Fat Joe Recalls Being Blocked From Biggie & 2pac Cypher by Big Daddy Kane

Fat Joe almost rapped alongside Biggie and 2Pac in one of Hip Hop’s most legendary cyphers — if it wasn’t for Big Daddy Kane intervening.

The Terror Squad rapper recalled the story during an interview with Angie Martinez for Warner Music Group’s Iconic Records podcast series, the first season of which explores The Notorious B.I.G.’s second and final album Life After Death.


The famed freestyle took place at the 1993 Budweiser Superfest at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, which was headlined by Big Daddy Kane.

“I was in the front row … and all of a sudden, you see the whole crowd turn back looking at the entrance, like the tunnel, and it was ‘Pac and Big — and this was Juice ‘Pac,” Joe remembered. “The whole crowd’s like, ‘Ahhh!’ They couldn’t believe it was ‘Pac and Big.

“While they were walking, they see me. ‘Pac is like, ‘Yo, come on, Crack!’ So I go with them and we go up on stage. I thin Shyheim the Rugged Child from Wu-Tang was there too. We went up stage and they start that cypher, that, ‘I got 10 MAC-11s, about eight .38s, nine 9s.’”

Fat Joe admitted that he was “nervous as hell” about the prospect of rapping with Biggie and ‘Pac as he didn’t have any rhymes prepared, but was denied the opportunity as Big Daddy Kane was forced to stop the cypher due to time restraints on his set.

“You want to talk about standing next to somebody, I was on fucking stage with Biggie and ‘Pac! [I was] nervous as hell because all I had was ‘Flow Joe,’ I ain’t have no bars ready, fucking nothing,” he continued.

“They passed me the mic. ‘Yo, Fat Joe!’ Then Big Daddy Kane interrupted and goes, ‘Yo, yo, we ain’t go no time’ … It’s ok, Big Daddy Kane, I love you.”

He added: “Big Daddy Kane might have saved me ’cause I would’ve did some bullshit.”

The Juice Crew legend shared his own recollection of the cypher during a 2018 appearance on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s Drink Champs, saying that if he would’ve had more time left on his set, Fat Joe would’ve been part of the historic moment as well.

“Joe was next up to rhyme when they gave me the ‘wrap it up,’ like, ‘You got five minutes.’ So I wasn’t even able to bring Joe on, but Joe was standing with the mic ready,” Kane said. “If I would’ve had five more minutes, he would’ve been on there, real talk.”

The cypher was one of only a handful of times Biggie and 2Pac — who started out as friends before the fateful East Coast-West Coast beef soured their relationship and ultimately cost them their lives — rapped together.

Fortunately for Hip Hop historians, the moment was captured on cassette by DJ Mister Cee, who was on stage with Big Daddy Kane at Madison Square Garden that night.

“I recorded that on a cassette inside Madison Square Garden,” he told MTV in 2010. “So the whole ‘Where Brooklyn at?’ To this day, when they hear that, they know is where that comes from.

“I recorded that on cassette, then it eventually got transferred to vinyl and became probably one of the illest live Hip Hop performances of all time.”


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