By the mid-1990s, every rapper in the game was trying to be a gangster. Led by such albums as the original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by Raekwon, East Coast hip hop had gone Mafioso. Fat Joe attempted to create his own mob lifestyle. However, not too many people brought into Fat Joe being Don Cartagena. Despite failing at Mafioso rap, the album still went gold.
When he returned with his next album, Fat Joe had one mission which was to make the people dance. He wanted to create feel-good music to make everyone happy. Starting in 2001, he began releasing hit after hit. During the late summer of 2001, he recruited R. Kelly for “We Thuggin,” which was followed up by his Ja Rule and Ashanti collaboration, “What’s Luv?”
For the remainder of the 2000s, Fat Joe recorded such hits as “Lean Back,” “Make it Rain,” and “I Won’t Tell.” But, since the release of his 2007 hit, Fat Joe has not been able to buy radio play and he has become a joke. In 2004, Fat Joe and Ja Rule reunited for Rule’s hit “New York,” a song where Rule takes time to diss 50 Cent. Feeling as if Fat Joe had taken sides, 50 Cent began feuding with Fat Joe.
Their feud has been going on for five years and 50 Cent declared himself the winner nearly two years ago. 50 Cent has been successful at teasing his rivals for what they do best. Once he is done teasing them for what they do, he begins to do their style. But, the fans recently caught on to this trick so now Fat Joe and 50 Cent are on the same boat.
Fat Joe credits his downfall for his change in style. He feels people see him as too much of a nice guy when the case is opposite. On his chart-topping 2004 hit, “Lean Back,” he complains of how he has been doing the right thing for 10 years and people still see him as a threat. Following his plea for acceptance, he is upset with being taken as a joke.
Over the past six years, Fat Joe has been viewed as a “safe” rapper, but on his latest album, The Dark Side, Joey Crack is reminding people of why he was a threat to begin with. Not only has he landed a secure deal with E1 Music, but Fat Joe also plans to re-take the game. Still, there is no major record label forcing him into a corner and Joe is going to take advantage of this. He has described The Dark Side as “raw.”