Fat Joe. He used to be fat. Never as big as Big Pun. But still, a few hundred pounds.
Times have changed, though. Now he's fit. He's got a sports talk show on MTV2. And these days, the NYC native lives in Miami, and he's headlining the Miami Marlins Summer Concert Series.
Here's what Joe has to say about meeting Big Pun, making friends with Notorious B.I.G., fishing with his Uncle Pipo, making new music with J.Lo, and his favorite MLB team.
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Crossfade: How did you get involved with the Miami Marlins?
Fat Joe: You know, I live in Miami. So every year, they come and ask me to come and bless the place. I've come out there to rock the place like two times already. I'm a big baseball fan.
Who's your favorite team?
You don't want me to answer that -- the Yankees.
Marlins know that?
Yeah, they know that. I'm sure they know.
What is your history with the sport?
Awww, my god. I played my whole life. I watched since I was a little kid. I love baseball.
Why do you think Cubans and Dominicans dominate the game so much?
You know, Dominicans, they love it so much. They come from a little island where not eveybody has a bunch of money. But with baseball, they have a way of providing for themselves and their family, so they make it a priority to be the best. They make a lot of money with baseball.
How did you first get into rap music?
I grew up in the birthplace of rap music, so it was all around me -- block parties, jams, cassette tapes, rap battles. It was just in my life, always.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Run-D.M.C. at Madison Square Garden. The place turned into a riot. The whole place. The whole stadium. That was my first concert.
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How did you first meet Notorious B.I.G.?
I met Notorious at the Lyricist Lounge, this place they had rap battles at. I had the number-one single at the time and I was there chilling. Big was there with Puff Daddy and he beat like ten or 15 rappers, one after another. And Puff was up there sayin', "Who's next! Who want some? Who's next!" And Big was takin' 'em out. We met there. And ever since that day, we were the best of friends.
You guys recorded together too right?
How did you first meet Big Pun?
I was walkin' out of the projects in the Bronx, and he was out front of the bodega rappin'. I said, "Who's this big fat guy rappin'?" I stopped to listen and he blew my mind, he was goin' some like, "Ever since the early days, I earn a wage." Then he stopped and said, "Boom. I blow the moon out the sky." Then he stopped and said, "I snatch the sun away," and had like the hand movement and everything. I had never seen that in my life in rap music. I said, "Oh my god, this is it." We got in my Lexus and drove around, he told me about his life story, and that was history. We were in the studio in the next day.
When did you first meet J.Lo and what you got coming up with her?
J.Lo, I met early in her career, when she first started and was about to get on. Me and Pun was there every night for her first album, givin' input, hangin' out, so she's been a friend for years. I got her on my next single.
How did you first meet Khaled?
I was at a rap seminar, and he was the DJ. This was maybe over 20 years ago and he was like, "I'm a fan!" I just fell in love with his energy and we been friends ever since.
How did you first meet Cool & Dre?
I met them through Robert Fernandez, who discovered Pitbull, and he told me about them and introduced me to them. I had 'em produce for me and then I introduced them to everyone else. Same goes for Rico Love. What you want me to say, I put everybody on? I did!
When was your first time in Miami?
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Since I was a little kid, ha! You know I'm half Cuban and half Puerto Rican. My Cuban side always lived here. My Uncle Pipo and the whole Delgado family is out by Homestead and over by Caribbean Boulevard, and I used to come down and stay the whole summer. We'd go fish a lot and eat the best food, and it was always a beautiful time. I think that's why I moved here. All I ever had was beautiful times here. I remember being a little kid and going to the Three Kings, goin' to everybody's house and eat. I remember it being hot on Christmas. I couldn't believe it.
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Fat Joe. As part of the Marlins Summer Concert Series. Saturday, June 14. Marlins Park, 1380 NW Sixth St., Miami. The show starts at 4:10 p.m. in the West Plaza, immediately following the game between the Miami Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Free with tickets to the game. All ages. Call 305-676-7378 or visit marlins.com.