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How Did Fat Joe Become Famous?



Fat Joe, whose real name is Joseph Antonio Cartegena, is a trailblazer for rap music. He paved the way for the current generation of rap superstars, and we are so glad that the music industry got the chance to fall in love with his talents!

RapTV explains how Fat Joe grew up in the Bronx and fit the cliché rapper stereotype back in the ’90s with his mix of Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage. He grew up in poverty, with his family living in public housing in the New York Bronx for much of his childhood.

But it was this upbringing that led Fat Joe to eventual stardom and cemented himself in the legends of rappers that will live on in the music industry forever.

It is important to understand Fat Joe’s past to understand how he became famous. So here is everything you need to know about Fat Joe’s rise to stardom.

1.     A rough upbringing

As mentioned earlier, Fat Joe, in no way, had a carefree childhood. He lived in the Bronx during the 1970s and was in and out of public housing homes. Things were so desperate for his family that as a child, he would often have to steal food and essential items to ensure the wellbeing of his family. On top of this, Fat Joe had a hard time at school and was often bullied. Luckily, his brother got him into hip hop music at a young age, a popular rap group known as D.I.T.C. It was through this early introduction that just a few days later Fat Joe released his very first album with his hit single called “Flow Joe.” His early years were an instant success, with multiple songs hitting the Billboard charts and developing a group of loyal fans!

2.     Fat Joe meets LL Cool J

It just so happens that fate was in the hands of Fat Joe’s real rise to stardom. When Fat Joe was in the recording studio one day, he got the chance to meet his idol LL Cool J, who was recording in the same studio! LL Cool J invited Fat Joe to collaborate on one of his songs and also be in the song’s music video—which needless to say, helped explode Fat Joe’s musical career! Fat Joe was leading the way for Latino rappers and showing that they too can dominate the hip hop and rap space.

3.     The big deal and the big feud

By the turn of the century, Fat Joe released his third rap album that shot up to the top of the Billboard lists! His album had guest appearances from a range of legendary rappers at the time that included the likes of P. Diddy. Throughout the next five years, Fat Joe continued dropping amazing albums with more legendary rappers, including Ja Rule. But it was the collaborating with Ja Rule that ended up sparking quite the feud with rap sensation 50 Cent, as he dissed Fat Joe for doing the recording collaboration. This feud let up to quite a famous encounter at the MTV music awards, where a confrontation between the two was aired live on television.

4.     Fat Joe offends the church

It is no lie that Fat Joe often dropped quite controversial lyrics in his rap music. This led certain Christians to include him in a smear campaign that argued Fat Joe’s music was leading people into sin. It was during this same time that the feud between 50 Cent and Fat Joe continued, with both taking every opportunity to diss one another during interviews and public appearances. Things then got a bit rough for Fat Joe, as he then got accused of being in trouble with the IRS for not paying his taxes! But despite the drama, Fat Joe’s success continued to soar. That is until 50 Cent attacked the rapper on YouTube with a video of Fat Joe’s fake funeral. But there really is no such thing as bad publicity, right?

5.     Fat Joe still remains relevant

Even being around for decades has not prevented Fat Joe from continuing to be a successful rap superstar! He continues to collaborate with all the top artists, including DJ Khaled, Chris Brown and Dre. Fat Joe has found quite the clever way to remain relevant and ensure he still hits the top of the record charts. He still works hard on releasing new albums that always have new collaborations—the perfect way to continue to grow his fanbase.

Not many rappers are able to dominate the scene for decades, but Fat Joe has found a way to do just that! The man is a legend and seems to continually maintain his fame despite all the hardships he has endured! Go Fat Joe!

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