“Why hello, 2004, we had almost (thankfully) forgotten about you,” was our first reaction to the news that Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign has a new “celebrity” champion in Joseph Antonio “Fat Joe” Cartagena, who at one point made a lot of suburban middle school dance chaperones nervous with his funny lyrics about the act of pulling up one’s pants, as a dance move. Back in those days, Fat Joe was practically a professional obese person, weighing in at over 450 pounds. But today, he is the image of a Let’s Move! victory, having lost over 100 pounds and even curing his own diabetes! We can imagine why someone decided to tap into his street cred and miraculous weight loss story to bring health to the children of Newark, New Jersey.
Fat Joe, who is CEO of “Terror Squad Entertainment,” has been arrested for assault more than once and witnessed many a murder, which makes him a unique choice for the Motivator-of-Schoolchildren position. But deep down, he has always been just a fat kid with a dream.
“I was just a kid myself, dealing with childhood obesity,” says Joseph (Fat Joe) Cartagena, who realized his oversized persona was killing him after six friends died prematurely from obesity-related illnesses since 2000. They included fellow NYC artist Big Pun, who had a fatal heart attack at 28.
Now Cartagena is turning the tables on the obesity epidemic with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign, which launched a creative competition in Newark last fall to get more teens off their rears.
“When I go to schools, the kids always say, ‘Why don’t you rap for us?’ I tell them: Listen when you get older you’ll understand that this is the realest rap I ever gave to you.”
There is nothing on the Let’s Move! web site about Fat Joe becoming an official spokesperson for the campaign, so he is most likely doing this out of the goodness of his big, fat heart. Still, we can only imagine how much protest-eating the Crazies will do once they get word that some sort of black Mexican terrorist rapper is on the side of our FLOTUS. [NY Daily News]