[artist id="611"]Fat Joe[/artist] feels as royal as Eddie Murphy in "Coming to America" every time he steps foot in the motherland.
"Africa, what a lovely place," Joe beamed of the continent. He performs out there several times a year. The Bronx native's new single, "One," features one of Joe's peers who is adored in Africa: [artist id="1240040"]Akon[/artist].
"It's feeling great, man," Joe said of the response he's been getting from the record. "The video looks beautiful. Akon, it was an honor to work with him. We've been friends for years and featured on tracks together. We finally got our own record together. He's the King of Africa. I'm the Prince of Africa. I get nothing but love from Africa. The people are amazing. It was a natural thing for me and 'Kon to get together and make a song."
"One" is all about finding that special soul mate, and Joe said he looked to his happy marriage for inspiration.
"It's inspired by life a lot," he described. "As I listen to it, I think about the relationship with my wife and how we came a long way. At the same time, it's everybody's life. It's the working man's life. It's related to everybody. Everybody feels that way. We all want somebody."
Joe said the key to marriage is working with your spouse to grow.
"A lot of work," he said. "Anybody who's successful a long number of years, it took a lot of work, perseverance to not quit, to not give up on each other and say, 'Yo, we love each other. We're going to be together forever.' Everybody that gets married hopes to be in love and be together forever, but you gotta work. It's real work. It's great, though."
Joe's work ethic is also strong in his career. His new album, Jealous Ones Still Envy 2 (J.O.S.E. 2), due May 19, is the sequel to his highest-selling LP to date.
"This record has so many hits, I promise you," he said. "People still deny me, so I just hit them with a new thing I called 'force fields.' You can't stop them, you can't break them."
[artist id="1998098"]T-Pain[/artist] appears on "Put You in the Game," and "Hey Joe" is an all-out gladiator rap record with assaulting lyrics and a wicked beat to match. Meanwhile, [artist id="1190"]Raekwon the Chef[/artist] checks in on "Ice Cream," a sex anthem of sorts. That record shouldn't be confused with Rae's '90s classic "Ice Cream." They don't sound anything alike.
Joe also introduces some new talent on the album, like O.Z., along with [artist id="934"]Lil' Kim[/artist], [artist id="1695327"]Ron Browz[/artist] and [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist].