Album: Jealous One’s Envy
Fat Joe: “‘Envy’ was a bit of a challenge for me. It was smooth. That was the first [time] Fat Joe was trying to be on some fly shit. But it was still hard. If you listen to the lyrics, they’re real hard.
L.E.S. gave me that sound. He was Nas’ DJ forever, and he was a tremendous producer. The fact that I had someone down with Nas, who was the best rapper in the game at the time, was [incredible].
That was before we were clearing samples. So we didn’t even have to pay for Marvin Gaye’s shit.
“L.E.S. gave me the beat, and was like, ‘Yo, you can rap to this.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know if this shit is too smooth, and if niggas will still fuck with me. You know, I’m Army fatigue’d, Chukka’d up.’ But he was like, ‘Nah Joe, just spit that hard shit over this smooth shit.’ He opened the door to me using melodic beats and talking that fly shit so a girl could relate. Even though it was still a little too hardcore, girls could relate, and we could get it played on the radio.
“I never, ever, ever [got a hard time for making ‘Envy’]. People love it. To this day, people tell me about that song. And that was before we were clearing samples. So we didn’t even have to pay for Marvin Gaye’s shit. It was crazy. Nah, [no one ever came back looking for us to clear the sample].”