Fat Joe on His Battle With Depression: 'The Minute I Feel Unhappy, I Go Toward Happy'

The Terror Squad rapper slipped into a period of depression after the deaths of his grandfather, sister, and Big Pun.

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Fat Joe slipped into a period of depression at the turn of the century, when the Terror Squad rapper experienced the deaths of several loved ones.

The Bronx native opened up about his battle with depression in a new interview with Men's Health. Joe struggled with his mental health in the wake of Big Pun's tragic death in February 2000. Months later, the "Lean Back" rapper also experienced the loss of his grandfather and sister, who died while giving birth.

“When you’re fighting yourself, there isn’t a wall high enough that you can build. There isn’t an island you can go to," Joe shared. "There isn’t a place you can go to where you get away from it, because you’re fighting your mind. You wake up, and then the minute you think about it, your brain sends you a message to say, ‘We’re not supposed to be happy.’ And then you fall right back into depression.”

Big Pun weighed nearly 700 pounds when he passed away at the age of 28 from a heart attack. His death forced Joe to confront his own health, particularly his weight.

“Imagine me and Big Pun all over TV. We’re together. We’re best friends. Making hit records together. He dies, and everybody in the world keeps coming up to me: ‘Sorry for your loss,' not knowing that they’re triggering the depression every single time," Joe explained. There was no way to go in the world. And so when I see pictures of my sister, I try to breeze through them. I lost a lot of people, and unfortunately, I can’t sit there and dwell, because I know that’s something that takes me down that path. So I gotta push forward.”

It took years before Joe started to lose weight thanks to lifestyle changes, most notably implementing better eating habits. From there, Joe confronted his depression, ultimately coming out on the other side of his mental health battle.

“Once you snap out of it, you should know what brings you there and to run the other way,” he said. “The minute I feel unhappy, I go toward happy.”

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