Fats Joe & Remy Ma on the Energy of Hip-Hop, Viral Sneaker Licking and What They Purchased on Their First Huge Payday

Hip-hop icon Fats Joe is aware of how one can hook in an viewers.

On a latest afternoon contained in the PMC Studios in New York, the hitmaker has editors, photograph assistants, the glam workforce and a videographer hanging onto his each phrase because the rapper reveals simply how in sync he and fellow FN cowl star Remy Ma are in relation to vogue.

“It’s scary, generally I’ll pull up in a loopy lime inexperienced and she or he’ll be sporting the identical actual shade. We don’t plan this,” mentioned the “What’s Luv?” artist, who clearly likes to take dangers in relation to vogue.

Following the quilt shoot, Fats Joe, born Joseph Cartagena, modified out of his Louis Vuitton shirt and Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 “Pine Inexperienced” sneakers. For the video dialog, he’s wearing a customized pink- and-gray brief set with crocodile paneling — an outfit that he shocked stylist Terrell Jones with earlier — and a friends-and-family pair of his Nike Air Drive 1 collaboration in comparable hues.

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When he sees Remy Ma approaching after a wardrobe change, the 2 start to giggle. But once more, they’re wearing an similar shade palette, with Remy sporting Raf Simons sneakers and a metallic minidress.

Except for their sixth-sense matching, the rap stars are a becoming pair for the quilt of FN’s July difficulty.

The fiftieth anniversary of hip-hop is lower than two weeks away, and the tradition — very similar to Fats Joe and Remy Ma — was born within the Bronx, N.Y. The 2 have additionally been chargeable for delivering memorable hits, together with “Lean Again” and “All of the Approach Up.” (The latter featured an look from Flo Ngala, then a determine skater and budding photographer, who was tapped to shoot this FN cowl seven years later.)

The final word connectors, Joe and Remy are serving as unofficial ambassadors for hip-hop’s golden anniversary, teaming up on Aug. 11 for the last word birthday celebration. First, they’ll carry out as a part of the GMA Summer time Live performance Collection stay from Rumsey Playfield in New York’s Central Park. And that evening, the 2 will as soon as once more take the stage as a part of the star-studded Hip-Hop 50 Reside occasion at Yankee Stadium.

Fat Joe Nike Air Force 1 TS
Fats Joe together with his Nike Air Drive 1 “TS.”

As well as, Fats Joe is celebrating a milestone of his personal. Thirty years in the past, the rapper — recognized then as Fats Joe Da Gangsta — launched his critically acclaimed debut album, “Characterize.” It arrived on July 27, 1993, and produced his first hit, “Circulate Joe.”

“On the time, there was no Latino voice that was dominant in hip-hop, so I knew younger Latinos had been going to be happy with any person who appears like them, who comes from the streets and has an album like that,” the rapper defined. “Did I believe I might be this far? No. I liked hip-hop, I used to be devoted to hip-hop tradition and I simply needed to inform the story about the place I got here from.”

Past music, the 2 icons share a deep love of footwear. The quintessential sneakerhead, Fats Joe was on the heart of one of many tradition’s first viral moments, licking the underside of his Air Jordan 7 “Olympic” on MTV Cribs in 2004. Twenty years later, he boasts a group of “a pair thousand pairs” that “are extra high quality over amount,” and isn’t shy about sharing his kicks with the world. “Everyone knows that you just’re the flyest within the sport,” mentioned Remy Ma.

Fat Joe Remy Ma
Fats Joe and Remy Ma photographed by Flo Ngala.Flo Ngala

As for Remy, born Reminisce Smith, she is much extra modest about her personal place in vogue. However her footwear sport — which ranges from Reebok and Nike sneakers to Timberlands and thigh-high boots, together with Bottega Veneta’s coveted Intrecciato, which she dropped at set — is enviable.

The duo joined FN for a dialog with one another about their love of footwear and mentioned what it means to have a good time hip-hop.

Remy Ma: “How have you ever advanced from ‘Circulate Joe’ [his debut single] to who you are actually? Do you ever look again at photos and be like, ‘What was I pondering with that outfit?’”

Fats Joe: “In fact. I’m a danger taker. Lots of people play it secure, set up one dope look and gained’t get off it. However I take possibilities, whether or not it’s colours or sporting stuff not licensed.”

RM: “Grey suede, crocodile.”

FJ: “We acquired to provide them hell each probability we get. I used to be influenced by Heavy D, early D-boy avenue guys, Dapper Dan. Once I grew up, each block you went to was a vogue present. Dapper Dan posted an image the opposite day after I was 14 years previous with the Dapper Dan Gucci on.”

RM: “Why had been you 14 with Dapper Dan Gucci on?”

FJ: “I needed to have it. It was once arduous for giant boys to get garments. Sooner or later I noticed my man strolling in Harlem and he had this Louis Vuitton outfit on. I used to be like, ‘The place did you get this?’ He took me to Dapper Dan. I used to be already within the streets making a few {dollars}. From there, I began going to Dap on a regular basis shopping for Gucci outfits, MCM.”

