NEW YORK – Recording artiste Fat Joe is sharing the highs and lows of his life in his new book, The Book Of Jose: A Memoir.
Born Joseph Cartagena, the rapper started his career in the early 1990s and achieved success with numerous hit songs including Lean Back (2004), What’s Luv? (2002) and All The Way Up (2016).
However, Joe reveals he made his life look easy while he was going through a lot behind the scenes.
“My son being born autistic, and his mother wanted to give him up for adoption, or my mother catching cancer, or my brother’s drug addiction or going through depression when (Big) Pun died,” the 52-year-old said.
Rapper Big Pun died at age 28 in 2000 after suffering a heart attack and respiratory failure.
Joe said his death sent him into a tailspin. After contemplating suicide, the Bronx native got help from a therapist.
Over the past few years, Joe has reinvented himself. He recently co-hosted two daytime talk shows, and he is preparing to host his own late-night show. In addition, American television network Showtime will make a TV series based on his book.
However, one of the most important things for Joe is giving back to his community.
“Fat Joe, he obviously don’t live in the South Bronx no more. But my stores are like a safe haven, a hub for the community,” said Joe, who owns three “Up NYC” stores in New York.
“We constantly are mindful of our community and their needs. And we love them and we’re not abandoning them,” he added.
His Bronx store features a classroom where both after-school and adult programmes are held. After three decades in the hip-hop industry, Joe felt safe sharing his picks for the top five rappers dead or alive.
“You got Big Pun. You got Biggie (Notorious B.I.G.)... Tupac is like a Bible, spiritual rapper. You got Rakim… Females…Lauryn Hill, probably the greatest female rapper of all time. Remy (Ma), don’t kill me.”
The book will be released on Tuesday. REUTERS