By Agustin A. Iglesias
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
There was never any reason to doubt Fat Joe, but his interview with “The Breakfast Club” yesterday put it back into perspective how legendary he is. Longer tenured than most of hip hop’s acclaimed, Fat Joe simply has put it down and trail blazed. He did not brag about it, but Fat Joe reminded “The Breakfast Club” of who he is.
Over the past twenty years, Fat Joe has released ten solo albums and was a part of two legendary crews, Diggin’ in the Crates and Terror Squad. Along the way, Fat Joe has dropped such hit singles as “Flow Joe,” “Lean Back,” and “Make it Rain.” Fat Joe is currently dominating with his 2011 single, “Another Round” single with Chris Brown.
Few emcees have managed to do what Fat Joe has done for so long. With that in mind and his recent interview, Hip Hop Vibe decided to reflect on his career. Upon being selected for this task, it was definitely a job to only squeeze in ten Fat Joe records because he has delivered so much over the years.
Whether it comes as a solo single, a collaboration, or a record he appeared on, Fat Joe has hit singles out in every era of hip hop. Who else can brag about topping the charts in the golden era and during the ringtone era? As everyone awaits the answer, here is a brief list of some of the hit singles Fat Joe has put out over the past two decades. Out of all his hits, Fat Joe is probably best-known for the hit single, “Lean Back,” which is actually a Terror Squad track with Remy Ma also featured.
This list is in no particular order.
Watch Fat Joe’s hit singles from the past twenty years below:
Fat Joe ft. R. Kelly – “We Thuggin'”
When the 2000s turned, Fat Joe appeared to be on his way out of the game. Big Pun died and it had been a while since Fat Joe dropped anything, so if he chose to come back, he needed a hit. Fat Joe responded with his Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), a sequel to his 1995 sophomore album and he started the album out with his then-biggest single, “We Thuggin’,” featuring R. Kelly, which was released in the fall of 2001.
Fat Joe ft. Plies and Dre – “Ain’t Sayin Nothin”
By 2008, Fat Joe reached a new peak, after taking 2007 off. Once again proving he could make hits in a new generation, the post-ringtone era, Fat Joe dropped The Elephant in the Room and the final single off the album featured Plies, who was fast becoming a superstar, “Ain’t Sayin’ Nothin.” This song became an anthem and was in heavy MTV rotation during the summer of 2008.
Fat Joe – “Flow Joe”
A few months ago, DJ YRS Jerzy featured “Flow Joe” on his Wednesday Throwback. This started Fat Joe’s career before anyone quite knew who The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, or Jay-Z were. Before all these stars, Fat Joe had the entire New York City rocking to his record and this started his run. This was the lead single off his debut album, Represent.
Fat Joe ft. Big Pun, Triple Seis, and Cuban Link – “Bet Ya Man Can’t Triz”
Back in 1998, Big Pun became one of the biggest breakout artists in the game. Granted his own label by Atlantic Records, as Fat Joe revealed to “The Breakfast Club,” he decided to partner with Big Pun to create Terror Squad and they launched with “Bet Ya Man Can’t Triz,” which featured Big Pun, Triple Seis, and Cuban Link. Unfortunately, Big Pun died in 2000 and Triple Seis and Cuban Link are no longer on speaking terms with Fat Joe, but it doesn’t take away from this song being a classic, included on his third album, Don Cartagena.
Fat Joe ft. Lil Wayne – “Make it Rain”
In 2006, Lil Wayne began making his climb toward the top of the game and he received a major boost when Fat Joe called on him for the hook of “Make it Rain.” This song quickly became one of the biggest single of 2006, toward the end of the year. This single propelled his Me, Myself, & I album. At the height of his feud with 50 Cent, Fat Joe responded with hit after hit. Fat Joe also openly proclaimed his support of the South and started the trend of rappers from New York working with Southern artists with this single.
Fat Joe ft. Ashanti – “What’s Luv”
Revisiting his fourth studio album, J.O.S.E., Fat Joe topped himself with his “What’s Luv?” single that immediately topped “We Thuggin.” On this record, Fat Joe turned to Irv Gotti, who was on a roll with Ja Rule and Ashanti, both of whom he placed on the “What’s Luv?” hook for Fat Joe. But, in the music video version, Fat Joe replaces Ja Rule with his vocals. This music video stars the lovely Maia Campbell, whom Hip Hop Vibe interviewed back in June.
Terror Squad (Fat Joe and Remy Ma) – “Lean Back”
It’s pretty ironic that Fat Joe’s biggest single isn’t even his own single. He wanted the Scott Storch-produced “Lean Back” record for himself, but Fat Joe decided to release another Terror Squad album instead and used the beat for the True Story album. “Lean Back” became the biggest single during the summer of 2004 and it also helped launch Remy Ma’s career. In his interview, Fat Joe spoke on how she, unlike the previously mentioned former Terror Squad members, actually worked hard.
Fat Joe ft. Nelly – “Get it Poppin”
During the summer of 2005, Fat Joe released the All or Nothing album. Facing all 50 Cent had aimed at him, Fat Joe got the ever-popular Nelly to jump on his “Get it Poppin” single, which became one of the biggest records in 2005. This song was also produced by Scott Storch and started Fat Joe’s run of summer hits, following up 2004’s “Lean Back.”
Fat Joe ft. J. Holiday – “I Won’t Tell”
Wow, does anyone remember J. Holiday? He had a pretty strong run back in 2007-2008. At the time, he and Fat Joe were both at Capitol Records and Joey was working on his The Elephant in the Room album. He continued his hitmaking trend with the J. Holiday-assisted “I Won’t Tell” record, which dropped early in 2008. Although this song was a hit, it was Fat Joe’s last hit for a few years and not for a lack of trying. Regardless, the music video is a classic, as is the song. The video features cameos from LL Cool J, Bow Wow, Sheek Louch, DJ Khaled, Akon, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Scott Storch, Christina Milian, and many more.
Fat Joe ft. Chris Brown – “Another Round”
After two unsuccessful albums in J.O.S.E. 2 and The Darkside, Vol. 1, Fat Joe reorganized. He decided to begin releasing mixtapes and then he simply dropped “Another Round” with Chris Brown and he shot a video for it. The song dropped late in 2011 and became Fat Joe’s first hit in four years in the summer of 2012 and is still going strong now. It shows Fat Joe has a lot more in the tank and is the successful lead single off a to-be-determined album, which is due sometime after his prison release.
Respect the legend Fat Joe.
Follow Agustin A. Iglesias on Twitter @Rule_York.