Fat Joe “Success” (1995) / “Success (DJ Premier Remix)” (1995)
Producer: Domingo (Original Version) / DJ Premier (Remix)
Album: Jealous One’s Envy
Fat Joe: “I was really from the streets and I really did hustle in a major way. When I got my record deal, I left the streets alone, as far as hustling. I never ever hustled again. I said, ‘I’m gonna change my life, I’m going legit. This is where I’m at.’
“But when you get in the rap game, no matter how hardcore rap is, there’s a bunch of nice guys in this business. I was busy trying to act like a nice guy, trying to make people not be scared of me and work with me because I’m sure they were hearing horror stories from the streets.
But then, Jay-Z [was about to come out with] a whole drug dealer album, Biggie was talking about hustling, and they were talking about shit I really did.
Biggie and me were really cool, and we used to talk every other day on the phone. ‘Success’ was the one song he ever complimented me on. He was like, ‘You stepped your shit up, man! Damn, Joe!’
“So, at one point, I was like, ‘I know I’m trying to change my life and be b-boy hip-hop, but this is the lifestyle I know. Can’t nobody describe it like me. They know I got the real stories.’ In fact, Biggie and me were really cool, and we used to talk every other day on the phone. ‘Success’ was the one song he ever complimented me on. He was like, ‘You stepped your shit up, man! Damn, Joe!’ Biggie was a great dude. I watched him become the biggest guy on earth, but still be humble.
“I think [Biggie] was out of town when we did the video. I had Big L, Rosie Perez when she was like the baddest chick. Nas was in it, Raekwon. Diamond D, Showbiz, Ghostface, LL. The kings of the game. The whole world came out and was like, ‘Crack, what’s up!’ I had Nas and Common in the Bronx. Whooo! We had a great time.
“Primo’s always been [one of] the top three producers ever. I knew Primo since [Lord] Finesse got signed to Wild Pitch and Gang Starr was on there. I used to hang out with Guru in the Bronx before I was rapping. He would just come fuck with us and chill.
“So I stepped to Primo like, ‘Yo, I need you to do this remix for me.’ And he was like, ‘No problem.’ That was like getting touched by God right there, at that time. So he put that shit together, and I was like, ‘Oh man, this shit is hard!’”