Rapper Fat Joe attends the VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens at David Geffen Hall on July 11, 2016 in New York City.
Source: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for VH1

Rapper-Turned-Philanthropist Fat Joe Returned to the Bronx to Give Back in a Big Way

Fat Joe's history of philanthropy runs deep. Discover how the rapper's generous acts of kindness are making a positive impact on the Bronx.


Oct. 23 2023, Published 9:13 a.m. ET

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Fat Joe (real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena) is a rapper and songwriter who hails from New York City. The rap star gained mainstream prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s with smash hits like "Lean Back," "What's Luv," and "All the Way Up."

A member of the hip-hop group Terror Squad, the rapper has an arsenal of hits that feature some of the industry's biggest names. His celebrity collaborators include DJ Khaled, Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Nelly, French Montana, and more.

With a net worth sitting pretty at an estimated $4 million, his music career has been nothing short of successful. Fat Joe is a respected figure in hip-hop and a symbol of success and resilience.

Beyond the music, the Bronx-born rapper has been involved in various philanthropic efforts and community initiatives. Over the years, he's made a positive impact on his community and beyond.

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But no matter how famous he gets, Fat Joe will never stop putting on for his hometown.

In late 2023, the rapper organized a fundraiser to ensure that kids from his old neighborhood were dressed to impress ahead of the upcoming school year.

Keep scrolling for the deets, along with a summary of the Latin lyricist's contributions to the community.

Fat Joe attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Source: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
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Fat Joe gave back to the South Bronx with a back-to-school drive.

In late September 2023, Fat Joe visited the Eagle Academy for Young Men and gifted brand-new sneakers and outfits to unknowing students.

"What we're telling them is that you can become successful, but you don't have to leave where you're from," the rapper told ABC in an interview.

"You can be in your community, and you can also inspire the youth because every now and then, all they need is a little push; they need a little inspiration," the Grammy-nominated artist concluded.

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Of the rapper's generosity, an Eagle Academy senior, Amadou Tall, stated: "It's great to see a successful figure from our borough just come back and give back to us like this."

"I think it was true ... really real what he said. He was telling us seniors how to stay out of the streets [and] stay focused in school," the student went on.

But the Fat Joe's history of giving back doesn't end there. Unsurprisingly, the rapper has a history of paying it forward.

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Fat Joe Billboard Awards in a green sweater.
Source: Mindy Small/FilmMagic

Fat Joe also organized a fundraiser after the Twin Parks apartment fire in the Bronx.

In 2022, a tragic apartment fire at the Twin Parks North West apartments in the Bronx took the lives of 17 and injured 63 others. Soon after, the rapper took to the front lines by helping organize a day-long fundraiser for the families who were impacted.

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Along with the New York City mayor, artists like Slick Rick, French Montana, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Remy Ma, and DreamDoll helped out with the initiative.

Jay-Z DJ Khaled, among others, also offered hefty contributions.

According to a statement, “100 percent of all donations will help families and enable the distribution of emergency supplies for those in need.”

“I need all my people worldwide to come together for the families devastated by the fire in the Bronx,” Fat Joe wrote on Instagram at the time.

He added: "I’m donating and I’m asking everyone that has a heart to donate. These people are mostly immigrants that have nowhere to go. They lost everything. it’s 10 degrees in the Bronx today!”

The above is just a drop in the bucket of Joe's philanthropic efforts.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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