Regarding his past, Fat Joe has candidly revealed that his clash with JAY-Z during the pinnacle of his career had significant repercussions, including a missed opportunity for a lucrative sneaker deal with Reebok.
The rivalry between the two hip-hop heavyweights sparked on the basketball court in 2004, a time when Harlem's Rucker Park hosted basketball tournaments that brought together music icons and basketball stars.
In a clash of titans, both Hov and Joey Crack led teams that reached the championships that year. However, the clash on the court didn't materialize as anticipated, as JAY-Z's team never showed up, ultimately forfeiting the game to Joe's squad. Riding on the momentum of his victory, Fat Joe didn't hold back, taking a shot at the Roc-A-Fella co-founder in his iconic track "Lean Back."
With verses that echoed, "I don't wanna speak about the Rucker/ Not even Pee Wee Kirkland could imagine this/ My n-gga didn't have to play to win the championship," Joe etched his words into hip-hop history.
Although time has smoothed out their differences, Fat Joe recently shared with Rap Radar (August 25) that the feud had long-lasting repercussions, impacting his business prospects in a significant way.
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Reflecting on his journey, Joe revealed, "I learned the hard way, I never complained and I never said it publicly but you know I had beef with 50 Cent and JAY-Z, the two most powerful dudes in the world. Reebok was gonna give me a sneaker deal and they [were like], 'Oh you have beef with JAY-Z and 50 Cent,' Jordan too, 'We can't give you the deal.' You know how much money, shit was like an embargo."
Drawing parallels, he referred to Melle Mel's recent remarks directed at Eminem, a topic he had discussed with the Grandmaster himself. Joe emphasized the importance of not letting disputes hinder blessings.
Reflecting on the past, he shared, "I'm not saying purposefully they were doing it, but Mayor's not doing a deal with you if you got beef with Fat Joe. So that's the whole point I try to teach [Melle Mel] from my mistake. I said, 'Yo bro, you don't wanna diss him'... What I'm saying is don't block your blessings."