It’s the battle of the 1990s rappers on VERZUZ, as Fat Joe faces off against Ja Rule.

While there’s some question as to who will emerge victorious, tonight, what’s clear is that despite his various controversies, the man born Joseph Cartagena has overcome plenty of legal battles to get a $4 million net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

As he told Forbes Magazine, he did so by keeping his eye on the prize, and by addressing the issues as they came up without allowing them to get out of control.

“I’m known to be hands-on 100%,” Fat Joe said to the outlet. “I don’t know any other way to be, than a leader by example. When I came up in Hip Hop, there was no such thing as a Puerto Rican rapper doing Hip Hop for many mainstream people, so I was the ship, the captain, and the crew. The new artists that I have, need to see me in action and feel my energy and drive to know what it takes to be successful. A hit record is only a part of that puzzle.”

Let’s take a look at how Fat Joe overcame the impossible to become triumphant.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from various online sources.

Music Career

By some estimates, Fat Joe has moved over 10 million units of his music over the course of his decades-long career. This is where he’s made the bulk of his $4 million net worth.

Real Estate

In 2000, Fat Joe purchased an acre of land in Plantation, FL, just outside of Fort Lauderdale. At the time, he paid $115,000 for the land, upon which he built a 5,300-square-foot custom home. According to Zillow, that same acre of land can run anywhere from $950,000 to $1.5 million today, with no house on the land. So, it’s safe to say that this is a good investment.

Controversial Businesses

Despite having a fair amount of income from his music ventures, Fat Joe has gotten involved in some controversial businesses. One of the most infamous ones is his affiliation with MarketAmerica, the parent company of

As The Hundreds points out, MarketAmerica engages in what’s known as “affiliate marketing,” which is another way of saying MLM.

While MLMs aren’t illegal, they’re certainly controversial in their methods of doing business. In 1979, a landmark case of FTC vs. Amway (one of the first, and the oldest, affiliate marketing companies of its kind) ruled that MLMs are a legitimate way of doing business, provided that the MLM in question meets certain parameters.