Fat Joe Reflects On His Independence and Big Name Collaborations

(Radio.com) Fat Joe's two-plus decade music career has had its shares of ups and downs, but the rapper believes he's grown from all his experiences. Releasing music independently, and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the game, it's easy to believe Joe when he says he's still happy making music.

"I come from nothing– I come from welfare, absolutely nothing– so when I got in the industry I expected a mentor to tell me 'Joe, don't do this, don't do that…' Nobody ever mentored me so I had to go through my bumps and bruises myself," Fat Joe recalled when he spoke with the Hot Morning Crew. "Now when I'm in the stuidio and I catch some young cat coming in the game that I think has potential, I sit down with him and provide him that information– they're [record labels] not your friends, stay focused, save your money, keep your relationships… you can get easily wrapped up. The lifespan of an artist is maybe 2 to 3 years, if that. 90% of the guys are one-hit wonders. They're thinking they're hot, they're in this illusion of 'we love you' records, and they won't pick up your phone call when it's over. With me, I defied the odds… I've been up, down, up, down… I wasn't supposed to be here this long so I've seen everything."

When Joe speaks bluntly about the music industry, it's easy to assume he's coming from somewhere bitter, but that's not the case– he genuinely happy outside the label system, doing his own thing, and collaborating with some of the top artists in music. His most recent collabo was "Love Me Long Time" with Future, but that's just one of many recent features for the prolific Latino rapper.

"I wrote this hook with Future," Joe said of their hit song. "Macho always gets mad at me, because we go and work with an artist and I start telling them my ideas, and he's like 'Yo man, we came to this guy so he could do the song– why are you telling him what the song is??' I know what I want."

"What I'm lucky about is, the young guys– these guys could be on top of the Earth– Future called me and said 'Yo, I'm in Miami, come to the studio, let's do a hit," he continued. "Same thing with Kanye West– I wasn't bothering Kanye, the last person I'd think picking up the phone was Kanye West. He calls me up and said 'Yo Joe, it's time, let's make a hit together.' Not being arrogant or nothing, they say 'This guy makes hits, I want one in the chamber with him' and they get a Fat Joe joint." more on this story

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