Fat Joe in 2002 (left) and April 2011
Scott Gries/Getty; Graham Denholm/Getty
06/09/2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
Fat Joe "Drops a Body" – literally! The rapper
(real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena) is flaunting a slimmer figure in his new music video, "Drop a Body."
Joe, whose single "Lean Back" with Remy Ma
was a number-one hit back in the summer of 2004, is now 40 and 88 lbs. lighter.
"I can't leave my daughter behind," he told New York's Daily News
of 5-year-old Azaryah. "I want to be here for her; I don't want to die on her."
Joe says he dropped the weight over the past nine months by working out two hours a day with a trainer, and by sticking to healthier foods. After seven of his friends in their 30s passed away last year due to heart attacks, Fat Joe tells the paper he had a wake-up call: "Health doesn't discriminate just because I'm famous"
The rapper, who has weighed as much as 425 lbs., is now at 265 lbs. So, will he drop his stage name now that he has dropped the pounds? "They're all trying to alter my name," he told the Daily News
, "but I can't see myself as anything else ... I think I gotta ask Diddy
what my new name is."