Fat Joe has given The Notorious B.I.G. his flowers, claiming that there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t play at least one song from the late Brooklyn legend.
In a sit-down with Angie Martinez for Iconic Records, which initially aired on Monday (June 5), the Terror Squad leader gave some insight on how he brokered the collaboration between Biggie and Bone Thugs N Harmony for “Notorious Thugs,” prompting him to share how his admiration for Big Poppa led to the introduction in the first place.
“I’ll never forget it — it was great for Hip Hop, that’s crazy,” he told the legendary New York radio host. “And then, when Big passed away — when he got killed — I got the phone call from Steve Lobel, he was the one who called me. He was like, ‘Yo, Biggie died,’ and I was like, ‘Yo, no way.’ I was here in the Bronx. And so, I got the phone call from Steve Lobel — that was the first person to tell me that.”
He continued: “I’ll tell you how you summarize this whole Jerry Springer moment: whether we admit it or not, you know, us as New Yorkers, we’re really tough and we’re really thick-skinned. But when they took Big, they snatched the heart out the apple. You know? He’s the logo, he’s the DNA, he’s everything in New York City. Not just Brooklyn — everybody in New York City loves Biggie on another level.
“It’s always going to give us a bitter taste. We’re never going to get over it. Every time I have a good time — if I’m on a yacht, if I’m celebrating life — anytime I want to feel good, I put on Biggie Smalls. I hear a Biggie Smalls song every single day of my life.”
Check out Joe’s comments below:
This isn’t the first time that Fat Joe has shared details on how he helped broker one of the most legendary collaborations in Hip Hop history.
Back in March, when fans and rappers alike were celebrating the life of The Notorious B.I.G. on the 25th anniversary of his death, the Bronx rapper shared a throwback picture of himself posted up alongside Biggie, Lil Kim, Diddy and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony back in the ’90s.
“Fun fact i got a call from BIG and he said joe i need your boys BONE on a song,” Joe wrote in the caption. “I said say no more BONE N BIGGIE BONE N BIGGIE. I love you BIG we will never forget you 25 years later we will never forget THE KING OF NY.”
“Notorious Thugs” is the opener on disc two of Biggie’s second album, Life After Death. The Bad Boy rapper teamed up with Bone Thugs for the hard-hitting track, which was produced by Stevie J and Diddy.
During an interview with HipHopDX in 2015, Steve Lobel — who managed the Cleveland rap group — confirmed Joey Crack really did play a part in bringing the guys together.
“Fat Joe calls me and says ‘[Puff Daddy] is gonna call you. I think Puff had called Fat Joe because he knew I used to work with Fat Joe and we were really tight,” Lobel rememebered. “I worked with Fat Joe, also Big Pun. Puff called and said, ‘Big’s at the Record Plant he want to do a song with Bone.’ I said ‘Ok, let me round these guys up.’”