Producer: Diamond D
Diamond D: “Fat Joe [and I lived in] the Forest Projects in the South Bronx. He was just somebody who lived in the neighborhood. We knew each other since we were kids. He got into rhyming in the early 90’s. He was always into hip-hop [before that], but he wasn’t outside at all the jams on the mic or anything like that. Dudes knew who Joe was. He was running around in the streets, doing his thing on the side or whatever. But I don’t think everybody knew he was rhyming.
“I was involved [in Fat Joe’s career] from the very beginning. Joe stopped me in the street, because he knew I was in the industry from Ultimate Force and from me producing for Lord Finesse. So he came up to me and said he wanted to pay for some studio time, and he had some ideas he wanted to throw down. So we hooked up, and the first couple of demos we did, they all became radio inserts, and Red Alert would play them. That caught the attention of Chris Lighty, who had a production deal at Relativity. It was Violator/Relativity. The Beatnuts were actually over there prior to Joe going over there.
“Me and Joe went around to at least four or five different labels before he got signed. They all passed on him. I don’t know why. But Chris Lighty said he was gonna fuck with it, and he gave us a budget, and I recorded Joe’s whole first album.
“The ‘Flow Joe’ beat was crazy. The drums were bangin’. I moved to the north side of the Bronx over on Paulding Avenue, and I remember that was one of the first beats I made [while I was living up there], on the S-950.
“That was the one that Joe believed in. We all believed in it. That [song] pretty much set off his career. We shot the video in Long Island City, Queens over there on the docks.”