Fat Joe Says He's Begged To Do A D.I.T.C. Album, Reveals Proudest Verse

Exclusive: Joey Crack reveals that "New York" with Ja & Jada is his proudest verse, while Diamond D's debut is Rap's best-produced album of all times.

Recently, HipHopDX interviewed Fat Joe in E1 Entertainment's Manhattan offices. In a conversation that looked at Joe's debut, Represent as well as his recently-released The Darkside Volume 1, the Bronx superstar also spoke about the Diggin' In The Crates Crew. A casual conversation about production on Showbiz & A.G.'s Runaway Slave led Joe to declare, "Nothing has better production than [Stunts Blunts & Hip-Hop by Diamond D]. I still listen to it to this day. I let my young boys listen to it, and they be like [bobbing head and beat-boxes 'Sally Got A One Track Mind']. Niggas be like, 'Oh shit!' [Sings along to 'Check One, Two']."

Joe appeared on two songs ("Pass Dat Shit" and "View From The Underground") on the seminal 1992 Chemistry Records release. He says that his association with mentor Diamond D still travels with him today in elite circles. "The other day, I was in the studio with Pharrell, and the first hour of us being there, it was just Diamond D talk. [Mimics discussion] Just Hip Hop shit. Egos get involved, and all types of money and shit, but whenever you can get two artists in a room, or a producer that really knows Hip Hop and start talkin' that shit, it's incredible to see how [artists] appreciate other [artists]."

Although Joe is often associated with Big Pun, the rapper spoke on the importantance of his original group. Asked about a 1988 appearance ("Oh Shit") with Diamond D's Ultimate Force on the recently-released I'm Not Playin' album, Joe stated, "That's part of my history. Diggin' In The Crates crew, most of us came from the same projects [plus we had] Big L." Speaking about the late Harlem emcee icon, Big L, Joe said, "I got my little nephews and my son and them, and they're [hearing] about Big L now. They [were] playing me [the freestyle] when he was on [Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito show on WKCR] with Jay-Z, going rhyme-for-rhyme. They're new to these things!" Recently, Joe said he received a curious question from one of his associates. "We've got a young guy, Kevin [Zulueta], who engineers in the studio. He was like, 'This shit's crazy. This nigga, Big L, you knew him?' I said, 'My man, look up Fat Joe/Big L, nigga, "Da Enemy," on the Diggin' In The Crates album, nigga. That's my man!' It was an honor to work with him." Passing compliments around his D.I.T.C. brethren, Joe added, "Lord Finesse is probably the best rapper around the time we came out, he was probably the best rapper in the game."

Among his peers, Fat Joe has the most profile. He said that he is still trying to a spear-head a follow-up to the group's 2000 Tommy Boy Records self-titled release, compiled a year after Big L's murder. "I want to do a Diggin' In The Crates album. [There is] no beef in the Diggin' In The Crates crew. I love them, they love me. I begged...I just begged Finesse. It ain't like Fat Joe ain't hot - I just shot [the 'Ha Ha' ] video with [Young] Jeezy, I got ['If It Ain't About Money' with] Trey Songz poppin', and I'm begging them, 'cause I feel like Hip Hop really needs that, but when you've got [differing creative opinions] - we all love each other, nobody has ever, ever in Diggin' In The Crates crew disrespected one another." Joe emphasized that it's creative differences restraining one of Rap's super-crews, not bitterness. "From day one, it's all about the music, but it bugged me out to see: alright, Fat Joe, who let's just say became the biggest guy out the crew, I should be the dickhead? I'm the dickhead, I'm the one who's supposed to think I'm all that, and I'm like yo, let's do this! [We will] kill 'em. We're all still hot." Despite Joe's efforts, the vision for another proper D.I.T.C. album halted plans. "When I started hearin' different opinions - we all love each other, but I thought, 'Wow, this is how that Gang Starr shit must've went down.'" Joe continued, "I've never had an argument with Lord Finesse in my life. I've never had an argument with A.G., O.C., Showbiz, none of them. We've never had an argument in our lives, but I'm like, 'What the fuck is up, why am I stressin' myself?' I'm tryin' to get shit poppin', but everybody got their own opinion or their own way of lookin' at it. I guess that's how that went down." Joe worked on numerous D.I.T.C.-branded releases with Showbiz throughout the '00s, but a second official album remains unrecorded.

Lastly, HipHopDX asked Fat Joe about his proudest verse. Unlike many of the artists we've been asking, Joe pointed to a featured verse, from Ja Rule's 2004 album, R.U.L.E. "My proudest verse, believe it or not, is 'New York'," said Joe, of the track with he and Jadakiss alongside Ja, prompting 50 Cent to take umbrage with the Terror Squad leader. "It was just so much pride going into that song, just representin' New York, man." Joe was elated to bring attention back to Hip Hop's homeland. "It's the birthplace of this. How do you make an anthem that makes this city stop and feel proud about itself? To me, that was my favorite verse."

The Darkside Volume 1 is in stores now.

Purchase Music by Fat Joe

23 Comments

  • illest1ne

    Joey may have not made the greatest decisions during his career, and he's definitely not the greatest lyricist, but you gotta have some respect for son. He's a Hip-Hop head 100. Got down with the legendary TATS Cru (FYI: they were known as TAT at first, discovered "Crack" who wrote for TS and that's how TATS Cru came about), been down with DITC since damn near the jump and discovered Pun. How can

  • C.

