Hustle Mindset

Fat Joe Says He Still Owes Money To His Former Record Label For His 2001 Album — ‘I Sold 2 Million Records, Still Ain’t Recoup’


Fat Joe has gotten very candid about his view on record labels.

During an Instagram Live, the New York rapper elaborated on why he previously told Forbes that he believes record labels are Ponzi schemes. He claimed he noticed a trend where music companies will find talented artists who come from less fortunate backgrounds and fund their music careers. However, Fat Joe emphasized that to him it’s a tactic for record labels to swindle musicians. In addition, he shared how he thought the majority of the time ownership is in the labels’ hands.

“Though they make the profit of the records, they charge you whatever they spend on the video,” Fat Joe shared on Instagram Live. “It ain’t like we 50/50 partners.”

He added, “You could bring a scientist who wins the Nobel Peace Prize to do the accounting on major labels’ math, and they always can’t figure it out. So it’s robbery, all the way through.”

In short, Fat Joe is saying that “the math ain’t mathin’.” Additionally, regarding his fourth studio album, “Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.),” which was released in 2001 by Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group, Fat Joe shared that the success of the album didn’t line up with what he ended up earning.

“I sold 2 million records — still ain’t recoup,” Fat Joe shared.

“When I get my statement from the major label 20 years later, I still owe them money,” he continued.

In 2006, around five years after releasing “Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.),” Fat Joe left Atlantic Records and released his seventh studio album, “Me, Myself & I,” independently through his imprint, Terror Squad, according to Billboard.

The move away from the major label not only sparked his journey of investing in himself, it proved he could be successful doing it. Per The Wall Street Journal, the first single of the album, ‘Make It Rain,’ ended up selling 4 million records.

“I’m self-funding everything,” Fat Joe. “I would go on tour for a month or two—Yugoslavia, China, anywhere you name—save all my money and then invest in making the album, making the videos, promoting it. And even though I went independent, I kept that same look.”

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