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Fat Joe attends the CJ Wallace & Lexus Celebrate Hip-Hop and Honor the Life of Christopher Wallace (a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G) at the Lil' Kim Tribute Gala at Gustavino's on May 20, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Lexus)
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Fat Joe Champions Inclusivity In Hip-Hop: "It Was Always Diverse"

Fat Joe Champions Inclusivity In Hip-Hop: "It Was Always Diverse"

Fat Joe is one of the most high-profile Latino stars in Hip-Hop, and the Bronx native recently shared his thoughts about diversity across hte industry and culture. In an interview with HipHopDX, Joey Crack praised Hip-Hop's history of inclusivity.

“It was always diverse," Joe explained to Kyle Eustice. "It was always Latino, Black, White, Asian, whatever. We were always taught to embrace everybody who loves Hip Hop music. And so I have an obligation to that, and I have a responsibility to the culture that far exceeds financial gain or wealth. It’s the wealth of the culture, preserving the culture.”

Big Pun and Fat Joe performing at Les Poulets on May 13, 1998.This image:Big Pun (Christopher Lee Rios), left, and Fat Joe (Joseph Antonio Cartagena).(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

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“The youth call me,” Joe shared. “Some of the biggest rappers on earth, they call me and say, ‘Big homie, could you gimme some advice about this? Can you gimme some advice?’ I’m talking about the biggest — I won’t say no name — but imagine the biggest rappers on earth right now. They call me. They say, ‘Big homie, gimme some advice on this and this.’

“And I tell ’em, ‘Yo, move like this. Watch yourself, too.’ And that’s what it’s all about. And I want them to do the same thing when they become the OGs to the generation behind.”

In the late 1990s, Joe famously introduced the world to Big Pun, the first solo Latino rapper to score a platinum album (1998's Capital Punishment). In a recent interview, Joe talked about how Pun's lyrical skill was so formidable, other rappers had to be "tricked" into appearing on tracks with the Nuyorican legend.

"I had to get artists on his shit that didn’t know he was on the shit," Joe told Angie Martinez. "Not saying nothing about Nas! I don’t want nobody misconstruing this in no way. He was doing a song for me. Yes, he’s on everybody’s lists and this is not referring to Nas in no way but that’s how we did that song, and that’s how you had to do a lot of songs with Pun.”

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