Joseph Antonio Cartagena, a.k.a. Fat Joe, is one of Rap Music’s most influential artists. He was born and raised in the South Bronx area of New York City by parents of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent. Growing up he was constantly influenced by his family’s diverse passion for music and surroundings.
Fat Joe found inspiration from his older brother and acclaimed fellow rappers, Big Pun, Theodore, Funky 4+1, and the Furious Five. Fat Joe explained how powerfully impacted he was by expressing, “Latinos before us who had the opportunity to do it just didn’t know how to do it. They came in trying to do this black music, waving flags, but we’re trying to kick in the doors for other Latinos and represent our people, and it shows.”
Under Relativity Records, Joe released his full-length debut, Represent, in 1993. Immediately, it catapulted the single, “Flow Joe” that soared to the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart. Two years later, Fat Joe produced his sophomore effort, Jealous One’s Envy that included a cameo appearance by KRS-One, as well as production contributions by the likes of DJ Premier, L.E.S., and Domingo. The sophomore album peaked at number #7 on Top R& B/Hip Hop Albums.
Fat Joe changed record labels by signing on with Atlantic Records and created his own imprint Terror Squad Records. In 1998, Joe released his RIAA certified platinum third album, Don Cartagena. The piece won the number two spot on Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums. Within the album, Fat Joe proclaimed his own group and movement, Terror Squad, that consisted of Big Pun, Cuban Link, Triple Seis, Prospect, Armageddon, and later Remy Ma. Fat Joe’s fourth album (2001) featured a star-studded troupe of Ashanti, Ja Rule, N.O.R.E., Busta Rhymes, Petey Pablo, M.O.P., Ludacris, R. Kelly, Buju Banton, and artists from his Terror Squad label and spawned the International hit “What’s Luv? which was nominated for ASCAP song of the year.
In 2004 Fat Joe released the debut Terror Squad album “True Story” which spawned one the most played Rap Records of 2004 in “Lean Back.” In 2007, Fat Joe was featured on DJ Khaled’s singles, “We Takin’ Over” along witht Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Birdman, and Lil Wayne and the remix to Khaled’s “I’m So Hood” with Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Ludacris, and Birdman, and on the International anthem “All I Do Is Win”
In 2012, Fat Joe released The Darkside Volume 2, which ushered in his chart-topping R&B hit “Another Round “featuring Chris Brown.
Fat Joe has been nominated for many mainstream awards, ranging from Grammy Awards, BET Awards, MTV Video Music Awards. ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, Billboard Latin Music Award and several others.
Currently Fat Joe released his biggest record to date with Remy Ma and French Montana called “All The Way Up” which has hit Top 40 in 5 weeks and spawned 4 different remixes with Jay Z, Game, Snoop, E40, Daddy Yankee and Nicky Jamz. It’s the first time in 20 years that Jay Z and Fat Joe feature on a project together.