CNN) — Fat Joe is hosting the BET Hip Hop Awards for the second year in a row. He couldn’t be more thrilled, especially given that this year marks the 50th anniversary of hip hop.
“Hosting for the 50th anniversary is beyond an honor,” he told CNN. “Any year that I host the BET Hip Hop Awards, I’m like a kid in the candy store.”
He said the ceremony, which was filmed in Atlanta,Georgia, last week and airs Tuesday, is a big one as it honors the artists, producers and DJs that have helped make the genre great.
It also marks the 30th anniversary of his debut studio album “Represent,” which Fat Joe is keeping low key.
“I don’t really celebrate so much the anniversaries because I’m always just in real time,” he said. “So I don’t really think about the past. I just move forward and try to push the legacy as forward in as real time as possible.”
That means celebrating both the newer artists as well as those who have come before. While some have complained that the more recent artists are not as talented as some of the older ones, Fat Joe doesn’t play that game.
He recalled being a teen an attending a panel when one of the rap legends on that panel was critical of an up-and-coming rap group.
“I was like ‘Man this guy’s a hater. I can’t believe he’s a hater,’” the rapper recalled. “And I said, if I become successful, I’ll never be that guy.”
Now that he is that successful, Fat Joe said he tries always to be supportive of those coming up in the rap game.
“Whether I like the music or I don’t, I always encourage the youth to do better, to keep rocking, to uplift the hip hop community, to hire more people, take care of their kids,” he said. “That’s what I’m about. I don’t really throw shade on the youth.
Rather than complain that today’s hip hop is not like that of yesteryear, Fat Joe said he focuses on continuing to grow as a artist and even as a host for the awards show.
“With age comes wisdom and so you learn how to move differently, you learn how to make music differently. You learn how to talk about different things,” he said. “My whole life has been a work in progress. Whether it may be as an artist, as a stage performer, as a host or having TV shows, all my life has just been practice makes perfect.”
The 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards will air on Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on BET.