Sooner than the platinum hit information, Grammy Award nomination and acclaim, Fats Joe was once Joseph Antonio Cartagena from the Bronx. In his new memoir, “The E-book of Jose,” he main points the toll of his upbringing, psychological well being and changing into a rapper.
He described his adolescence to CBS Information as gorgeous, pronouncing, “We did not don’t have anything. We did not haven’t any cash. We grew up on welfare. We grew up within the tasks however we did not know what we had been lacking.”
Born in New York Town’s South Bronx to Puerto Rican and Cuban folks, Cartegena stated he struggled to slot in as an obese child with blonde hair and inexperienced eyes. He recalled getting beat up “each unmarried day” whilst rising up.
In an excerpt from “The E-book of Jose,” Cartegena defined how his fact impacted him.
“I sat in my bed room with hatred festering,” he wrote. “My middle became black. I now not cared about anyone. I sought after to inflict as a lot violence and concern as I may just on any individual who stood in my trail. It did not subject whether or not they had been just right or dangerous.”
He recalled patrolling neighborhoods within the Eighties, which incorporated robbing and intimidating neighborhood participants.
“Once I pray at evening to God or I give again to the neighborhood, I do not know if I will be able to make up for the ache I gave to the neighborhood,” Cartegena stated.
However nevertheless, the rapper stated he “was once a super child” who would have most likely develop into a health care provider, legal professional or pastor had he grown up below other cases.
“I got here with a natural middle, with a just right middle,” he stated. “It was once the streets and the surroundings that modified me into that individual.”
Through the early Nineteen Nineties, Cartegena’s talent with the mic was once beginning to smash via and he started spending extra time within the recording studio along with his first hit in 1993, “Waft Joe.” He stated he had “modified [his] lifestyles totally to get within the track trade,” drawing on early recommendation he won on the time from rapper LL Cool J.
“I used to be like, ‘Yo, the way you get this?’ He stated, ‘That is simple. I do the similar factor you do. I simply rap to the ladies and make business hits and also you simply rap to the gangsters in the street,” Cartegena stated of an come across with LL Cool J. “That sparked an concept in my mind that was once like, ‘Oh, we gotta transfer the sport up.’ And round that point is the place I first came upon Giant Pun.”
Christopher Rios, sometimes called Giant Pun, was once one of the most greatest names in hip-hop within the overdue Nineteen Nineties. He and Cartegena had been a part of the Terror Squad, teaming up for a lot of billboard spoil hits. However in February of 2000, Rios suffered a deadly middle assault at 28-years-old.
Cartegana stated he then fell right into a deep despair, which he wrestled with for years.
“I knew I used to be in bother. Like large bother,” he stated. “…I saved reliving this and reliving this and reliving this and reliving this and I used to be simply in this sort of darkish position.”
He stated he labored via his grief via treatment and would later cross directly to sign in a string of Billboard hits.
Now, at 52, Cartegana mirrored on his occupation in rap, pronouncing that it’s “a deadly profession.”
“It is a very catch-22 scenario,” he stated.
Bringing up rapper 21 Savage, Cartegana requested “What do you do? You grew up on this neighborhood. You develop into wealthy out of nowhere. They supported you. Do you allow the hood and feature the entire hood hate you eternally? Or do you keep and take a look at to appear out for them as a result of a few of them are going to do the flawed factor.”
For Cartegana, he nonetheless operates within the South Bronx to nowadays, working one in every of New York’s best sneaker stores whilst offering a finding out heart for native children. He described the shop as “a protected haven for other people in the neighborhood.”
“Do not imagine other people telling you that you are nugatory, that you’ll be able to’t develop into one thing,” he stated. “We gotta be there for every different and let those younger kings know, and queens know, that they are treasured.”