MS Hi, it’s so nice to meet you.

FJ How you doing?

MS Good, thank you. So, you are filming a commercial today.

FJ Yep. For the energy drink YJ Stinger. I’m excited because it will air at the Grammies. It’s a big deal. It gives me more exposure and it’s a beautiful thing to do.

MS Definitely. So how did you enjoy the Knicks game the other night? My son

was there and saw you.

FJ Ah man, I love the Knicks man. Stephon [Marbury] is one of my closest

friends. I’m excited that his dream came true and he can become a Knick now.

MS Yeah, that’s fabulous.

FJ Word.

MS With four wins in a row and three under Lenny Wilkens...

FJ Yeah, that’s crazy. I’m excited about that.

MS Yeah, so you think that combination is going to have a huge impact on the

Knicks?

FJ Oh, I think so. Because you know, Lenny Wilkens is a player’s coach. He

gets along with them. You know, of course he disciplines them. But they still understand they can actually talk to their coach. There are not too many situations like that. You know what I mean? So I am excited about it. I know Chaney had to go.

MS Yeah.

FJ Yeah, Coach Chaney just wasn’t clicking.

MS But now, I understand that you have your own summer basketball league?

FJ Yeah.

MS And that you coach?

FJ We’re the champions of the Rucker Summer League in Harlem. We’re two time

champions in a row. And Stephon plays for me.

MS Oh, he does?

FJ A lot of NBA cats come and play for me in the summer. So I’m just heavily involved in the basketball scene.

MS Would you ever think about coaching pro? Being that your team has been so

successful.

FJ I would love to, but I can’t do that. I’d like to be an assistant coach.

You know, at least an assistant coach for the day.

MS For the day? That would be fun.

FJ Yeah.

MS I’ve read that you are very productive in your life; that you have a lot of rules that you go by and that you don’t bend. Can you tell me what they

are? Why you are so successful?

FJ I’m all work, no play. It’s almost time to retire soon.

MS Yeah?

FJ Yeah, not really. Not soon, but it’s just, you know, I spend most of my

days doing business. Whether it’s musically, whether it’s promoting, whether

it’s studio, filming a video. You know, out on tour. You know, I’m trying to

retire early.

MS What do you want to do when you retire?

FJ Sit home on a rocking chair all day. Watch some good TV. Get some good religion going. You know what I’m saying? Just watch my kids grow up.

MS Are you a religious man?

FJ Definitely. But I don’t really go to church.

MS That’s okay.

FJ You know, I just got a relationship with God myself.

MS That’s what is important, right?

FJ Definitely important.

MS How old are your children?

FJ One is nine and one is eleven.

MS Now do you keep your family on a low profile, away from the media?

FJ Yeah, you know, it’s not like the media stalks them or nothing, but I

definitely keep it at their pace. My youngest son loves to be in my videos and loves to come to the shows. So, you know, we can’t keep him out of the camera.

MS If they would like to go into the music industry, would you encourage them

or would you influence them to go into something else?

FJ I would encourage them if that’s what they really wanted to do. But if

they want to become a doctor or a lawyer, or something productive: a school

teacher, whatever, I would advise that even more, because I took a lot of bumps and bruises to get where I’m at. I would love for them to have a much calmer life then me.

MS You know, I find that music can be very influential on our children. I

don’t think I ever really realized that until I was with my sons at the Bronx Zoo. This girl walked by and my three year old started singing “Shake-that-thang miss.” I was just like oh my God!

FJ (laughing) I don’t even think they realize what they’re singing.

MS Right, but you wonder if they do. Because she walked by and he started

singing it to her.

FJ Maybe because he seen the video.

MS Maybe. But, do think that music has a huge impact on children?

FJ It definitely has an affect on the kids. You know, I wouldn’t allow my son

to listen to music that would have like curses or gangster rap. It’s up to

the parents to really supervise them. You know what I mean? Music is very

influential but we [artists] can’t be the fan’s parents either. We try our best to set a good example. Show them we came from the same places and became successful with a lot of hard work. But we can’t be their parents.

MS What new projects are you doing?

FJ I’m working on a new album. Tony Sunshine is working on a new album. That’s my artist. He’s coming out probably in the summer, working on the Terror Squad album. We’re just keeping busy. This should be our year.

MS Well, you’ve had lots of good years.

FJ Yeah, I know. I have had great years. Man, I can’t complain. But you know

this one feels like it’s gonna be a big one!

MS Really? Good for you. I wish you a lot of luck. When the publisher called me to ask if I would like to do an interview with Fat Joe, I was like yeah!(duh.)

FJ You were like let’s do it. Let’s get it on.

MS Definitely. You were coming from the South Bronx, the ghetto. Although you were fortunate of having both parents...

FJ I think that’s important.

MS Yeah it is.

FJ It’s super important. You need a father to scream at you.

MS Yeah, but what I think is even more important than that, is that if two

people can’t be together, they should still parent together.

FJ Exactly. Exactly the case.

MS You really have to learn how to communicate.

FJ You have to. You have to do it in the best interest of the child.

MS Right. Well, I know you have to get back to filming the commercial.

FJ Yeah.

MS It was a pleasure meeting you. Thank you.

FJ Peace Westchester. I love you baby! Fat Joe!

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