April 25, 2024

Fat Joe Still Hasn’t Made Money From The Platinum Album He Dropped Two Decades Ago


Fat Joe has had a great career. He’s scored massive hits in multiple decades, and is rightfully seen as an elder statesman of New York hip-hop. Unfortunately, his OG status hasn’t translated to proper payment. During a recent Instagram Live, Joe revealed that he still hasn’t been paid for the release of his seminal 2001 album J.O.S.E. (Jealous Ones Still Envy). It’s one thing if J.O.S.E. did poorly, but with over 2 million copies sold worldwide, the album is Joe’s biggest to date!

Fat Joe blamed the lack of payment on the record label, which he likened to a Ponzi scheme. He detailed how labels like Atlantic, who released J.O.S.E., trick artists by giving them advances and later claiming all of the profits. “They make the profits off the records,” he added. “They charge you whatever they spent on the video. It ain’t like we 50/50 partners, they pay half of the video we pay half of the video.” Fat Joe went as far as to call these industry practices “robbery.”

Read More: Fat Joe’s “Don Cartagena” Turns 25

Fat Joe Likens Record Deals To Ponzi Schemes

The fate of J.O.S.E. supports the rapper’s claims. The album went platinum in 2001 and spawned the hit single “What’s Luv” featuring JA RULE and Ashanti. “What’s Luv” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and yet, two decades later, Fat Joe hasn’t seen any of the profits. In fact, he still owes the label money! “When I get my statement from the major label 20 years later, I still owe them money,” he said on IG Live.

Fat Joe has shunned label deals in the years since, and prefers to release music independently. He asserted that albums financed by his own Terror Squad label, and distributed through majors, result in much better paydays. “I put out an album independently on Empire and get distribution,” he added. “My album might sell 250 to 300,000 records, I make millions of dollars off of it.” Joe’s recent hits, including 2017’s “All The Way Up,” have been independent releases, which thankfully means he’s made the lion’s share of the profits.

Read More: Fat Joe Doesn’t Want His Kids To Be Rappers


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