In a new interview with Men's Health, Joseph Cartagena, aka Fat Joe, got honest about his battles with depression and weight loss. “I went to his funeral and I felt like Ebenezer Scrooge. Like, I seen me," Fat Joe recalled. "And I’m looking at his little daughter. She was the same age as my daughter. I said, ‘You gotta lose weight; otherwise you outta here," Cartagena said about attending the funeral of his friend Big Pun. The death of Big Pun lead Cartagena into a severe bout of depression that the rapper described as "the most complex Rubik's Cube you could ever, ever, ever, ever try to figure out."
"That’s what depression was like to me," Cartagena told Men's Health. "When you’re fighting yourself, there isn’t a wall high enough that you can build. There isn’t an island you can go to. There isn’t a place you can go to where you get away from it, because you’re fighting your mind. You wake up, and then the minute you think about it, your brain sends you a message to say, ‘We’re not supposed to be happy.’ And then you fall right back into depression."
Cartagena Reflects On Journey
"Once you snap out of it, you should know what brings you there and to run the other way. The minute I feel unhappy, I go toward happy," he told the magazine. Furthermore, Cartagena revealed that one of the things that brings him the most joy is seeing his mother. "When I pull up to my mother’s home that I bought for her, that's a modest home, it puts the biggest smile on my face," he said. "And when I go inside, she’s happy and my father’s happy and everybody’s happy. I never told my daughter ‘no’ one time in her life for anything. It’s always been ‘yes.’ That makes me happy. I’m a big movie guy. John Wick 4. Air. That makes me happy. CNN makes me happy. When you’re on the road so much, you feel so happy to sleep in your bed.”
Cartagena also compared his body-positive journey to that of 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." However, he also clarified that he wouldn't be dropping the "Fat Joe" moniker anytime soon. “Although I’ve gotten health conscious on another level, it wouldn’t make sense to change it," he said. "Now it’s my brand. It’s what I built.”