Fat Joe said he's going to stay active with unofficial releases as well as singles on the road to the June 28 release of his next LP, The Darkside.
"I can't play with these n---as no more," he said via phone from Miami. "I'm trying to set these n---as up to let them know I mean business."
Joe just signed a new record deal with E1 Records, bolting from EMI, which put out last year's Jealous Ones Still Envy 2.
"I'm just trying to go hard. I need the right team," Joe said. "The right promotion is right for me. I ain't have no team to really promote my stuff. It was important for me. I had a couple of offers on the table, but I went with who I know really knows how to roll up their sleeves and work and really get it done.
"It didn't really take long," he added about getting out of one deal and finalizing the next. "It was a matter of getting the right deal structured. With me, it's all about owning my masters. If I don't have ownership of my music, I don't really wanna do it. A lot of labels ain't comfortable giving people the ownership of their masters. Basically, I wanted my cake and eat it too. I wanted to own my masters, plus I wanted the illest team that works radio and works video harder than anybody. ... And I got it."
"Slow Down (Ha Ha)," featuring Young Jeezy, is Joe's first single from The Darkside. The two are supposed to film the video within the next week and a half, now that the Blueprint 3 Tour has ended and Jeezy has some free time. Joe said the dress code is all black — not a stitch of color anywhere. The two will be shooting in New York City. The Snowman is just one of many top-tier guests on the album.
"I got this sh-- called 'Kilo,' produced by Infamous, with me, the Clipse and Cam'ron. Bananas! [Cam] said, 'Kilo is a thousand grams/ Do you remember?/ Cold like December/ Warm up your dentures.' Your man Cam is stupid! The Clipse is stupid! I told you I was taking you to the dark side. N---as is going hard. N---as is going super hard. N---as will get this album and be like, 'Damn. Joe knows how to make the hard-core album of a lifetime.' And, by the way, n---as think Joe lost focus. 'He's just going hard. We ain't gotta worry about him in that top five.' You're wrong. I'm coming with them hits. I'm coming with them hits too."
Trey Songz ("he's on a getting-money anthem") and R. Kelly also lend hooks elsewhere on the project.
"I got one called 'Rappers Are in Danger' that Infamous did," Joe revealed. "Then Scoop DeVille did this joint for me called 'You Don't Want No Problems.' It's like a street killer anthem but bang out in the clubs. We got a lot of those. I got a joint with R. Kelly that's super bananas. It's [about] coming from nothing, making it to something, describing my life and everything I been through. The R. killed that sh-- like 'I Believe I Can Fly.' "
Besides Scoop, who also produced "Slow Down," and Infamous, Joe has a slew of sought-after producers like DJ Premier.
"The album is coming crazy, man," Joe boasted. "I got my Just Blaze track today, so I'm excited. I got Primo, Just Blaze, Scram Jones. Me and Cool & Dre did this monster with Trey Songz. I'm real happy with the album, man. I'm like one or two gems away from wrapping the deal. I'm just trying to dumb out. [Producer] Buckwild gave me something ugly. I just want you to hear that album and be like, 'All right, this is totally, no question, The Darkside.' I gotta deliver on my promise."
Are you excited for Joe's new music? Which Darkside track are you most excited to hear? Let us know in the comments below!