Fat Joe is holding on to his stage name even after shedding a whopping 200 pounds. At his heaviest, the rapper tipped the scale at 470 pounds.
“Although I’ve gotten health conscious on another level, it wouldn’t make sense to change it,” he told Men’s Health about the prospects of him ditching the moniker. “Now it’s my brand. It’s what I built.”
The Terror Squad head honcho made larger guys feel confident when he rose to stardom in the mid-1990s alongside his best friend, Big Pun. Sadly, the 600-pound emcee passed away suddenly in February 2020 from a heart attack. Pun was 28 years old and left behind three children, his son Christopher and daughters Vanessa and Amanda. Losing his close friend and collaborator was a wake-up call for Joe.
Also a father of three, he said he knew he wanted to be around for his family, so he made lifestyle changes that positively impacted both his physical and mental wellbeing. The “Lean Back” artist admitted that he dealt with a long bout of depression after Pun and other loved ones passed away, yet he still managed to change his life for the better. While the weight loss has improved Fat Joe’s odds of a longer and more fulfilling life, he understands that some of his earlier fans may feel abandoned.
“They didn’t realize I was just thinking about, yo, I really wanna be here for a long time,” he explained. “I really want to work out. I really want to be healthy. I wanna be here.” These days, the proud New Yorker sees echoes of the body positivity ideals he once repped in the unabashed “Good As Hell” singer Lizzo. “She’s embracing her beauty, saying, ‘I’m a big girl, and I’m proud of it. All you big girls could rock out with me.’ I used to do that, too,” he said.
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