RM: “My brother right here goes to the Louis Vuitton retailer, buys three of the identical factor after which takes it to his most superb tailor on this planet.”

FJ: “Huge boys had been mad at me as a result of they’d be like, ‘How do you get it?’ We had been taking $7,000 Goyard luggage, chopping three luggage as much as make a hoodie earlier than folks knew what Goyard was. If it’s a pair of sneakers — $25,000, $45,000 — I don’t care. If it’s fly, I’ve acquired to have it. We solely stay as soon as and we ain’t taking it with us.”

RM: “I’m positively not taking a $7,000 bag and chopping something. However you’ve got influenced some bigger purchases.”

FJ: “I find it irresistible. You simply walked in with Bottegas as much as your knee. My spouse is brief, I attempted to get them for her however she was swallowed within the boots. You went all the best way up. Solely sure folks [can do it] — you, Mary [J. Blige].”

RM: “Mary, I preserve telling her I’m coming to her closet.”

Remy Ma
Remy Ma in her personal Bottega Veneta boots.Flo Ngala

FJ: “I wish to rob [DJ] Khaled. As an enormous boy, he threw on some outfits. He acquired some items that I couldn’t catch.”

RM: “If you weren’t a rapper, you’d nonetheless do that?”

FJ: “I’d be sporting Zara and fly. I might not be a bum. Anytime they did a collab with Versace or this and that, I’d be first on line. Who influenced your model? Inform them about Reeboks. I don’t care how wealthy she is, she desires them Reeboks.”

RM: “After we grew up, they had been referred to as 5411s as a result of they value $49.99 and after taxes it got here as much as $54.11. That was loads, so I by no means might have them. Lots of instances, my purchases are influenced by the purchases I couldn’t make as a child. Throwbacks of sure sneakers, I’m like, ‘I’ve acquired to get them. For tenth grade me, I’ve acquired to do it.’”

FJ: “Me too.”

RM: “The one that influenced the primary large buy I made, the one that helped develop my model, was your spouse, [Lorena].”

FJ: “Yeah?”

RM: “We went to a retailer referred to as Petit Peton in SoHo. They’d purple ostrich thigh-high boots. She was like, ‘Rem, you’ve acquired to strive them on, they’re loopy.’ I flipped the shoe, regarded on the value and I’m like, ‘There needs to be a decimal lacking or one thing.’ I’d by no means seen a shoe value that a lot in my life. I’m from Fortress Hill within the tasks, I’m struggling to get 5411s — $1,500 boots are loopy to me. I immediately have purchaser’s regret. I’m having anxiousness assaults. I’m like, ‘I’ve by no means spent this a lot cash on something in my life.’ She goes, ‘You understand you’ve acquired to get the matching bag, proper?’ After I acquired the matching bag, it was over. There was no turning again.”

Fat Joe Remy Ma
Fats Joe (L) and Remy Ma, shot solely for FN.Flo Ngala

FJ: “I don’t perceive low cost. I’ve by no means been low cost, by no means understood not having fun with what you’re employed for.”

RM: “You say you are taking dangers. I may be the primary one who referred to as you and was like, ‘Yo, you look fly, you bodied the outfit’ whenever you wore the pink Celine [hoodie] and the Yeezy boots. Everyone was like, ‘I don’t know.’”

FJ: “I used to be strolling round New York pondering I used to be the flyest man within the universe. When folks began clowning the boot, I didn’t perceive it. One of many craziest issues folks say on social media is, ‘Costume your age.’ What’s costume my age? 10x hoodie, Pele Pele? You need me to put on Timbs as much as the knee, the 40 Belows? I’m at all times going to be fly. It was present, it was cool.”

RM: “Would you put on it once more?”

FJ: “No, I wouldn’t put on it once more, however we are able to donate that to the Museum of Hip-Hop.”

RM: “When Eli Manning licked my ‘TS’ [Nike Air Force 1] sneakers, I used to be like, ‘Now I can’t even put on them. The Tremendous Bowl champ licked the underside of my sneakers.’”

FJ: “The very first thing I advised Nike was, ‘The primary pairs must go to Remy.’ I had them in the home, we did the shoot with Eli and I believed it was a good time to get a viral second and lick the underside of the sneaker — after which by the best way, it was Remy Ma’s sneaker. It was a dope second.”

RM: “I’m mad as a result of I can by no means put on my sneakers.”

FJ: “We’ll get you one other one. Ebay these or one thing. After your first payday, what was your largest footwear buy?”

RM: “Sheesh. In addition to the boots that [Lorena] satisfied me to get, I used to be an enormous sneaker woman. Whenever you met me, sneakers and Timbs every single day, and someway it merged into sneakers. I see you do some [big spending] at your own home. I by no means did that. I’ve by no means been there with guys with backpacks that regarded like their names had been Josh and Brandon.”

FJ: “The man from ‘Ozark’ is coming to ship one-of-one sneakers.”

RM: “They’d like 20 pairs, and I’m seeing you depend cash. ‘Did he simply say 100? Are we at $100,000? $200,000?’ You spent about $300,000 that day and left with like seven pairs. I’ve by no means executed something like that, however I’ve been to the shop like, ‘I need each shade.’”

