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What Fat Joe Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Ivan Barrios

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist, author, and entrepreneur Fat Joe about his secret to smooth skin, everyday T-shirt, and drink that kicked his diet soda habit.

Everybody asks me, “Joe, what’s your skin treatment? Joe, why is your face so smooth? Why do you look great?” And I tell them all the time, “It’s the Dove green-tea soap, baby.” It’s as simple as that. I love using this soap. Even when I travel abroad, I take a couple of bars with me. I know most people use body wash, but I’m old-school and prefer bars.

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This is mandatory. It’s like, I pray to God, then go brush my teeth. I couldn’t even picture myself walking around without doing it first thing in the morning. Colgate’s the one toothpaste I use. All the other ones taste weird to me.

I used to be really addicted to diet soda, especially diet Pepsi. I’d drink maybe 20 a day. I tried to stop, and the next best option for me was Pellegrino Sparkling Water. It gives me the bubbles I crave but is better for me. It’s putting me in a more positive direction. I might drink five or six of the big bottles daily now.

I need wings. The way people usually get their wings or their energy is with sugar. Me, I can’t have it, so the next best thing for me is the sugar-free Red Bull. I have some really long, intense days, whether I’m performing,  traveling, or doing studio hours. My days are as long as they could go. Even today — I’m not gonna lie to you — I just woke up, spun over, and did this call. I work nonstop, so I need my Red Bulls to keep me going.

I haven’t eaten pork for probably 35 years now. I’ve been eating Oscar Mayer’s turkey bacon for years and years. I eat it first thing in the morning. I think I done ate so much turkey bacon, I’m going to turn into a turkey bacon one day.

Sometimes I’ll travel and pull up at the movie theater just to go buy popcorn. I don’t even watch a movie. Popcorn is one of my favorite things on Earth, especially movie theater popcorn. It just smells different. It’s a really good gimmick they learned back in the day to get people to the movies. I make this all the time at home, too, whenever we’re watching movies, fights, or other sporting events.

Oh my God. This is my favorite. When we’re watching movies, I eat Bomb Pops and my daughter is just disgusted when she sees me eating them. She’s like, “Dad, eat it like a human.” It’s crazy that she’s embarrassed by me eating a Bomb Pop. But it’s what I love. My wife’s best friend said the other day, “Joe’s real simple. Just sit him on the couch and give him a sugar-free Bomb Pop, and he won’t bother nobody.”

I can’t leave home without this. I’m diabetic, so this is what the doctor prescribes for me. Not only is it good for weight loss, it’s good for my A1C levels being down. It’s a necessity for me. I know it’s been a fad for people just taking it. I’m not mad at nobody, but it’s just something I need to live.

Think of a mechanic or a bus driver and how they have to wear a certain uniform — well, this is mine. On an ordinary day, I throw on a black tee, a pair of shorts, some sneakers, and I’m gone. I’ve got hundreds of black tees because I never wear them twice. I open a pack, put it on fresh. It’s like, Today’s a brand new day. Let’s keep it moving.

I’ve been through a lot of things in my life, from depression or losing friends to getting robbed by friends. Writing this was like opening up old wounds again. It was pretty intense. But I knew if I was going to write a book, it had to come with the real. The whole reason for The Book of Jose was to be totally transparent so people could learn through my wins and my failures. I’ll go back and read this and reflect on my life to see what better choice I can make. It’s a very powerful book.

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What Fat Joe Can’t Live Without