Menu Search

FAT JOE

Artist profile

Joseph Antonio Cartagena a.k.a. Fat Joe

Born: August 19, 1970 in New York City, New York, U.S.

Years active: 1992 - present

“Everybody knows Fat Joe's in town - nuff respect for the Boogie Down...”

Born August 19th, 1970 in the Bronx area of New York City, Fat Joe was heavily influenced by the Zulu Nation culture (and parties) as a youth. His brother, Angel, would bring home tapes of the music played at these events, and the original sounds piqued the interest of young Joe.

As he got older, he became involved in the whole Hip Hop culture, taking a liking to not only rap, but graffiti art and breakdancing as well. Fat Joe joined a tight-knit team of South Bronx natives, who were heavily involved in the drug trade. It was here that his name “Joey Crack” came about. However, returning to his younger roots, Fat Joe discovered in time that his true love was indeed music.

He used his long-standing street credibility and brewing talent as a rapper to get a music deal with Relativity Records. Under them, Joe became Fat Joe Da Gangsta and released his debut album, Represent, in 1993. To the surprise of many, this small-time Spanish rapper scored a No. 1 hit with the track “Flow Joe.” He became a sensation in the New York Hip Hop scene and continued to ride the wave two years later when he came out with Jealous One’s Envy.

Fat Joe caught the eye of fans across America for rapping from a true “gangster’s” perspective, about the harsh realities of the world he grew up in. With the golden touch of producer DJ Premier, the album caught the eye of many a fan and fellow rapper. Fat Joe collaborated, and consequently got more exposure, with the likes of L.L. Cool J and Raekwon soon after. This growth in popularity led Fat Joe to seek a bigger target market, and he was able to land a deal with Big Beat/Atlantic Records. In 1998, the album Don Cartagena became his best effort yet — a socially conscious album that reflected, among other things, the profound influence a meeting with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan had on him.

With its success, Atlantic put newcomers Big Pun and the crew the Terror Squad under Fat Joe’s wing. Both artists made huge steps under the guidance of Joe, including smash hits like “Feelin’ So Good” alongside Jennifer Lopez. In a short time, Joe, Pun and the rest of the Squad had several Billboard hits and established a name for themselves in the rap industry. All the celebrating came to a halt, however, in February 2000, when Big Pun suffered a fatal heart attack. The 600-pound rapper was Fat Joe’s best friend and the loss, coupled with a sister stuck in a coma, hit him very hard. With nowhere to concentrate his energies, he turned toward music once again.

2001’s Jealous One’s Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) became a platinum-selling album, and featured the most played single in Atlantic Record’s history: “What’s Luv,” performed alongside R&B’s new queen, Ashanti. The rest of the album was replete with rap all-stars, including Busta Rhymes and Ludacris. To ride the wave of hits, Joe worked quickly to release his fifth album, Loyalty, in 2002. It showed an honest, original and creative side, including one of rap’s first real love songs, dedicated to Joe’s wife.

When not touring or promoting his latest album, Fat Joe connects with the community in the Bronx. He owns a barbershop, a clothing store called Fat Joe’s Halftime, and runs a fashion line, FJ560.

Scroll to top

Movies

Lady Rider

Lady Rider

A dirty police sergeant and a drug kingpin try to clean up their own organization by murdering all the street snitches while attempting to f...

More info

Narx

Narx

Based on a shocking true story. An undercover cop puts his life on the line to fight corruption in his department, while trying to take down...

More info

Checkmate

Checkmate

In the streets of New York City, a drug war is brewing between bikers and the local drug dealers. A group of corrupt cops have taken the lea...

More info

Prison Song

Prison Song

Elijah has been bounced from group home to group home throughout his turbulent young life. What has sustained him is his art. After a promis...

More info

Whiteboyz

Whiteboyz

In a virtually all-white Iowa town, Flip daydreams of being a hip-hop star, hanging with Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre. He practices in front...

More info

Urban Menace

Urban Menace

An insane preacher seeks retribution from the local crime syndicate for the violent death of his family and the burning of his church in a h...

More info

Big Pun: Still Not a Player

Big Pun: Still Not a Player

Still Not A Player takes us on an intimate journey through the life of Christopher "Big Punisher" Rios via the stories of those closest to h...

More info

Feel Rich: Health Is the New Wealth

Feel Rich: Health Is the New Wealth

FEEL RICH: HEALTH IS THE NEW WEALTH documents the nascent self-love revolution emerging in urban communities. Narrated by Quincy Jones III, ...

More info

Fearless

Fearless

A teen gamer is forced to level up to full-time babysitter when his favorite video game drops three superpowered infants from space into his...

More info

Blazin'

Blazin'

The daughter of a druglord and the son of the chief of police fall in love in this Romeo & Juliet-esque street drama....

More info

Empire

Empire

A big time drug dealer Victor Rosa is looking to get out of the game and sees his chance with a big deal with a new friend who happens to be...

More info

Night School

Night School

Teddy Walker is a successful salesman whose life takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally blows up his place of employment. Forced to a...

More info

Supermodel

Supermodel

A young girl from the Brooklyn housing projects goes from the subway to the runway becoming one of the most sought after models in the fashi...

More info

Happy Feet

Happy Feet

Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance some...

More info

Savage X Fenty Show

Savage X Fenty Show

The Savage X Fenty Show gives a look into Rihanna's creative process for her latest lingerie collection. Modeled by incredible, diverse tale...

More info

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives

Exploring the social impact of what The Source Magazine in 1998 voted, "The Best Hip Hop Radio Show Of All-Time." The documentary film is th...

More info

Scary Movie 3

Scary Movie 3

In the third installment of the Scary Movie franchise, news anchorwoman Cindy Campbell has to investigate mysterious crop circles and killin...

More info

Images

Related