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How a Beef with 50 Cent Cost Fat Joe a $20 Million Jordan Shoe Deal

Fat Joe is making the round to promote his memoir, “The Book Of Jose” and he’s telling all.

During an interview with GQ this month, Fat Joe talked about the infamous beef he had with fellow hip-hop artist 50 Cent. 

The beef cost the Terror Squad member a $20 million deal he had in the works with Jordan Brand in 2005.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 15: Artist Fat Joe backstage during “In Conversation with Fat Joe” at The Apollo Theater on November 15, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Shahar Azran/Getty Images)

Fat Joe, whose net worth is reportedly $4 million, told the men’s magazine that he missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime, a collaborative partnership with Nike and Michael Jordan himself.

Missed Opportunity

What was supposed to be the debut of Fat Joe Jordans was halted because Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and billionaire, did not agree with Fat Joe and 50 Cent beefing.

“‘You know I love you, Big Joe, but you’re too hot right now,’” Fat Joe recalls Jordan saying on a phone call. “‘I wanted to do it, but I’m not into all that rap beef. With all this controversy, we can’t do the sneaker anymore.’”

Behind the Beef

The beef between Fat Joe, real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena, and 50, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, started at the Video Music Awards that year. 

At the time, 50, an emerging star in the rap scene spearheaded by Eminem and Dr. Dre, was engaged in a beef with long-time Queens rapper and then-Murder Inc. artist Ja Rule. Ja Rule once allegedly ambushed 50 and members of his G-Unit crew at a recording studio. On March 24, 2000, 50 Cent was stabbed in the back outside the Hit Factory studio in New York, and the beef between his G-Unit team and Ja Rule and Murder Inc. was born.

So when Fat Joe decided to be part of Ja Rule’s hit 2004 New York anthem song, simply named “New York,” the Bronx rapper got involved in the messy situation. 

When warned about the ramifications of working with Ja Rule, Fat Joe reportedly said, “I gotta stand next to the man, the man was my brother when he didn’t have this beef.”

He added, “The game is: You choose a side. Sometimes your side don’t win!”

So Fat Joe and 50 crossed paths at the 2005 VMAs in Miami, and things didn’t go well.

“Halfway through the show, I went out on the stage to give Missy Elliott an award. What the audience at home didn’t see was that during the commercial break beforehand, 50 Cent got out of his seat and started walking the house. He went up to the audience in the cheap seats and started waving to me. It was like he was daring me to get off the stage and physically confront him. Then he went down to the floor and started slapping fives with Jay-Z and Diddy,” Fat Joe said regarding the situation at the televised MTV event.

The fallout from the beef continued, costing Fat Joe millions.

“Lost about $20 million by not getting that deal. I lost out on other endorsements too. Promoters definitely didn’t book me and 50 Cent on the same shows. Everybody had to keep us separated. But as fate would have it, after the VMAs, we didn’t see each other again in person for almost a decade,” Fat Joe said.

Beef Quashed

In 2013, a year after music executive Chris Lighty passed away, the two decided to put beef behind them when they formally met at that year’s BET Awards. Lighty had been playing peacemaker between 50 and Fat Joe.

“When I show up to the BET Awards, we on point. We super focused,” Fat Joe said. “That’s the only way I can explain it legally. They say rehearsal. I perform ‘Lean Back’ and then 50 Cent comes out. He ends up right by where I’m at. And when the music stops, he puts his hands out, and says ‘Peace for Chris Lighty.’ Chris Lighty wanted peace.”

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