Even though Fat Joe says he's not shaken up by recently being arrested and charged with assault, he does know the severity of having the finger pointed at him.
"This is a very serious allegation," he said Monday in uptown New York. "If I go to jail, this is the end of my career."
On July 10, Joey Crack turned himself over to authorities after being accused of living up to his nickname and breaking a man's jaw during an incident at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Times Square on May 12 (see "Fat Joe Charged With Assault"). The Bronx rap kingpin denies being involved.
"Really nothing happened," he said. "That night I didn't have an entourage, I was just having fun, Gucci frames out, a nice little suit. We had an excellent time. I was in a club enjoying myself with my wife and her friends. We just chilled, enjoying the success of the tour. An altercation happened and we walked out. I had nothing at all to do with it. So these charges right here, they don't faze me or make me nervous. They're very serious allegations but I had nothing to do with it."
Joe says he's a victim of his own fame.
"Before we got contacted by the police, we got contacted by people looking for money," he explained. "I'm not the type to give up money, to get extorted, pressed up. We got witnesses from all over calling up, saying the same thing: 'An altercation happened, Fat Joe walked out, he had nothing to do with it.' The bartenders, the bus boys, everyone in the world said, 'Fat Joe had nothing to do with it,' but the cops arrested me."
After being arraigned, Joe, who will have his day in court on September 5, was released without having to post bail.
"They let me out on my own recognizance," he said with a smile. "The police treated me like a gentleman, I treated them like a gentleman. I don't think we have a problem."
For a full-length feature on Fat Joe, check out "Fat Joe: Bigger Than Ever."
Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway