Birth name: Joseph Cartagena
Also known as Crack, Joey Crack, Bronx Terra, Fat Joe da Gangsta, Boogie Down Bronxster, Coca, Don Cartegena
Born: August 19, 1970
Location: The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Genre: Hip Hop
Associated: Terror Squad, DJ Khaled, Ja Rule, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Birdman, Big Pun, J. Holiday, Jadakiss, Swizz Beatz, Scott Storch
Latino rapper Fat Joe (aka Fat Joe da Gangsta, Joey Crack, and his real name, Joe Cartagena) was raised in the South Bronx area of New York. It was through an older brother that Cartagena learned the ways of the street, as well as discovering rap music via the sounds of such groundbreaking artists as Theodore, Funky 4 + 1, and the Furious Five.
Eventually going by the name of Fat Joe, the rapper secured a recording contract with the Relativity label in the early '90s, resulting in the release of his full-length debut, Represent, in 1993 (which spawned the single "Flow Joe," peaking at the number one spot on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart). Two years later, Fat Joe issued his sophomore effort, Jealous One's Envy, which included a cameo appearance by KRS-One as well as production contributions by the likes of DJ Premier, L.E.S., and Domingo. Around the same time, Fat Joe appeared on LL Cool J's big hit "I Shot Ya" (along with Foxy Brown and Keith Murray) and collaborated with Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon on a track from the "Envy" single, called "Firewater." By the late '90s, Fat Joe had switched record labels (signing on with Atlantic) and tried his hand at other non-musical career ventures such as opening a clothing store called Fat Joe's Halftime, a barber shop, and a fashion line, FJ560. In addition, he signed a production and distribution deal with Atlantic Records and Mystic Entertainment (which he ran with a partner named Big Greg).
1998 saw the release of Fat Joe's debut for Atlantic, Don Cartagena, which featured cameo appearances by the likes of Puff Daddy, Nas, Raekwon, Big Pun, and Jadakiss (the LOX), following it up in 2001 with Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), which included contributions from Ludacris, Petey Pablo, M.O.P., R. Kelly, and Remy. Loyalty followed in 2002, and All or Nothing arrived three years after that.