Fat Joe

Missing image
Fat Joe.

Joseph Cartagena (born August 19, 1970) is better known as his pseudonym Fat Joe. He is a Puerto Rican rapper from the Bronx who was popular in the underground rap scene during the early and mid-1990s. During this period, Joe was affiliated with KRS-One - pictures exist online at KRS-One's Temple of Hiphop site showing them drawing graffiti ("bombing") together. He is also a member of the D.I.T.C. Crew (the "Digging in the Crates Crew"), along with well-respected hip-hoppers such as Diamond D, Lord Finesse, O.C., A.G., Buckwild, occasional member Big L (deceased), and Big Pun (deceased). The title of the group refers to DJs who "dig in the crates" of used record stores to find rare or novel records with "breaks" that they could use for production or in performances.

After Joe's rap partner, the similarly large, Puerto Rican, Bronx-based rapper, Big Pun, broke into the mainstream with his duet with the O'Jays, "I'm Not A Player" and its more popular remix, "Still Not A Player," featuring R&B singer Joe, Fat Joe began to make his move into the mainstream. His 1998 single, "Bet Ya Man Can't" which featured Big Pun, as well as other members of their Terror Squad clique, such as Cuban Link and Triple Seis, was a small hit. (Trivia note: apparently Fat Joe is the only known rapper to ever refer to the township of Piscataway, New Jersey in a song, "Flow Joe".)

Shortly before Big Pun's death, Pun and Joe had a hit with Jennifer Lopez on a track off of her debut album, On The 6, called "Feelin' So Good".

With 2001's release of J.O.S.E. (Jealous Ones Still Envy), Joe scored two back-to-back hits with "We Thuggin'," which featured R&B superstar R. Kelly singing the chorus and "What's Luv," which featured up-and-coming R&B/pop star Ashanti on its chorus, and would go on to become one of 2002's biggest pop hits.

In late 2002, Joe released the album "Loyalty" and had a couple of minor hits with "Crush Tonite" (featuring Ginuwine) and "All I Need". The rapper has appeared in several films, including the 2002 movie Empire with John Leguizamo and Peter Sarsgaard.

Fat Joe is also a member of Terror Squad, which released their first, self-titled, album on September 21, 1999. After several roster changes (including original members Triple Seis's departure and Cuban Link's expulsion), the clique released a sophomore album, "True Story," in July of 2004, with the summer hit "Lean Back," later remixed by Lil' Jon, with a new verse from Fat Joe, and featuring Eminem, Ma$e, and Lil' Jon.

In September of 2004, a former bodyguard for Fat Joe was arrested and charged with a 1994 murder which the rapper allegedly witnessed. According to the "New York Times," Jose Mulero, 38, was charged with murder, tampering with evidence and weapons charges, after being accused of shooting Ernesto Rivera, 16, on April 15, 1994. Fat Joe was investigated for ties to the shooting, but eventually cooperated with authorities which alienated many of his fans who believed that Joe had become a police informant.

In late 2004, Fat Joe scored another radio hit with his verse on Ja Rule's "New York," also featuring Jadakiss and a hook taken from KRS-One's "100 Guns". This, however, led to awkwardness after 50 Cent decided that all emcees who collaborated with his nemesis, Ja Rule, were setting themselves against him.

Fat Joe is presently working on his new solo album, All or Nothing. The album, originally scheduled to be released in spring 2005, has been pushed back several times (supposedly due to sample clearances, though also perhaps by Interscope executives interested in not having Joe's album compete with 50 Cent's release), and now has a summer 2005 release date. The first single, So Much More, was released to radio and video rotation. The video features appearances by DJ Kay Slay, who has also called himself the "black Fat Joe." The video's second half also includes a portion of the song The Incredible, also from All or Nothing. The second single, Get It Poppin', features Nelly of the St. Lunatics, and is also in radio and video rotation.


Beef with 50 Cent

50 Cent attacked Fat Joe in his 2005 song "Piggy Bank," off "The Massacre," due to Joe's ties with his rival Ja Rule (specifically, his collaboration on Ja Rule's largest recent hit, "New York," off "R.U.L.E."), saying "That fat nigga thought Lean Back was in the club/my shit sold 11 mil, his shit was a dud". While the song took aim at Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Nas, Kelis, and Ja Rule, it was generally regarded as a lukewarm track and a publicity stunt, coupled with his recent expulsion of The Game from 50's G-Unit camp.

Fat Joe went on record as being confused by 50's antagonism towards him, but also stated that he wouldn't stand by idly while being slandered; he also suggested that he and 50 Cent meet in New York and have a fistfight. Most interestingly, he attacked 50's street credibility, claiming that Curtis Jackson had never appeared "In da Club," juxtaposed to Fat Joe's well-known record of live performances, and offered one million dollars to anybody who would come forward with a picture of 50 Cent in a club. No attempts have been publicly made towards taking the $1,000,000 prize. Within days of Piggybank leaking, a disd song had appeared online, the hook being sung to the tune of The Flintstones's theme song. Original reports were confused as to the title of the track (mp3 versions were alternately titled "Fake Gangsta," "Fuck 50," and simply "Fat Joe 50 Dis track"), but it now appears that it will be called "My Fo Fo" (referring to a .44 caliber handgun), and will appear on All or Nothing.

Fat Joe has stated that, after releasing this one song, he will be finished discussing the issue of 50 Cent's beef with him. As of the end of May, 2005, this seems to be true for the moment.



Hit singles

  • 2001 "We Thuggin'" (feat. R. Kelly) #15 US
  • 2002 "What's Luv" (feat. Ashanti) #2 US, #4 UK
  • 2002 "Crush Tonight" (feat. Ginuwine) #77 US
  • 2003 "All I Need" (feat. Tony Sunshine & Armageddon) #86 US
  • 2003 "I Want You" (Thalia feat. Fat Joe) #22 US
  • 2004 "Lean Back" (Terror Squad feat. Fat Joe (aka Joey Crack) and Remy Martin aka (Remy Ma)) #1 US, #24 UK
  • 2004 "New York" (Ja Rule feat. Fat Joe & Jadakiss) #27 US
  • 2005 "Hold You Down" (Jennifer Lopez feat. Fat Joe) #43 US, #6 UK
  • 2005 "So Much More" #81 US
  • 2005 "Get It Poppin'" (Fat Joe feat. Nelly) #10 US

See also

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