Before Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift started singing about their teenage heartbreaks, music was dominated by rap and hip-hop. 
Fat Joe broke into the limelight in 1993 with his first album Represent, starting a musical journey that saw the release of six other albums. He may not have enjoyed a career as prolific as P. Diddy or Eminem, but he has stuck around and collaborated with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, R,Kelly, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes and Ashanti. He is also a member of musical groups Diggin’ in the Crates and Terror Squad.
Fat Joe was also in the news for his feud with fellow rapper 50 Cent. Sadly for the investigative journalist in us, we received no answer to our questions on it. Oh well, we can’t know it all.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q:Your journey started in 1993, how do you think you’ve evolved as an artist?
A:You know, I’ve gotten better. They say practice makes perfect, so the more you do something the more you get better at it. And since 1993, I have just been trying to elevate my music to the next level. Be superior.
Q:And what’s the reason for the longevity?
A:I think it’s just the love of hip-hop, the love of pushing the envelope further, the love of taking it to another level and having a legacy. That’s what’s given me the will to fight.
Q:Tell us about the Latina element in hip-hop today. Has that enhanced you as a rapper?
A:The Latinos started hip-hop. Back in the Bronx it was the Latinas and the Blacks coming together doing parties and jams, Rock Steady Crew and the Vinyl Nation if you look back at the photos it’s always been Latinos and Blacks. We’ve been a part of hip-hop since day one; I just try to carry out tradition for the Latinos in there.
Q:You’ve worked with artists from Nas to Diddy, from Ashanti to R. Kelly, from Akon to Ludacris and Lil Wayne, what’s that like?
A:You know when artists respect each other, they get together, they make music together. I just like to work with everybody especially with somebody whose music I love. I like to make hits with them.
Q:Who would you like to work with?
A:I’ve worked with pretty much everybody except for Nicki Minaj. It will be nice to work with her.
Q:Kanye West and Jennifer Lopez just played here, what are they like?
A:Jennifer is beautiful and rich and Kanye is probably the best. They are the best of the best, it was an honour to work with them and collaborate with them. It was special.
Q:Tell us about your clothing line.
A:We are working on that right now, that’s a secret I can’t say more.
Q:What can Dubai’s partygoers expect on Friday night when you hit the Movida stage?
A:Energy. Everybody come out — we are going to have a great time. We will play some of the classics and the hits. We are going to feel good; we are going to feel like a part of Dubai.
*Fat Joe takes to the Movida stage on Friday night. For VIP and table reservations, email email@example.com  or call 055-1744449.
By Yusra Farzan