Remy Ma has been out of prison for six days, yet it almost feels like she never even left. Not ever the one to slow down her grind even after a few setbacks, Remy Martin went straight to the studio after she was free. She got up with DJ Khaled, who helped her piece together those vicious verses on the remix to his single, “They Don’t Love You No More.” Meanwhile, her husband Papoose said her return was “like heaven” and Mobb Deep's Prodigy—who was locked up during the same time Remy was doing her bid—can’t wait to get in the studio with her. This week, she’s been making her rounds again by conducting more interviews and recording with the likes of French Montana and Swizz Beatz.

While it’s exciting to see Remy back, many loyal fans are wondering when we’ll see a reunion between her and her former Terror Squad mentor, Fat Joe. In May, Fat Joe opened up about his relationship with Remy on Sway In The Morning, saying there was no ill will between the two. Despite how their relationship soured in the past, Joey reflected on their status and acknowledged that she’ll be taking over hip-hop again. “I told her the truth: 'Yo Rem, I think you are still the hottest chick in the game,'" he said of their phone call months before her August 1 release. "'I know for a fact, you come out here and you gonna kill this thing. Just stay positive, stay focused. You are gonna destroy.'"

Since her release, Fat Joe and Remy haven’t spoken, but he’s not too worried about it. As a key figure in molding her career, Joey Crack still believes that she’s the “same old Remy” and will hit the beats hard with her signature lyricism that’ll eventually lead to bigger looks. During an interview with XXL, the 43-year-old BX native tells us why they settle their differences, doing business with Remy again, the impact she’s making right now, and the challenges of returning to rap in 2014. —Eric Diep


XXL: With the news of Remy Ma out, you’ve been vocal about always helping people. Why are you an advocate for that?
Fat Joe: I think life is based on karma. You give out what you receive. Coming from nothing, being less fortunate, you see others. You want to just help. Especially people who shine through the positive things and try to do the right thing. Of course, you obviously want to help.

You helped Remy early on in her career. What did you see in her?
She was just raw talent. Raw talent. You know, one of a kind. Especially as a female MC—no disrespect—not too many of them spit like Remy. And what’s crazy is I’ve seen the game... Remember when Jordan retired and he came back with the Washington Wizards? He played against Kobe and it was a nationally televised game, right? And he scored like 40-something points. He was older, but he scored like 40-something points. I believe it was Jim Gray or somebody interviewing Kobe and he said, “Hey, what do you think of Jordan?” He said, “Same old Jordan.” We talking about the greatest player in the game. But he took a couple of years off. And Kobe said, “Same old Jordan.” So when I heard her on the Khaled remix and she was spitting like she was spitting, I was like, “Same old Remy.” [Laughs] Anybody who knows her, she’s spitting her ass off.

She’s been in jail for a long time. That’s probably the best post-prison verse I’ve heard.
Ever. 'Cause everybody comes out of jail shaky. You know? No matter what. It’s big hype. You expect a lot. 99 percent of the time, like we’ve seen it over the years, people don’t come back the same. It ain’t the same thing, but she came right back six years later.

Remy, you know, she shoots for the stars. She lets you know what it is. She came straight up from a rough background and then she was raised from the Terror Squad. She’s war-ready, war-tested. That’s what she’s made of. That’s what she’s been taught.

Why did you decide to make peace with Remy after all these years?
For one, I believe I'm more mature and understanding these days. And years ago, I was a young knucklehead out of The Bronx, you know? I have a different understanding of life. So, she called me up and we made peace. It was cool with me. I never had a problem. I never hated Remy. I mean, my feelings was hurt with whatever transpired between us. I never hated her. I wished her the best. I'm still rooting for her right now.

She said in an interview with Billboard that you guys put your egos and pride aside, and talked to each other on a real level.
Yeah, that was important. [We haven’t talked yet], but Remy’s been out for two, three days. She’s got a lot of catching up to do. She’s making the rounds. She’s doing this like she’s going for mayor right now. One day she’s with French, the other day she’s with Khaled. The other day with this. Shit, she was in a fucking box for six years. She gotta do whatever is on her bucket list. I don’t blame her.


Do you see yourself doing business with Remy again at some point?
I don’t know. That’s all up to Remy and the future. I don’t know, you know what I'm saying? I really don’t know. I don’t count it out. But I don’t say, like, “Yes!” Like, emphatically yes. I don’t even know if that’s even a place. I’m sure Remy wants to do her own thing and move on. Whatever the case may be. I support whatever she does. It doesn’t matter to me. We’re sticking together. She doesn’t have a problem with me. I don’t have a problem with her. I’m supporting what Funk Flex said, “Brand new Remy Martin!” on the thing. I was tuned in. I turned the radio high. I listened to it. I was like, “Yeah, she killed that.” You know, that’s how I feel.

What do you think it’ll take for her to make an impact again?
She already made an impact. Day one. If you look at—and not disrespecting nobody individually—if you looked at the last MTV or BET Awards and looked at female MCs and who is in the category in this, there’s only one female out there. Now, you know, Nicki got the rock. Nicki’s a smart girl, too, because she’s been rapping more. She’s putting the pop to the side. “All right, Remy Ma’s coming. She’s about to spit her ass off. Let me start spitting.”

I say the same thing with Latinos. There’s a big misconception that’s always been around my whole career, [that] there can be only one Latino rapper that’s hot. It’s the biggest lie I’ve ever heard in my life, because if another guy came up... You know, Pitbull, he raps. He does a different type of thing, but if another came and started spitting, we would all love him. It ain’t like it’s gotta be one Spanish guy. It ain’t gotta be one female rapper. Now, there’s two that’s spitting. And there’s a couple underground girls that eventually, when they figure out the formula, they’ll take it to the next level. She’s actually correct. That’s something that she would have never said six years ago.


She’s re-entering the rap game again at 34. What do you think are the challenges that she has to face right now?
Remy Martin has no real challenge. Remy Martin is loved. Remy Martin is, pound for pound, top one or two most lyrical female rappers in the world. [There’s] a lot of females out there. Not just rapping, but I'm just saying in general. A lot of female fans. She just gotta make hits. At the end of the day, [that’s] what my concern is. And she’s been taught by the hitmakers of the world. She’s gonna be alright. I have no concerns. 34 means nothing. You look, most rappers who are hot today are 34. She looks the same. She’s good.

Once you guys do finally meet up, can we expect something from the both of you in the future?
We will definitely meet up. I don’t know. We’ll take it from there. Me and her, we make magic together. Her and Khaled, they made magic together. Khaled is just Fat Joe at the end of the day. He’s a division of Fat Joe. He’s also been taught by Fat Joe and Big Pun how to make music. When I see that, that’s family. At the end of the day, she’s still with family when she makes music with Khaled. It’s all love.

What advice would you give Remy?
She’s good. There’s no advice for me to give her. She’s good. She’s doing all the right things. I heard two of her interviews. She’s saying all the right things. God bless. She’s gonna be all right.