Fat Joe has named his eighth solo album The Elephant In The Room. The phrase comes from that awareness we all have for something, but aren’t talking about. Perhaps with Joey Crack, this could be his deep-rooted role in hardcore Hip Hop.

Few artists who have reached the commercial and celebrity success of Fat Joe have attained his respectability in the field of Hip Hop. Beyond just bringing Big Pun to our ears, Joe has played a role in super-group D.I.T.C., unified coasts at critical times, prompted awareness to veterans, and arguably remained the most consistent star from The Bronx since KRS-One stepped out of the mainstream limelight a decade ago.

With singles like “Make It Rain” and the newly-released “I Won’t Tell,” Joe‘s other side is rarely discussed by those who know, and rarely conveyed to those who don’t. But as his new album balances the hits with tracks like the DJ Premier-assisted “Thank God For That White,” the man who 14 years ago introduced himself as “Fat Joe Da Gangsta,” is still true to form. In an exclusive interview with HipHopDX, Fat Joe manages his south-exploiting criticism, talks about his agelessness and blames producers, with a gangster’s chuckle, for the “ignorant shit” that he continues to give his hardcore heads. Flow Joe!

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HipHopDX: Being a hardcore Hip Hop guy, I wanted to ask you about this track from the new album