Rewind back to 2016 and Fat Joe and his Terror Squad collaborator Remy Ma had a hit on their hands with their rap group reunion duet “All the Way Up,” taken from their joint album Plata O Plomo. The song became a radio smash and hood classic, having gone double platinum in the US. It’s who was left off the remix that is coming to light, however.
The song itself peaked at #27 on Billboard and went on to go double platinum in the United States. It became remixed multiple times as well, with a Westside remix being released along with a Dance remix helmed by David Guetta. Eventually the song was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 59th Grammy Awards.
For years, rumors of trouble between Joe and Jay Z pervaded the blogs. In 2004, Joe and Jay Z looked to settle the score in their championship game for New York City’s Entertainment Basketball Classic. A bevy of star players, including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford, were all slated to play. Unfortunately, Jay Z’s S.Carter team forfeited because of scheduling issues, allowing Joe’s Terror Squad club to walk away with the championship.
Joe gloated about their win on his hit song “Lean Back” in 2004, with Jay trading a few bars back on his 2004 track, “The Game is Mine.” They ended the beef famously in 2016, also resulting in the remix that Jay hopped on.
Joe shares that in honor of them quashing their beef and its “historic” aire, he requested that the two only keep the remix to Jay with the original artists. Joe had such a smash hit on his hands that he claims “everyone” wanted to be on – including Drake.
Joe has been using this quarantine to give fans a peek into some of his biggest hits and collaborators, using his Instagram Live to share stories of other verses and songs that never saw the light of day.
Another snippet Joe has shared over recent weeks is how Ashanti was almost replaced on his 2002 hit “What’s Luv,” which featured Ashanti singing the hook and a guest appearance from Ja Rule. It made history for Ashanti however — so it was a good thing he didn’t!
Ashanti became the first female to occupy the top two positions on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously when Ja Rule’s “Always on Time” and “What’s Luv?” sat at numbers one and two, respectively.
Joe revealed that producer Irv Gotti wanted J. Lo on the hook, telling Joe, “Yo this is for you and J. Lo. We want the Latinos on this.’” But Joe wanted to leave Ashanti on the hook — and he got his way, luckily for her. “Nah, we leaving her there. And, that’s how that went down,” he explained.
Drake wasn’t the only remix problem that Fat Joe has had in the past, either. Since Joe’s considered a legend on his own, he’s one that also attracts other legends. He shared a different story about another friend of his that wanted on to a remix — Eminem.
Fat Joe’s 2004/5 smash hit “Lean Back” went bananas when it was released as a Terror Squad record. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks from August 21, 2004 and topped the R&B charts for more than a month. Eminem was to be on the remix, and Joe shared that the notorious perfectionist submitted over 30 versions of his verses!
During an appearance on a recent edition of the Drink Champs podcast, Fat Joe spoke to Lenny S, DJ EFN, and N.O.R.E about his experience of working with Eminem on the cut.
“He sent me that same verse 30 different times, saying it with a different tone, lighter tone… he wouldn’t make up his mind,” he explained.
“30 different takes and verses… the same verse! Same verse! Different flows, different high or low… I don’t know what to tell you. This dude is such a perfectionist. It was like, ‘Alright, we know the verse! Can we let it go? We’re running down to the wire’.”
Joe’s history is unmatched in hip-hop, clearly — and everyone wants to hop on his hit songs.
Ultimately in the case of “All The Way Up” and Jay Z, none of the other versions were released — because Hov always gets his way. See Joe’s clip below explaining that songs intricacies to New York’s Hot 97 below.