    I think a new D.I.T.C. album would be dope, i'm not too critical though... some folks would hate no matter what the final product. I think "valley of death" is an ill joint & Joey's new album has plenty joints of that caliber but like i say i tend to just let music play, long as its sample based & the lyrics are at least trying to be real & true, i'm good.

  • bigjake77

    fat joe is wack all his albums arer average and about nothing . cant sell records and is wack but he still on bet and mtv ?

    • mofucka killa

      Your wack. Better not talk shit over the internet. Give your real name and where y ou live motherfucker

  • Benson

    same old questions about DITC and some old answers from Joe. Ya should ask Diamond or Finesse why they don't put a new DITC album together. while you see those dudes touring underground spots in Europe, Joe is always absent bronzing his ass in Miami. this ain't no crew no more.

    • uniqueshaqfan

      They haven't been a crew since the late big l got killed, thay crew jumped the shark after he died, Big L was the greatest out of the D.I.T.C.

  • JunMaf*ckn

    NY ca use another DITC album!

  • Nico 3

    OC and the rest of those underground bums should be blowing up Fat Joe's cell phone, begging him to help get an album released. Every year, Joe comes with something new. He may not be pushing alot of units, but that has more to do with the consumer ignorance of people than the quality of the music. Best believe, he's still making money, or else he wouldn't still be around. If I were DITC, I'd make a reunion album the top priority. Not doing one only proves that these old school cats aren't business savvy and just want everything handed to them.

    • DC Sniper

      Nico 3 - You dikhead ! It ain't about the money or the fame. These is pure hip-hop cats the do it for the love, the art, and respect. Trust me - these cats tour around the world to support themselves and they sure as hell get more love overseas than they do here in the States (do your reserach). Don't get it twisted, just cuz you don't see em all up on 106 & Park dont mean that these cats is broke and bummy. Of course we all wanna see another Crates album with everybody pourin there heart n soul into the project. However we all know the rap game has become and still is a "business first" industry. Fat Joe definitely brings hype to the project, but even with Big L gone, he still aint even the coldest out of the DITC crew. Aint takin nothin away from Joe. He's done his thing and I got much respect for the God. He can run around makin high budget videos all day long with Trey Songz, Omarion or any of these other teenagers making corny bubble-gum songs, but at the end of the day DITC is family, and blood is definitely thicker than water. Ultimately, its all about timing and I have no doubt in the future we'll see a legit DITC record that will make L Corleone proud, but you got it twisted if you think these "legends" are or should be sitting by the phone waiting for this nigga's call.

  • DOJA

    kids these days...not knowing their history...how the fuck can you be working with engineer and not know that he knew big L lol

  • uniqueshaqfan

    I Doubt it, D.I.T.C.'s not the same without big l.

  • 5eri05ly

    A DITC album with production from Finesse, Show, Diamond and Buckwild with all of the remaining crew spitting on it would be incredible. Id like to see them reunite with joe and all the peripheral members and make an epic piece; even if it is the last DITC album ever i think they should end on a strong note.

  • Bauce

    Ok i kinda glanced at this but did he suggest he wanted Young Jeezy on a D.I.T.C album? I musta read that wrong right?

    • Afi K. James

      At the end of the day.. Joe's done 10 LPs.. besides the very first LP name one out the other 9 that has a DITC member on there.. Don't be fooled by this interview,,. Why does he want to do one now.?? & should DITC be so ecstatic?? At one point it would've great.. But DITC has been fine without him.. They stay touring overseas.. WITHOUT him.. He finally decides to go back underground.. my bad not totally underground.. Now he decides the time is NOW to get back and do a DITC LP..WHY..?? he wasn't to concerned about them back when..?? He's better off doing a Terror Squad LP.. He left DITC.. DITC don't leave him** let's get it straight** Because D.I.T.C. isn't the same without the late big l.

    • seldomseen163

      At the end of the day.. Joe's done 10 LPs.. besides the very first LP name one out the other 9 that has a DITC member on there.. Don't be fooled by this interview,,. Why does he want to do one now.?? & should DITC be so ecstatic?? At one point it would've great.. But DITC has been fine without him.. They stay touring overseas.. WITHOUT him.. He finally decides to go back underground.. my bad not totally underground.. Now he decides the time is NOW to get back and do a DITC LP..WHY..?? he wasn't to concerned about them back when..?? He's better off doing a Terror Squad LP.. He left DITC.. DITC don't leave him** let's get it straight**

    • radioraheem

      Nah moron. That's what happens when people don't take the time to really read. He was just saying that he shot the "Haha" video with Young Jeezy and then another video with Trey Songz... he was pointing out how he's doing music with popular artists and yet he's not big-headed and still really wants to do a D.I.T.C. album. And has been begging them to do it, but the crew don't seem to be all that interested.

    • Bauce

      I agree. He realized he'll never sell albums like he used to so he stopped the bullshit. Darkside was his best album in 12 years so I credit him for that but he's still a sellout in my eyes

    • BONKEIRA

      Nah, hes comparing haha with young jeezy to his DITC shit, which is stupid in its own right. Fat joes a sell out, i think hes just trying to pander to his old fans who are sick of his commercial bullshit.

  • Andre RichMan Cannons Lovell

    Co cop that "The Darkside, Vol. 1", the official...shit's fiyah!!!!

  • BONKEIRA

    WHy's he talking about DITC? He hasn't made anything of that calibre since pun died

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