During quarantine, Fat Joe has been hosting his Instagram Live show, aptly named The Fat Joe Show, frequently bringing on guests from the hip-hop community to talk through various issues that will be interesting to rap fans. This week’s show was a bit more solemn than usual, as Joe and his guest, fellow New York rapper Maino, discussed the growing problem of gun violence within rap. Of course, this has always been an issue practically since the inception of the genre, but a recent spate of shootings that resulted in losing a young rapper like King Von had the topic at the front of Joe and Maino’s minds.
Joe mentioned that he considered titling this episode “Rappers Are In Danger,” that’s how serious he thinks the issue is. “We seeing rappers getting murdered every day,” Joe said. “We’re seeing rappers go to jail for big sh*t. This ain’t little sh*t, Maino, right? Have you managed to stay out the way, like to get caught up with these things.”
Maino, who spent several years behind bars himself, remembered that hope of getting out and setting goals is what kept him going while locked up. But he also remembered how easy it was to get caught up in anger and pettiness. “When you working toward something, you’ve got a purpose,” Main said. “You set these goals for yourself, you got somewhere to go with that. The problem is that we losing focus on what is important and what’s not. Like I said before, music was a way out. That’s a door to something different. The opportunities is endless. We don’t have to dodge street n—-s. How? I don’t want to die there. That’s counterproductive.”
Joe echoed Maino’s idea that music as a way out is how he escaped from potential violence, too. “Boom, I moved on and never looked back,” Joe remembered. “I said, ‘Alright, I’m going to do it in this rap sh*t like. I’m going to do this rap sh*t and that’s it. It’s gotta go here.” The conversation ended with the two veterans hoping that a younger generation can follow a similar trajectory, and keep themselves safe during an increasing bout of violence and death. Watch the full show below.