Joseph Antonio “Fat Joe” Cartagena is a rapper from the United States. Ernesto Delgado and Marie Cartagena gave birth to Cartagena on August 19, 1970, in The Bronx, New York City. Growing up, he was heavily influenced by the Zulu Nation of South Africa. Cartagena became interested in Hip Hop after being introduced to it by his brother Angel.
He would take the alias Fat Joe da Gangsta and join the Diggin in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.). Cartagena, Robert “Lord Finesse” Hall Jr, Anthony “Buckwild” Best, Omar “O.C.” Credle, Lamount “Big L” Coleman, Joseph “Diamond D” Kirkland, and hip hop duo Showbiz and A.G. make up the group D.I.T.C. Early in the 1990s.
Cartagena signed with Relativity Records in 1992, and his debut album, Represent, was released the following year, in 1993. The single “Flow Joe” is included on the album. The album reached number 46 on the Billboard Top 200 R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, but it did not sell 500,000 copies.
Cartagena released his second album, Jealous One’s Envy, in 1995, which included the single “Watch Out.” This album debuted at number 7 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart in the United States, but it failed to sell 500,000 units, the industry standard for a “hit” record or album.
Don Cartagena, Cartagena’s third album, was released in 1998 and featured the singles “Don Cartagena” and “Bet Ya Man (Triz).” This album became his first hit, selling over 500,000 copies and being certified gold. He released his fourth album, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) in 2001, which included the singles “We Thuggin” and “What’s Luv.” This would be his best-selling album, selling over one million units and earning him platinum certification. Other albums by Fat Joe include Loyalty (2002), All or Nothing (2005), Me, Myself & I (2006), The Elephant in the Room (2008), Jealous Ones Still Envy 2 (J.O.S.E. 2) (2009), and The Darkside Vol.1 (2010).
Cartagena joined a hip-hop group called the Terror Squad in 1999. Big Pun, Felix “Cuban Link” Delgado, Reminisce “Remy Ma” Mackie, Antonio “Tony Sunshine” Cruz, Khaled Mohammad “DJ Khaled” Khaled, Triple Seis, Prospect, and Armageddon were also in the group. Terror Squad: The Album, the group’s debut studio album, was released in 1999 and failed to sell 500,000 copies. True Story, the group’s second album, was released in 2004, and featured the singles “Lean Back” and “Take Me Home.” This album was certified gold after selling over 500,000 units. Fat Joe has also appeared in films such as Scary Movie 3 (2003) and Happy Feet.
Despite his professional success, Cartagena was involved in a rap feud with fellow New York rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in the mid-2000s. On rap songs like 50 Cent’s “Peggy Bank” and Cartagena’s “My FoFo,” the two traded insults. Cartagena pled guilty to tax evasion in 2012 after failing to pay his income taxes between 2007 and 2010. He was sentenced to four months in prison a year later. In 1995, Cartagena married Lorena Cartagena, and the couple has three children. As of 2022, he is still working in the entertainment industry.
Fat Joe’s net worth is estimated to be $4 Million