Fat Joe has had a lengthy career in hip-hop. Yet, one doesn't get to stay in the game this long without weathering some storms. During a conversation with Elliott Wilson for TIDAL's CRWN interview series, Joey Crack recalls a time when his finances weren't in the best shape.
Fat Joe tells Wilson that the success of his fourth studio album, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), and its hit single "What's Luv?" saved his life. He also made so much money from this project that he assumed that he would never run out. As a result, the rapper spent a large portion of his cash splurging on his fellow Terror Squad members until one day the well went dry.
"I made so much money that I was going to the bank every fucking day to get 50,000 in cash," Joe said. "Every n***a in my crew—30 n****s in the Bronx—has white fucking Cadillac trucks with TS chains on... So I go in there one day and the lady goes, 'Mr. Joe, there must be something wrong. There's no money in your bank account.'"
After learning that he was tapped out, Fat Joe turned into his own personal repo man. He tells Wilson and the crowd that he went through his team collecting on all the debts owed to him no matter how small they were.
"I left the bank, my n***a," Joe continued. "You know how they be coming in n***a's cribs for taxes? Taking the chickens, the cow, and shit? 'Any n***a owe me a dollar—go get the shit...' This gets bad because it's people we actually love."
Elsewhere in the interview, Fat Joe talks about Eminem's verse on "Lord Above" and whether or not he is taking sides in Em's beef with Nick Cannon.
This isn't the first time Joe detailed his past financial struggles. In January, Joe appeared on an episode of Belaire's Self Made Tastes Better series. At around the conversation's 25-minute mark, Joe tells the company's CEO, Brett Berish, that he's had to start from scratch multiple times due to his spending habits.
"Truthfully, it happened to me about three times in my life where I went to the bank account and the shit said 'zero,'" Joe said. "Right after that, I made 'What's Luv?' I made another five million, I looked at that in the bank. We kept popping champagne... I walked into another bank in Throgs Neck, asshole this tight. 'Yo, you ain't got no money.' Holy shit. Gotta go make 'Lean Back.' Shit is fucking nuts."
While most people say that they have no regrets in their life/career, Fat Joe honestly admits that he would "change everything" if given a chance to restart his career. Joe recalls meeting Diddy and JAY-Z prior to their stardom. Seeing their financial success now makes him wish he embodied their mindset earlier in his career.
"I met Puff Daddy he had an invisible chain," Joe told Berish. "Meaning that he had a gold chain that was so fucking thin bro that shit was see-through. JAY-Z—and please don't kill me, guys. I remember one time I had a chain on like this with a medallion and I watched JAY-Z when we first looking at the chain like 'What the fuck is that.' Now you look at these motherfuckers and they're billionaires... What the fuck I been doing, man. So yeah, I would change it."
For the full CRWN interview, you can watch it here.