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‘I Just Lost it’: Fat Joe Recalls Childhood Moment That Made Him Become ‘Joey Crack’

Rapper and actor Fat Joe is getting candid about his childhood and a significant turning point in his life growing up in the south Bronx in New York.

In an upcoming appearance on A&E’s “Origins of Hip Hop,” the veteran rapper, born Joseph Antonio Cartagena, shares during the intro of the newest clip that “Since 2 years old, he’s far Joey forever.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 20: Fat Joe attends the CJ Wallace & Lexus Celebrate Hip-Hop and Honor the Life of Christopher Wallace (a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G) at the Lil’ Kim Tribute Gala at Gustavino’s on May 20, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Lexus)

“When I was in junior high, they would bully me every day,” the 51-year-old said. “You know, I’m not gonna lie; it’s scary looking out the classroom window knowing that there’s 20 guys waiting to beat my ass. They never fought me fair. They would always jump me.”

Then one day, a childhood friend of his was given an ultimatum that would subsequently be the source behind the moniker “Joey Crack.”

One day, the “Night School” actor said his best friend Leonard, whom he often hung out with, was approached by the same group of boys who had been taunting Joe and said, “Yo, why you be with this guy?” The young man responded, “He’s my friend.” 

“They were like, ‘Well, if you don’t jump him with us, we’re gonna beat you up every day too — and my friend Leonard jumped me with them,” the emcee said.

“I went home, and I cried for so many hours. I had a black hoodie on, black jeans, and black Timberland chukkas. I’m tying my chukkas over and over again, and I was like, ‘I don’t give a f— I swear to God, giving it to everybody,” he added. “That was the birth of Joey Crack.”

He signed off, stating, “That was like, ‘I don’t give a f— about nobody, care about nobody, I am giving it to everybody. My heart turned black that day; I just lost it.

The hour-long episode features tons of interviews, with narrations by rapper Nas, archival footage, and their music. Joe’s episode, marking the series premiere, is set to premiere Monday, May 30, 2022. 

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