One of the rap industry's first Latino superstars, South Bronx native Fat Joe climbed to the top of the game one album at a time during the '90s. Each one of the Puerto Rican-Cuban rapper's successive albums during that decade, including Jealous One's Envy (1995) and Don Cartagena (1998), did progressively better on the Billboard charts. Furthermore, he attained more clout by helping to break Big Pun ("Still Not a Player") in a major way, executive producing and appearing on the late rapper's own hit albums. Fat Joe continued to scale the charts in the 2000s, during which time he moved further into the pop market than ever before, earning Grammy nominations for a collaboration with Ashanti ("What's Luv?," 2001) and as a member of Terror Squad (the number one hit "Lean Back," 2004). Although Joe wasn't as prolific during his third decade of activity, he retained his pop appeal, especially through continued work beside fellow Terror Squad member Remy Ma, exemplified by "All the Way Up" (2016), yet another Grammy-nominated recording. He closed out the 2010s with Family Ties (2019), co-billed with Dre (of Cool & Dre), one of his many high-profile and long-term production associates (along with the likes of Diamond D, DJ Premier, and Scott Storch). In 2021, Fat Joe returned to the spotlight with "Sunshine (The Light)," a collaborative single with Amorphous and DJ Khaled.
By the late '90s, Fat Joe had moved to major-label Atlantic and tried his hand at non-musical career ventures such as opening a clothing store and a barber shop and developing a fashion line. In addition, he signed a production and distribution deal with Atlantic for Mystic Entertainment, a boutique label he ran with partner Big Greg. Fat Joe's first major-label album, 1998's Don Cartagena, featured the debut of his group Terror Squad, cameo appearances by the likes of Puff Daddy and Nas, and became his first album to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard 200. It was followed up in 2001 with Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), supported by the number 15 pop hit "We Thuggin'" (with R. Kelly) and "What's Luv?" (an Ashanti duet), the latter of which narrowly missed the top spot and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. After the 2002 album Loyalty, Terror Squad scored big with the club-friendly "Lean Back." Fronted by Joe and Remy Ma, it topped the Hot 100 and earned another Grammy nomination, this one for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.Update Fat Joe and Kim.