[artist id="611"]Fat Joe[/artist] is like the vampire Bill Compton on HBO's "True Blood" — crawling out of the dirt after being, in a sense, buried alive.
"They tried to disrespect the God, realest rapper ever," Joe said Monday when we joined him at Manhattan's Skyline Studios. The Bronx MC was talking to a group of journalists and select DJs (Clark Kent, Bobby Trends, Mister Cee and others) assembled for a listening session of his new LP, The Darkside Vol. 1, due July 27.
"Did you ever have anybody try to kill you?" Joe asked, addressing Kent and Trends. "They tried to erase 15 years!"
After sales of his last album, 2009's Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.2), turned out to be meager at best, some journalists, bloggers and fans said Joe's career was done.
But on Monday night, a confident Joe Crack responded to his critics, playing Darkside over and over for hours and proclaiming the work a classic. And one song in particular seemed destined to be his newest banger: the Rico Love-assisted "No Problems."
"July 4th weekend, this will paralyze the city!" Joe said of the track. As an engineer pressed play, a thunderous "aahhhh aahhhh" came up through the speakers. Mister Cee quickly called out the "No Problems" sample as the song shook the room.
"To all y'all DJs, do not go put 'Terminator [X] to the Edge of Panic' and 'Flash Gordon' on your computers now," the legendary DJ ordered, name-checking the Public Enemy track which borrowed from Queen's "Flash." "Joe, do not give out an instrumental. You don't want a bunch of n---as Mr. Potato Head-ing your record," he joked.
While Scoop DeVille produced that record, Joe also enlisted other producers for the project, including Cool and Dre, Infamous, Raw Uncut, Street Runner, Scram Jones and Just Blaze, who helmed the "I am Crack" track, which finds Joey Crack rapping from the perspective of rock cocaine.
DJ Premier is behind "I'm Gone," and Joe explained that he got the track from him the same day Preemo's Gang Starr partner Guru passed away in April.
"I'm gangster/ F--- that, I'm Gang Starr," Joe raps on the record, on which he pays homage to the late MC. "Tell Nas hip-hop's dead now/ My man's gone."
» "Valley of Death"
» "I am CRACK"
» "Kilo" (featuring the Clipse and Cam'ron)
» "Rappers are in Danger"
» "Slow Down (Ha Ha)" (featuring Young Jeezy)
» "If It Ain't About Money" (featuring Trey Songz)
» "No Problems" (featuring Rico Love)
» "How Did We Get Here" (featuring R. Kelly)
» "Money Over Bitches" (featuring Too Short and TA)
» "Heavenly Father" (featuring Lil Wayne)
» "I'm Gone"
What do you think of Fat Joe's lead single, "Slow Down (Ha Ha)"? Are you looking forward to the album? Tell us in the comments!