When he was finally able to achieve mainstream fame, Fat Joe was known for his happy lyrics in hits, such as “What’s Luv?,” “Make it Rain,” “Lean Back,” and “We Thuggin’.” There are not too many rap fans who remember just how Fat Joe began his career. For starters, his name was not simply Fat Joe, he was Fat Joe da Gangsta and he was not afraid of anything. He did not have a large fan base, but he was respected.
Following his breakthrough hit with “What’s Luv?,” Fat Joe changed his entire style. He was a respected member of the hip hop community until he was called out by 50 Cent. Slowly, but surely, 50 turned Fat Joe from a popular rapper to a joke. While he never sold many album copies, by 2004-2005 it was expected from Fat Joe to at least sell 400,000 to 500,000 copies on each album. Since his feud with 50 Cent, he only sells around 20,000 to 50,000.
The average hip hop fan would credit this decline in album sales to Fat Joe’s feud with 50 Cent. But, Fat Joe is not the average hip hop fan. In actuality, Fat Joe is one of the most well-known players in this game called hip hop. He does not credit his feud with 50 Cent to his status as a joke instead of that of a legend. Ever since he broke through, Fat Joe has decided to play the role of a nice guy. Playing that role landed him a feud with 50 Cent and it lost the respect of the hip hop community.
Unlike many other artists in hip hop, Fat Joe has admitted that he lost. Despite losing, he is determined to win everything back. Right after the flop of his last album, J.O.S.E., Pt. II, he was once again taunted by 50 Cent. Once 50 Cent pounced on his album sales, many fans did, too. It was officially the lowest point in Fat Joe’s career. He has done a lot in the game, but he is no longer a major-label artist and he is treated like a second-class rapper.
Of all of the nice-guy albums that Fat Joe has released, his nicest one was his most-recent one. A new side to Joey Crack was shown on this new album, but he did little to regain any respect. He is often criticized for his lack of lyrical ability, but he proved that he could put it down, but no one purchased the album to find out. With the New Year here, Fat Joe vowed that he was going to change his image. This time around, he promised to come with some hard-hitting music that could not be denied.
Fat Joe decided that it was time for him to venture over to the dark side and he has not looked back, since. The title of his next album is based off of this new direction. His latest album has been titled The Darkside. As the title makes obvious, he has plans of taking it back to the streets for this one. Earlier today, he released the first single, “Slow Down (HaHa),” featuring Young Jeezy. On the song, he takes direct shots to all of his critics and to the state of hip hop.
This is only the first taste of what is yet to come from Fat Joe. He hopes that he can reinvent the game with this new album. As it stands, there is currently no release date for The Darkside.