Fat Joe is openly reflecting on the moment his past feud with 50 Cent cost him a $20 million dollar sneaker deal with Jordan Brand in 2005. Though things never got physical between the two, their perception amongst the public was enough for companies to be unwilling to stand by the 52-year-old.
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GQ shared an excerpt of his memoir, The Book Of Jose, on Monday (Nov. 14) where the New York City rapper recounts his experience at the 2005 VMA’s. The Power executive producer was flanked at the Miami awards show by his G-Unit comrades Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, new signees Mobb Deep, Ma$e, and more.
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“Halfway through the show, I went out on the stage to give Missy Elliott an award,” the “All The Way Up” artist recalled. “What the audience at home didn’t see was that during the commercial break beforehand, 50 Cent got out of his seat and started walking the house. He went up to the audience in the cheap seats and started waving to me. It was like he was dar-ing me to get off the stage and physically confront him. Then he went down to the floor and started slapping fives with Jay-Z and Diddy.”
The “In Da Club” rapper then found his way onstage and was in close proximity to Joey Crack before the commercials finished. “I was saying to myself, Okay, we’re about to fight. We’re about to get it on right here at the VMAs,” Joe explained.
“When the show came back on—this is live TV, mind you—he went back to his seat. The G-Unit started yelling at me while I’m reading off the teleprompter. The Terror Squad, offstage in the wings, started barking back. That’s when I dropped my jab: ‘I feel safe with all the police protection courtesy of G-Unit.’”
Evidently, the former G-Unit leader didn’t take too kindly to the jab. After Terror Squad left the building, the Queens rapper took the stage to perform several of his solo and group hits. At the close of Tony Yayo’s “So Seductive,” 50 Cent said “Fat Joe is pu**y, man. Pu**y boy. F**k boy.”
This on-screen tension played a huge role in Fat Joe’s meeting with Michael Jordan a few days later. While it seemed he was getting ready to debut his Fat Joe Jordans, the six-time NBA champion had to put a halt on the deal. “‘You know I love you, Big Joe, but you’re too hot right now,’ he told me on a phone call. ‘I wanted to do it, but I’m not into all that rap beef. With all this controversy, we can’t do the sneaker anymore.'”
“Lost about $20 million by not getting that deal. I lost out on other endorsements too. Promoters definitely didn’t book me and 50 Cent on the same shows. Everybody had to keep us separated. But as fate would have it, after the VMAs, we didn’t see each other again in person for almost a decade.”
Joe joined Talib Kweli on the People’s Party podcast where he spoke on what caused him and the Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ artist to peace things up: the death of their mutual friend Chris Lighty in 2012.
“When I show up to the BET Awards, we on point. We super focused,” Joe said. “That’s the only way I can explain it legally. They say rehearsal. I perform ‘Lean Back’ and then 50 Cent comes out. He ends up right by where I’m at. And when the music stops, he puts his hands out, and says ‘Peace for Chris Lighty.’ Chris Lighty wanted peace.”