While we often talk about different areas and how their Rap scenes have become staples in a city’s culture, the Bronx is quite a different story. While the early years of Hip Hop look much different than what we see today, the Bronx is where the genre began and the connection that the borough has to Rap is unmatched. Several of our favorite artists emerged from the Boogie Down including Fat Joe who revisited memories from his youth and recalled seeing so much diversity within Hip Hop.

Joey Crack caught up with HipHopDX and stated that inclusivity has been a cornerstone in Hip Hop since its inception. With so many conversations about who belongs and who doesn’t, Fat Joe speaks on the genre’s diversity.

“I really believe in YOLO—you only live once. You only have one life to live, and I just wanna maximize everything artistically and creatively that I can while I’m here and to leave a legacy long after I’m gone so people could still play my records, play my TV shows every day,” he said. “So, that’s all I’m doing. I’m all about the culture. When I signed in growing up in the Bronx where Hip Hop was created, I was taught to love everybody. I was taught like, Hip Hop is almost a religion.

“It was always diverse. It was always Latino, Black, White, Asian, whatever. We were always taught to embrace everybody who loves Hip Hop music. And so I have an obligation to that, and I have a responsibility to the culture that far exceeds financial gain or wealth. It’s the wealth of the culture, preserving the culture.”

Joe also said that there are young rappers who hit him up with questions or to seek advice. He takes the time to nurture the next generation of hitmakers and he hopes that they not only glean wisdom but pay it forward.

“I tell ’em, ‘Yo, move like this. Watch yourself, too.’ And that’s what it’s all about. And I want them to do the same thing when they become the OGs to the generation behind.”

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