Fat Joe opened up about his origin story in a clip from A&E’s forthcoming show, Origins of Hip Hop.
In the video, shared by People, the Bronx rapper spoke about being bullied as a kid. “Since 2 years old, he’s fat Joey forever,” Joe said. “When I was in junior high they would bully me every day. 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.”
The genuinely life-changing event came when his best friend, a kid named Leonard, turned on him. The pair were close, and spent time together at school and after school, eating and playing video games. However, one day, the group who bullied Joe came up to Leonard and said, “Yo, why you be with this guy?” to which Leonard said, “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,” Joe 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 fuck I swear to God, giving it to everybody. That was the birth of Joey Crack.”
Joe continued, “That was like, ‘I don’t give a fuck about nobody, care about nobody, I am giving it to everybody. My heart turned black that day; I just lost it.”
Fat Joe’s episode will be available on Monday, when Origins of Hip Hop premieres on A&E. Narrated by Nas, the show encompasses interviews with rappers, who reveal stories about their youth and careers.
Watch the entire clip up top.