Golden Oldies: Fat Joe

Look up “Fat Joe Underrated” on Google right now. Literally thousands and thousands of articles on rap blogs and music websites. Hundreds of unanswered questions on Yahoo! Answers. Full videos breaking it down. Something ain’t right here. Sure, he hasn’t released any great music since the 2000’s, and maybe you’ve completely forgotten about him, but when Lean Back comes on in the club you sure as hell can’t forget his Biggie-like flow and easy coolness.

A few facts about Fat Joe before we jump in and take a look at some of his most underrated songs.

  • His real name is Joseph Antonio Cartagena
  • He was born in August 1970, making him 45 years old today
  • His debut album Represent, was released all the way back in 1993
  • He released the music video Drop A Body in 2011, which unveiled his shocking weight loss over the late 2000’s. He claimed to have lost 88 pounds off his peak weight of 350 lbs.

Alright, let’s get into it. Here’s Week 6 of Golden Oldies!

Fat Joe

We Thuggin’

The Big Pun influence is strong in this track, and R. Kelly singing about something other than his girl cheating on him is refreshing to hear. This is a classic “Our Squad Is Dope” rap (reppin’ Fat Joe’s Terror Squad) and it throws you back to a time when rap beefs were a dime a dozen. Best part of the music video is the puffy powder blue parkas.

I Won’t Tell

To me, this is the last song of Fat Joe’s prime. The flow on this is almost exactly like Biggie’s, and J. Holliday takes it to another level on the hook. Fat Joe promises a secret life of straight ballin’ with his squad to all those girls who are curious about what it’s like to get down with a fat bald man, and he’s so smooth I almost find myself wishing he would sing this one to me. Also, yet another DJ Khaled sighting. Illuminati confirmed.

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What’s Luv

This is a hilariously dated music video. It starts out with Ashanti finding out her man is fooling around by coming across a stack of incriminating Polaroids. The pairing of Fat Joe and Ashanti pretty much sums up squad goals, and is a huge nostalgia trip for anyone who was into early early 2000’s R&B. Fat Joe is seriously underrated.

US and Canadian media profiting equally off of disrespect

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If you enter the keywords “US media disrespect Raptors” into Google, you’ll get about 400,000 results. It’s a narrative that springs up every time a Canadian team makes it into the playoffs (with the exception of hockey). But what’s surprising is that it’s not just the US media cashing in on the narrative.

It starts with puff pieces on ESPN about American teams being “held up” at customs trying to get into Canada to play a game. Then, if it’s around the trade deadline or towards the end of the season, quotes from high-profile free agents will surface about how they don’t really see Toronto as a potential landing spot. Stuff about having to take your passport on roadtrips, the freezing winters, the higher taxes. Stuff that outweighs getting paid millions of dollars to play a game in North America’s fourth largest city.

It’s easy to see things from the media’s perspective. They need to fill pages and get web traffic, and they know that stories about manufactured drama between countries will draw interest from more than just serious sports fans. For US outlets, it’s about page views. For Canadian outlets, it fuels the underdog image that Toronto fans love to hate. But when the narrative becomes so prevalent that the media begins running these stories as a matter of habit, it creates a dangerous environment that allows for double standards and borderline behaviour from players.

Before Game 4 of the Heat-Raptors series a few weeks ago, a video was captured of Dwayne Wade putting up practice shots as the players from both teams lined up for the singing of ‘O-Canada.’

When asked about it, Wade said he meant no disrespect, and that it’s his routine to shoot until he makes his last shot before the anthems. That’s an excuse, not an apology, but Wade was not disciplined and the incident didn’t blow up. If Kyle Lowry continued to shoot during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, it would’ve been a national scandal.

It doesn’t end there. Just in this year’s Raptors playoff push there are so many more instances of this narrative being exploited by both the US and Canadian media. Ahead of Game 1 against Indiana, the Toronto Star ran a story about Toronto Head Coach Dwane Casey feeling ‘disrespected’ about the inferior broadcast time the Raptors were allotted. Entering the conference semi-finals, Sportsnet had a story about how the U.S. media heavily favoured the Heat over the Raptors despite Toronto being the higher seed. Just recently, the Toronto media went crazy over a poll run by CBS Sports on the most likely winner of the NBA Championship that excluded the Raptors entirely.

The media frenzy is harmless in the moment, but over time it normalizes the narrative and leads to ugly behaviour from players and fans. The Dwayne Wade incident was followed up in Game 1 of the Toronto-Cleveland series. As the Cavs pummeled the Raps in the 4th quarter, Cleveland fans began to chant ‘USA’. And to make things fair, let’s not forget when Toronto GM Masai Ujiri shouted “Fuck Brooklyn” just last year. Sports doesn’t always have to be classy, but it should never be outright disrespectful.

