As one of hip hop’s most respected and consistent artists who has churned out club anthems and Grammy nominated albums for the last 25 years and counting, it doesn’t get any realer than Fat Joe. The Puerto Rican / Cuban born rapper represents his New York borough of the Bronx to the fullest and has dominated the Hip Hop industry for years with his classic combination of hip hop infused party RnB hits such as “What’s Luv”, “Get It Poppin” and more that have solidified him as the club anthem king in nightclubs and across radio airwaves around the world.
However, Hip Hop is more than just party anthems for this pioneer who first burst onto the scene in 1993 when his debut album “Represent” thrust the Latino hip hop artist into the mainstream. Once signed to Atlantic Records in 1998 and releasing “ Don Cartagena” , “Jealous Ones Still Envy” ; “Loyalty” and “All or Nothing” up until 2006, Fat Joe became embroiled in one of the most talked about feuds in the industry with hip hop artist 50 Cent, a beef that latest a few years and was also the fuel behind one of Joe’s hottest hits “ Lean Back” feat Remy Ma and Terror Squad and landed him the number one hit in the US Summer of 2004.
Beefs and spats aside, Fat Joe has always remained at the top of his game and has collaborated with and created some of the hottest artists under his reign as Terror Squad Entertainment CEO. With his beloved crews D.I.T.C and Terror Squad, Joe is an artist who has never forgotten his roots of hip hop or paying homage to those that have paved the way for this inspiring and humble rapper. He cites one of his greatest influencers as being the late and great hip hop legend Big Pun and credits him for spearheading the sub culture of Latin American Hip Hop as a movement in itself. Joe has and continues to work with some of the genres hottest artists, from DJ Premier, KRS-One, Ashanti, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross to name a few going and has gone on to create some monumental single and album collaborations to date.
As an artist who has released 11 studio albums to date including “Me, Myself & I” , “The Elephant in the Room”, “Jealous Ones Still Envy 2” and “The Darkside Vol 1″, Fat Joe is also an accomplished actor who has appeared in various movies from Scary Movie 3 to Happy Feet and has made each role he plays on screen or in the studio as real and authentic as the man himself. As he prepares for his first ever set of solo shows in Australia kicking off January 22nd (this is his second visit to Australia) Joe is excited to be returning to a country that holds a special place in his heart. He is ready to bring his fans a show that will be all that and more and maybe a little something extra and can’t wait to share some new music he has been working on with the audience as well. Guaranteed to be a “ bring the house down’ type of show, Fat Joe can also guarantee that what you see and hear from this icon is just as he delivers it, no gimmicks, no hype! Joey Crack is the real deal – straight up no chaser!
Hi Joe, thanks so much for your time. Happy New year to you – how has 2016 been for you so far?
What’s up, what’s going on ( laughs) Man thank you so much, I’m alright you know, seeing another year in and feeling good about heading back to Australia for my tour soon so I am good ( laughs)
So this will be your second visit back to Australia correct? What are your expectations for your shows in Australia this time and what do you enjoy about performing out here?
Yes this will be my second visit back to Australia and I can’t wait. The last time I came out there it was for a hip hop festival and I got to perform alongside Game, Busta, Nella, Snoop – man it was incredible and I had a great time. The biggest and best thing about Australia is the people man, the people out there are so nice and have great energy and I got to meet some cool local people and hang out and I loved that so it’s a great thing and I can’t wait to come back.
Joe your career in hip hop spans back many years and you have been a definitive pioneer in the genre. Looking back over your career which started back in the early 90’s when your debut album Represent was released in 1993 what do you believe has been the secret to your longevity in the hip hop industry and how do you feel you have evolved as an artist over these last 24 years?
Well you know I have never gotten a divorce from hip hop ( laughs ) so I have been in love with this game called hip hop and I’ve never lost that love for her so the secret for me is that my fire for hip hop is still burning. In terms of me evolving as an artist, wow, I’m almost like a scientist when it come to this music thing, whether it’s my sound or working on somebody else’s you know I eat, sleep and live music so it’s like second nature to me, it’s what I do and I love it.
You have given us 11 studio albums to date, worked alongside some of the dopest names in the game such as KRS-1, Rick Ross and the late and great Big Pun and Big L to name a few. You are also the CEO of Terror Squad Entertainment and represent for your crews DiTC and Terror Squad – many titles for one man to hold. Aside from all of those achievements Joe, who is the man behind Fat Joe and what is it that makes him tick?
Well there’s a women behind Fat Joe who always holds me down (laughs) so I got to give thanks and praise to her and there is a little giant behind me also, my 9 year old daughter who is like the fire behind Fat Joe so between my two ladies they keep me on point and make me tick know what I mean (laughs). You know I’m after greatness, I’m about creating a legacy and being referred to as one of the greatest of all time as I know I am one of the most under rated hip hop artists out there so being the best if the motivation for me and keeps me striving and pushing for more, until its etched in stone.
You are a Grammy award nominated artist who is also fiercely proud of your Latina heritage and represent for your culture to the fullest. What do you hope your legacy will be for the Latin American Hip Hop community?
I mean you know I just talk for the Latin American community in Hip Hop but Latin American music has roots imbedded in hip hop from way back in the day. Of course it is a much bigger movement now, with hip hop being the sub culture that everyone has a claim on, white, Asian, African everybody you can think of was born into this movement and make it theirs. I have always been proud of my Latin American heritage and just try to keep my head up high and represent respectfully and tastefully and make sure I represent my people the right way in hip hop at the end of the day.
What are you working on at the moment musically Joe? What are your thoughts on the hip hop music community right now?
Music, especially Hip Hop has to keep evolving, we have to create younger and fresher music and artists so I welcome all of the newer recruits to the community and look forward to hearing their take on hip hop today. For me musically right now I just finished working with Remy Ma on our first “All The Way Up” which will be released in about 3 weeks so it’s hot and I’m excited to get it out there and the whole new album is amazing.
What is your biggest motivator in life?
Being in the studio. It’s the most comfortable I am in life, when I get in that studio and I write my rhythms. I forget about all the problems in the world when I step into that booth man seriously and it’s like heaven for me.
Can you share one thing with us here in Australia that we may not know of Fat Joe?
Hahahahah (laughs) I don’t know man, (laughs). One thing that people don’t know about me is that I am a huge movie buff, I love going to the movies so whenever I got my downtime I’m going to the movies. I love to see people die, violent movies and gangster flicks (laughs) so that’s what you didn’t know about me (laughs).
The greatest piece of advice you have ever received or given and why?
Wow that’s a deep one ….mmmm you know there are a lot of guys in hip hop that I look up to but this advice from KRS One, Jam Master Jay and LLCool J stands out to me the most I guess. LL Cool J always told me to “take your music serious”, Jam Master Jay (rest his soul) told me to “aspire to be bigger than I could ever be, raise myself up and strive for more” and KRS One always told me “to always give back to my community, always talk back to the kids and always show love” and I learnt and am so grateful for all of these guys and their advice and wisdom over my career.
Catch Fat Joe on his first solo Australian Tour with Delta Bravo and Arena Ent this January.
Tix available at www.oztix.com.au
For more information on Fat Joe visit:
Always Hip Hop