Fat Joe addressed critics who have said the Bronx-bred rapper can’t use the n-word.
During his visit to “The Breakfast Club” to promote his new book The Book of Jose, the Bronx rapper addressed the criticism he has faced throughout the years for including the word in his music despite the fact that he is not Black.
Joe, who is of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, explained that he starting using the controversial slang because he grew up mostly around Black people.
“First of all my projects is 90%–I’ll give you 80%–Black still,” Joe said. “My grandmother’s projects is 99.9% Black to be clear. So I’m Spanish, I knew I was Latino, but the whole time I thought I was Black anyway.”
He continued, “So my mom lived there 40 years before I was born, in this project, and I’m born blonde hair, green eyes. This shit crazy, right? She brings me there, the first thing they go, ‘Oh look at this little ni**a Joey, he got green eyes.’ The minute I’m walking, the guys in the building is like, ‘Yo look at that little ni**a Joe, little Fat Joe,’ that’s all I knew my whole life before even elementary.”
But Joe has come under fire in recent years, which he attributes to society’s wokeness. “It’s a lot of woke society or something going on these days and Twitter and all that. I guess they don’t understand where I come from, where I was born, or how I was raised, or how I lived my whole entire life. We use it as love, but we know that the record states that this is a negative word.”
He admits that he has been trying to curb his use of the offensive term. “I wish we never used it. I try my best to try [to not use it]. It’s hard, bro. Seriously, I’ve been tryna stop, but I’ve been saying this since I was born.”
However, he won’t let social media dictate what he does or says. “No one’s going to pressure Fat Joe into feeling or saying anything that he loves or he believes in. No one’s ever gonna do that,” he said. “You get one life and ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to say, tell me what to do, tell me what to think.”
The conversation also turned to another contentious word, bitch. “I just think that everybody’s too sensitive. You need to judge a person by who their character truly is, who they really are, who they represent,” said Joe.
“I’ve been a mutt my whole career. I’ve been too Black for some Spanish people and been too Spanish for some Black people. It’s the weirdest thing, but I’ve been able to navigate through it.”
The Book of Jose arrives in bookstores Nov. 15.