FJ: “You purchase sneakers, you’re a spender.”

RM: “Sneakers or sneakers. Baggage? I’ve acquired to actually just like the bag. I’m not a bag woman, I’m a bookbag woman. However I’ve gone and purchased each sneaker I preferred. As a younger woman simply out of highschool, I dreamed about doing that. ‘Once I get cash, I’m shopping for all of them.’ These Bottegas that I got here in right here sporting had been 10 bands, and I looked for them. Who searches out a $10,000 shoe?”

FJ: “Sneaker collectors now and again be like, ‘I’m dropping out the sport. I acquired these three that nobody ever seen, one-of- ones.’ I leap on them since you’ll by no means get the prospect once more.”

RM: “You had been attempting to get one thing one time they usually saved faking. Each time you’d go together with the cash they modified their thoughts.”

FJ: “There’s individuals who act like they need to promote one thing. I used to be at Flight Membership two months in the past and there have been these OVO [Air Jordan] sneakers I needed. Tremendous overpriced and I nonetheless was like, ‘I would like these.’ They referred to as the man, the man begins speaking about, ‘These survived a hearth.’ I’m like ‘I’m shopping for. Would you like $21,000 or not?’ I spotted he simply likes having them on the shelf, frontin’ like ‘My sneakers are at Flight Membership in the primary window.’”

Fat Joe
Fats Joe, shot solely for FN. Flo Ngala

RM: “I’ve been in your closet. One time we by chance opened that door, I had a goddaughter with me, and she or he’s like, ‘Papa has extra sneakers than you.’ She pointed to pink sneakers, they regarded like one thing from ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Do you ever put on these sneakers which are $21,000?”

FJ: “I put on them. I acquire for conflict. Not solely do I acquire as a result of I like sneakers, however I watch for anyone to name me out. If there’s a ‘Verzuz’ of sneakers, I’m strapped. I’ve acquired bombs, bro. You assume you’ve got a one-of-one sneaker. I’ll bust out the pattern model after they modified the leather-based, they modified the colour. The Dior x Jordan collab that went loopy, it initially was Louis Vuitton x Jordan and Louis Vuitton backed out. I’ve that sneaker, the pattern that they made.”

RM: “If there’s ever a sneaker ‘Verzuz,’ Fats Joe is prepared.”

FJ: “I hype Remy up earlier than we do main issues. I’m like, ‘Sis, it’s the fiftieth anniversary they usually picked us to do ‘Good Morning America.’ They might have picked E-40, Too $hort, Dr. Dre, Eminem, however they picked us. It is a large deal. It looks like we’re ambassadors of the fiftieth 12 months.”

RM: “There are particular artists everyone is aware of — younger, center aged, older. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t know Fats Joe. Hip-hop is the perfect stepping stone ever. You might are available in as a rapper and find yourself being the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, á la Will Smith. You generally is a cowl woman, have an Oscar, á la Queen Latifah. Even right down to your sneaker assortment. Individuals who might not be into hip-hop however are into sneakers know Fats Joe.”

FJ: “Hip-hop is the common language. It brings everyone along with completely different ideologies, completely different religions. There’s a lot variety that there’s no strategy to include it. It began within the Bronx — we’ll take that — however it unfold all around the world. You need to know what’s happening in Mexico? Take heed to Mexican hip-hop. Need to know what’s happening in Ukraine? They’re telling you — ‘Common such and such is on the entrance line, he simply met with Biden and Biden gave him the nines.’ Hip- hop is the common language, and we’re all one — Asian, white, Jewish, Muslim, Black, Spanish, Native. Appropriation, I can’t actually see that in hip-hop.”

RM: “Lots of instances when folks get upset, ‘They’re taking this from us,’ to me, that simply exhibits the expansion of hip-hop, the ability of it. Identical to a Tiffany Air Drive 1 or a Jimmy Choo Timberland, they appear to be what we’re sporting.”

FJ: “Have a look at Blondie. She may need had the third hip-hop tune ever created. She was within the South Bronx, in Manhattan and linked up with Fab 5 Freddie. You find it irresistible and also you’re pure, you need to break- dance, you need to write graffiti, you need to DJ, you need to rap, you’re hip-hop and I’m messing with you.”

The dialog has been edited and condensed for readability.

Photographer: Flo Ngala

Fashion Director: Shannon

Affiliate Artwork Director: Emily Harris

Grooming: Amanda Wilson at Opus Magnificence

Make-up: Rebecca Lee

Hair: Sophia Kay

Photograph assistants: Paul Morejon and Tyler Henry

Editorial assistant: Tara Larson

Fat Joe & Remy Ma on the Power of Hip-Hop & Viral Sneaker Licking
Fat Joe & Remy Ma on the Power of Hip-Hop & Viral Sneaker Licking
Fat Joe & Remy Ma on the Power of Hip-Hop & Viral Sneaker Licking
Fat Joe & Remy Ma on the Power of Hip-Hop & Viral Sneaker Licking

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