the love. One of the first sets everybody came out to was season one, when Kima got shot in the back of the car. I tell you, every male on that show was there. It was like, 'That's my sister!' Kima is the first lady of 'The Wire,' Sonja Sohn. Every brother on the cast — white and black — was on that set the day that Kima got shot. We all sat there looking at the monitor, saw her body shake. There was not one dry eye in front or in back of the camera. That's the kind of love. It looked so real. You had people wanting to run from behind the monitor. 'Yo! Help her!' It was a really intense day. I would never forget that."
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The UndergroundLil Wayne is not trying to act like he invented the wheel or even the auto-tune device that has been re-popularized by T-Pain. No doubt, Weezy has been using the same voice-alteration method lately in songs like the "Dey Know" remix and most notably his new single (yes, a single — for those of you who doubted it would ever come) "Lollipop" (R.I.P. Static). The Birdman Jr. names Pain as one of the people in music who inspired him.
"I am music. That's me, Jack," Wayne declared. "I found a new love for music, and I got to owe it to a lot of people in the game. They don't even know. I got to owe a lot to T-Pain. He made me really look at myself. I always look at somebody like, 'I can't do what you do, but man, I damn sure wish I could.' So when I figure out what I could do about that, I go and do it. So every time I get a chance to say it, T-Pain, Prince, Wyclef, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz — all these are people I looked at the past two years. I viewed them seriously and was like, 'Wow, I could do that without being totally them.' I can present it as Lil Wayne."
Don't go thinking "Lollipop" is the only new song Wayne has coming in advance of Tha Carter III. There's a record called "A Millie" that's supposed to drop soon too, and you can hear an exclusive preview of the song in the video above. ...Uptown New Orleans. The 13th Ward. Upperline Street, to pinpoint the location. That's where B.G. grew up and was inspired to make his music.
"I stayed here from maybe, like, 8 years old to probably 16," Gizzle told us on our trip to N.O. "When the Baby Gangster was the baby gangster. I had one brother, man. It was me, my mom and my brother. That's all."
B.G. went on to be a better gangster and moved out of the fold at age 16. But before that -- and before the record deal at 13 and touring with Cash Money Records — his childhood was pretty much on par with the norm.
"Wrasslin'!" He answered about what he and his young bro would be doing in the house. "Or I would be out. I spent a lot of time out. I would have some friends over. I spent the night over at their house, or they would be over my house. When I got older, I would be on the phone all hours of the night. I went to being a hot boy. I used to post up, making love on the phone."
One of the juveniles he would have over to his crib was a little Lil Wayne.
"Wayne used to come through when we was young," B.G. remembered. "We would write raps together in the kitchen. I would go by his crib and write raps with him. ... Man, I pretty much wrote my whole Chopper City album in there: 'So Much Debt.' 'Uptown Thing.'
"Baby took me under his wing when I was 13," he continued. "My first album comes out, second album, Chopper City, comes out. After that, I was wildin'. I'd come back [to the neighborhood] and blend right back in. This is where I felt the most comfortable."
B.G.'s Too Hood to Be Hollywood comes out in the summer.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.