Golden Oldies: J Lo

J Lo is one of the most recognizable and famous celebrities in the world. I’m guessing 100% of the population could pick her face out of a crowd, and 99.9% of the population could pick her butt out of a crowd. Even if you don’t know her music, you’ve seen her picture in People, on a billboard, or a poster for Maid in Manhattan. (While we’re on the topic of underrated songs, that is a very underrated movie. Ralph Fiennes is amazing in it, and J Lo does the Pretty Woman shtick to perfection.)

So this week, we’ll be looking at three of J Lo’s songs that most of the population wouldn’t recognize if it was played on the radio. But if you’re a die-hard J Lo fan, you should know these tunes by heart.

Week 6: Jennifer Lopez

Feeling So Good

This is one of the most feel-good, positive-vibe tracks I have ever heard. The video starts with the sun shining on J Lo’s face. Then she walks out on to the street and finds a dollar bill on the pavement, and her day just keeps getting better.

What could be bad when you're double-fisting cellular phones?

What could be bad when you’re double-fisting cellular phones?

With a bumping beat, Fat Joe and big pun on the verses, and J Lo looking amazing as usual, this is a go-to pick me up song.

Ain’t It Funny

The ultimate “F*ck you I’m done” song. J Lo isn’t even mad that the guys who treat her bad want her back, she’s more amused. Like they could ever just stroll back and get a girl like her after messing around. Ain’t it funny. Ja Rule also has a great verse, which is reason enough to love this song.

I’m Glad

I’m putting this one on here more because of the music video than the song itself. J Lo had more than enough talent to pull of an incredible version of Flashdance, and how she executes those booty-shakin’ dance moves on a wet stage without slipping is mind blowing. This video is definitely not safe for work, but it’s safe to say you should watch it first thing after getting home from work.

Our Take On The New Instagram

If you’ve updated Instagram in the past day, you’ve probably noticed a few changes have come to the app. Mainly, this:

old instagram logo

Turned into this:

instagram logo

In addition to the logo makeover, Instagram also tweaked the visuals for its other apps—Hyperlapse, Boomerang, and Layout—to coordinate the gradient rainbow branding.

As for actual changes to the user experience, the only noticeable difference is the switch from a blue-and-white to a black-and-white theme. Furthermore, the menu at the bottom of your screen and the logos all shrunk down a tiny bit and the whole look is more minimal. According to Instagram, “The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.”

Our first take on the new logo… Why? Instagram already had one of the most recognizable logos of any app on the market, and the retro feel of the old logo captured the original purpose of the photo sharing app. Facebook’s logo might not be the prettiest or cleanest, but it would never redesign in a million years.

As for the new slimmed down black-and-white interface, we give it a thumbs up. It’s a little shocking at first if you’re a longtime insta user, but its the kind of thing that you get used to quickly.

Sugar Ball 2016 Hits the Spot

The seventh edition of the McCord Museum’s annual Sugar Ball was unlike anything we’ve seen before. With organizer Brahm Mauer at the helm and some of Montreal’s finest restaurants cooking up incredible food for upwards of 1,600 guests, the event took a huge step forward and looks to get even bigger in 2017.

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Photo Credit: Natasha Launi

The $240,000 raised on the night smashed last year’s record of $165,000 and will go towards making the McCord Museum’s programs and exhibits more accessible for over 10,000 kids.

The networking portion of the night, presented by McCord Museum partner Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, was highlighted by creative culinary inventions from restaurants such as Café Ferreira, Traiteur Brera, Flyjin, Soubois, Le Richmond, and Estiatorio Milos. The standouts included Café Ferreira’s tomato gazpacho shooters, Le Richmond’s foie gras torchon, Soubois’ wild mushroom and goat cheese pastry, and Flyjin’s fresh oyster station, which was mobbed from the first minute.

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Photo Credit: Natasha Launi

At 10 p.m. the bar opened and guests flooded in to celebrate with DJs JOJO Flores and Toddy Flores. From the outlandishly sized Cupcake Commons to the massive popcorn station to the oversized donut, Sugar Ball guests were treated to a real sugar rush that will stick with them for days.

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Photo Credit: Natasha Launi

As the marketing team of this fantastic event, we couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to work with such amazing and dedicated people in support of such a great cause. And for everyone who attended—we hope to see you back next year!