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Fat Joe Opens Up About Struggling With Depression

The loss of Big Pun weighed on the rapper, but it also motivated him.

Losing a loved one can be a devastating ordeal in its own right. Losing three in a short span of time can be downright debilitating -- and its an experience Fat Joe unfortunately knows firsthand.

"When [Big] Pun passed away, I went through depression," the rapper said in an interview with Music Choice. "And I'm not just saying depression lightly -- real depression. It was him, my sister and my grandfather at the same time, so I was going through so much and everybody doubted me."

The Bronx native recalls overhearing some of his closest friends saying that his musical career was finished around that same time. That motivated him to breathe new life into his work, and he credits Pun with giving him the foundation to be able to do that.

"Even though I discovered Big Pun, the truth is, he taught me how to make hit records," Joe said. "He literally sat me down and said, 'Yo, right about here, you gotta talk to the girls, Joe. Right about here we gotta keep it gangsta.' He literally showed me."

"Once he passed, I got used to the money, I got used to the fame, so I was like, 'We gotta hit some home runs.' So, we did the 'We Thuggin’' with R. Kelly, 'What's Love,' we had the 'My Lifestyle,' it was a serious run."

Of course, losing Pun hurt, but it sounds like the lessons Pun left behind sparked the second -- and extremely successful -- leg of Joe's rap career.