Last week, Bronx rapper Fat Joe made headlines for his VERSUZ battle against fellow rapper Ja Rule in Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, Joe lost the battle of legends to Rule, but it was his disparaging remarks about former Murder Inc. rapper Vita and popular R&B songstress Lil’ Mo that have kept him in the news for the better part of the week. The Bronx rap legend reportedly called the women “dusty b*tches” during a verbal sparring with Rule after the Queens rapper brought Lil’ Mo and Vita to perform “Put It On Me” on stage.
Joe has since apologized for his remarks, but it does make one wonder: what did his wife think about what her husband had to say?
Joe has been married for over 25 years, and if you had no idea that this was the case, there’s a reason for that. Just like the mafia persona⏤Don Cartagena⏤that has shaped the majority of his career, Joe prefers to keep his family away from the spotlight, which of course includes his wife. Who is this mystery woman he’s been with for the past two decades?
One thing is certain: Lorena Cartagena has done a remarkable job of remaining a mystery. Outside of being featured in the music documentary Unsung to speak on married life in the hip hop world, Lorena is rarely seen in front of the camera, which is quite a feat to pull off since she’s been by her husband’s side for 25 years.
According to The Things, the couple met sometime in the early ’90s and later married in 1995. Since then, Cartagena and Joe have worked to raise their three children together. The rapper’s two sons, Ryan and Joey, are from previous relationships, while his daughter, Azaria, is the only child he and Cartagena have had together. The couple has spent most of their time raising Joey and Ryan into adults, with Ryan now working a successful career in the music industry. Despite Joe’s celebrity status in a highly sexualized profession, he and Cartagena have managed to remain loyal to each other throughout their marriage.
This is not to say that Joe’s profession as a rapper hasn’t threatened their relationship. Back in 2012, it was reported that the couple was on the verge of separation when it was alleged that Joe had been cheating on Cartagena. However, the incident quickly blew over, and it seems like the couple’s relationship has only gotten stronger since then.
Though she pretty much keeps herself out of the limelight, Cartagena is currently active on social media and has built up a reasonable following. According to Sportskeeda, she’s managed to gain 228,000 followers on her Instagram page alone under the handle @lolamilan1. For a celebrity spouse that’s barely seen and rarely heard, it’s an impressive number by social media standards.
It’s crazy to think that Joe and Cartagena have been together for two decades and counting. Most celebrity relationships barely make it past the three-year mark and some marriages don’t even last that long, especially in the world of hip hop where many artists have a casual mentality when it comes to monogamy. It’s nice to see that there are couples like the Cartagenas who can have long-lasting relationships that transcend time and temptation even in a scene as wild as music.