From his debut album, Represent, Fat Joe has always been a member of New York's D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates) collective. Discovered by Bronx neighbor, Diamond D, Fat Joe's earliest work sported production from the likes of Showbiz, Lord Finesse and Diamond.
With numerous group appearances scattered throughout the '90s, D.I.T.C. never released an actual album until after the untimely death of Harlem emcee Big L in 2000. Put out through Tommy Boy Records, the self-titled release featured Fat Joe on the cover, alongside O.C., A.G., Lord Finesse, Buckwild, Diamond D, Showbiz and the late Big L. Joe appeared on two of the album's songs, "Da Enemy" and "Way of Life."
In subsequent years, Fat Joe has represented his collective in interviews, as well as on albums, mixtapes and compilations from Diamond D, Showbiz as well as putting production on his recent albums from Buckwild.
Still, in an interview published today by Complex, the Bronx rapper was unaware of his bandmates releasing 2008's The Movement. "I didn’t even realize that happened, to tell you the truth. I never heard it. Who’s on it? Maybe it was a remake or something like that," said Joe, asked of why he did not appear on the project released on D.I.T.C. Records. Diamond was also absent from the release.
Joe spoke of that time in his career further, "That’s a different time in Hip Hop. That’s the motivating time. That was the time where everybody supports each other. Diggin' In The Crates never disrespected each other. We always motivated each other and helped each other. That’s a whole new category with this new school bullshit. With loyalty and shit like that. With Diggin' In The Crates and myself, it’s all about the music."
The interviewer also asked Fat Joe his opinion of nemesis 50 Cent's debut Get Rich Or Die Trying. Joe replied, "I refuse to comment on that. Because ask him if he thinks any of my songs were phenomenal hits or whatever. I can’t comment on a person who won’t comment on me in a positive light. So I wouldn’t be true to a comment if I answer that question."
Fat Joe's J.O.S.E. 2 is presently set for May 19 release.