In March 2021, Fat Joe told Swizz Beatz and Timbaland said he and the late Notorious B.I.G. “cut about five songs together” for an album before he was murdered on March 9, 1997 at 24 years old. This week, Fat Joe is back with more Biggie-related revelations.
Iconic Records, a visual podcast series hosted by Angie Martinez, is digging deep into Biggie’s iconic 1997 album Life After Death. The sixth episode premiered on Monday, June 5, and focused on the track “Notorious Thugs” featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Around the five-minute mark, Fat Joe told Martinez that he was in the studio with Biggie when he made “Hypnotize,” noting, “From 12 to 1, it was 10 Spanish girls. From 1 to 2, 10 Black girls. From 2 to 3, 10 Asian girls. From 3 to 4, 10 Italian girls. I mean, I never seen nothing like this in my life! I’m sitting in the studio like, ‘This is what it’s like to be The B.I.G.!’ … The ladies loved B.I.G.”
Fat Joe later laid out how he linked Biggie with Bone Thugs, whom he’d “clicked up with” as fellow signees to Relativity Records at the time.
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“I would go to Cleveland, hang out with them. I would ride with them on their tour. These guys sold 30 million records, so they were selling out stadiums. The stadiums looked like they was gonna collapse. The stadiums would look like it’s bending,” Fat Joe said. “Biggie hit me up and was like, ‘Yo, bro, I’m trying to get in touch with your guys. They don’t wanna do it. They’re ignoring me.’ They didn’t want to do a song with Biggie.”
He continued, “Just for Biggie to think that advanced because New York wasn’t up on Bone Thugs like that. He knew that they was gigantic, and he was like, ‘Yo, I need to do a song with them.’”
Fat Joe explained that Biggie saw him as “the plug” capable of connecting him with Bone Thugs, but Bone Thugs felt a conflict of interest because “they had already been cool with Tupac.”
“They was like, ‘Yo, Joe, we can’t do it. We cool with Tupac.’ And I’m like, ‘Yo, bro, this is B.I.G. You know what it is to do a song with B.I.G.?! And so, I convinced them,” he added.
Martinez pressed for more details, and Fat Joe rightfully took another victory lap:
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“I made them go do the song with B.I.G. I don’t know how to explain it to you in any other language. They’ve confirmed. Like, ‘Yo, you gotta go do it. This is my brother.’ And they’re the happiest people in the world to confirm this because they still touring off that record. That record is one of the biggest treasures in hip-hop, and so, they happy they listened to Fat Joe and they did that.”
Fat Joe additionally relayed that Steve Lobel, Bone Thugs’ manager, was the one to inform him of Biggie’s death. Martinez is joined later in the episode by Lobel, Layzie Bone, and Lil Cease.
Watch the full 45-minute Iconic Records episode above.