Fat Joe reflected on what it was like becoming a parent as a teenager in honor of Father’s Day.
Fat Joe says that becoming a father at 19 years old was the “scariest moment” of his life. In honor of Father’s Day, Joe sat down with HipHopDX to discuss being a parent to his three kids. The New York rapper is a father to Ryan Cartagena, Joey Cartagena, and Azariah Cartagena.
“That was the scariest moment of my life, man,” he told the outlet. “It was. It was scary. I was just a kid myself. I had just got my record deal. I didn’t even have a song out. It was just really, really scary to be so young and have so much responsibility, so that was my initial response.”
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Joe also discussed his son, Joey, who has autism, which he’s spoken out about in the past. He says that even without the condition, parenting is already a tremendous amount of work.
“Being a dad is, is real work and not just because Joey’s autistic,” he explained. “But my other kids, as well, like it’s really work. And you know, these kids, they all have different DNAs. They all have different attitudes. They all have what they think is right for them. My daughter just turned 16, so now I gotta start talking to her on another level. It’s tough.”
He added that he doesn’t plan on forcing music onto his kids. His second son is into the art form, but Joe doesn’t expect them to follow in his footsteps.
“My second son is into music, but I don’t think your kids gotta do exactly what you have done in life to be successful,” he said. “In fact, that’s like really, really extra pressure. You know what I mean? Cause your father’s supposedly a great artist. How you gonna follow up? So I don’t like them to have that type of pressure on them. My daughter wants to do media at Viacom or something like that. That’s what she wants. She can do it.”
In addition to his life as a father, Joe recently announced that he’d be bringing his talk show, The Fat Joe Show, to the network Starz. He’ll be joining 50 Cent as the only rappers in partnership to release shows for the network.