Following the death of friend and fellow rapper Big Pun, Fat Joe says he went through a bout of “real depression.” In addition to being depressed, the Bronx lyricist says some of his closest friends doubted that he’d be able to make a return to music following Pun’s death.

During his interview segment with Music Choice Play’s “Chronicles” series, Fat Joe recalled hearing the friends he once helped, argue over whether or not his career was over, one New Year’s Eve. He revealed that hearing some of his closest friends doubt his career left him with a new energy.

“When Pun passed away I went through depression,” Fat Joe said. “But 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. Everybody, my closest friends. One night—That same building we came from. My mother and father refused to move out the Bronx. Even though I had money then. New Year’s Eve I got a tuxedo on. I’m in their house. ‘Happy New Year.’ And I’m about to go outside and party…I come down the staircase in the projects. And this is like five of my best friends on Earth. And they arguing with each other. They like ‘Yo, he’s done. Joe’s over. He’s done’…I came out. I was like ‘Yo, y’all really believe that? Y’all think it’s over for me?’ And that put something in me to go record big records. And even though I discovered Big Pun the truth is he taught me how to make hit records.”

Fat Joe also detailed the moment he fell in love with Hip Hop at the age of six-years-old. According to Joe, he was introduced to Hip Hop due to his older brother who used to carry crates for artists like Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five.

“I discovered Hip Hop when the world discovered Hip Hop,” he said. “When they had them black and white flyers. With the stars and Zulu Nation in the Bronx River. My big brother, Angel he introduced me to Hip Hop. So, he used to carry the crates for Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five. And he would go to the jams and help ‘em bring the crates out of the van. And pile the speakers up. So, he would come back with these cassette tapes. And it would be like battles and Zulu Nation anniversary…And I would just listen to the tapes…I’d feel like I was in a live concert…And it was amazing. I fell in love.”

Fat Joe’s commentary on the death of Big Pun comes days after Liza Rios, the widow of Big Pun filed a lawsuit against the rapper for more than a million dollars.

According to Rios’ lawsuit, Joe made a deal with her to split the money made by Big Pun following his death. She added that she hasn’t received any money from Joe since 2005.

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