Fat Joe has been tapped to host this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards, and the streets are talking. Despite Joe’s presence in the hip-hop world with hits like “All The Way Up” and the dancefloor classic “Lean Back,” some music heads are not happy about the Bronx native’s upcoming gig.
The rapper turned media personality, who is of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, was met with criticism over comments he made last week about Latine contributions to hip-hop. During an Instagram Live with DJ Khaled, Joe said: “Lately, they’ve been talking about ‘Latinos wasn’t in rap.’ These guys are fucking delusional. We’re from the Bronx, New York. Shit happens. This is where hip-hop started. It’s Latino and Black, half and half.”
While Joe’s statement inspired passionate conversations online about intersectionality and who rightfully pioneered hip-hop, the chatter didn’t stop there. In light of BET’s announcement, some music fans online are aiming their disapproval at the network and wondering: why is Fat Joe hosting the show?
“When BET is calling a white man who says the N word a ‘God of Rap,’ it’s over,” wrote a Twitter user in response to the network’s announcement copy. “We’re in the f**king twilight zone.”
“All these Black people you could of chose to host the bet awards but someone in the room said let’s get fat joe to host lmao wtf,” wrote another social media user. “That’s not our guy we wanting hosting the bet hip hop awards.”
Lately, Fat Joe has been leaning into other ventures outside of music. It was recently announced that a TV series about Joe’s life will be produced by Showtime and BET based on the rapper’s to-be-released memoir. He’s also the owner and founder of the three UP NYC stores in New York City that sell exclusive sneakers and sports apparel from major brands like Jordan and Nike.
Though the BET Hip Hop Awards will be taped on Sept. 30 at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta, it will air on Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BET.