Just like musicians in other genres, rappers come in all shapes and sizes. Some rappers are on the heavy side when they debut their music, but later make changes to improve their health. Other rappers are large in size with no intentions of losing weight or getting healthier. Then, there are the rappers who go from being heavy-set to overly toned and way too skinny.
After all, losing weight is an exciting thing. It can be such a difficult feat for some, so when some people achieve significant weight loss, they tend to take it too far. Some get so small that they start to look sick, and others spend so much time in the gym, they start to look like they have a healthy obsession with their bodies.
Rappers feel the pressure of having to look good all the time, even though some of them have a diehard fan base regardless of their size. Weight loss for a rapper also gets the musician lots of attention, just like body transformations for artists in other genres would. The physical change can even turn some rappers into sex symbols, if they didn’t already hold the title. Here are 10 rappers who went from overweight to over-toned.
Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, has been known for rapping about some pretty touchy subjects. He also claims that he had a fling with Mariah Carey, and claimed that she continued to deny the rumors because she was upset that he rejected her. While we don’t know if this is true or not, we can assume that around 2008, Carey (or any other woman) may not have been so attracted to Mathers. He’d gained a considerable amount of weight due to his addiction to prescription drugs. He named his 2009 album Relapse, and decided to get his health back on track while preparing to promote the album. By the time he stepped back into the public eye, he had a very toned and chiseled physique (maybe even too chiseled).
9. Fat Joe
As his stage name implies, Fat Joe doesn’t mind if people know him for his girth, as well as his talent. Fat Joe rose to fame in the early 2000s with associated acts like his late cousin Big Pun, who was also a rapper. Big Pun died from health-related issues that were connected to his weight, and this is part of the reason that Joe decided it was time to make some lifestyle changes. At one point, Fat Joe was more than 400 pounds, but by working out and exercising, he’s been able to cut his weight in half. He even states that he’s glad he’s inspiring others to do the same. We can even see the tone and definition in his face now (nice cheekbones, Joe). Looks like he’s going to have to come up with a new moniker, or he could just go with his lesser-known nickname, Joey Crack.
8. 50 Cent
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson admits that he was a chubby kid with an affinity for pizza. However, he cites his devotion to a high-cardio workout as the reason why he looks great without a shirt these days. You may remember him working out in his debut video, In Da Club, which also featured a formerly-chubby, now-chiseled rapper by the name of Dr. Dre. The rapper further proved he could lose weight when he took on a rather sickly appearance for his role in the movie Things Fall Apart. We’re glad to see he’s back to toning his muscles. It looks like he’s been avoiding pizza as well.
7. Mike Jones
When rapper Mike Jones released his 2004 debut album Who Is Mike Jones, he was a pretty big guy, and we don’t mean in the music industry. Over the years, the Back Then rapper has lost a considerable amount of weight, and has even been unrecognizable to some of his fans. There have been reports that the rapper, who has been out of the spotlight for some time, has lost 100 pounds in about a month’s time! Jones’ ex-fiance Vivica states that the rapper’s new chiseled physique, which is a very drastic change from the body he had before, isn’t a result of exercise and diet. Which leaves us to wonder whether he’s suffering from an addiction or medical condition.
6. Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott is known as a pioneer in the hip hop genre for her outlandish videos, zany lyrics and catchy vocal hooks. The rapper and singer has collaborated with a host of famed artists, including Ciara and Timbaland. She’s been out of the spotlight for a few years, but she does make appearances, and it’s clear that she’s been taking good care of herself. Elliot was always heavy-set, but decided to lose 50 pounds as a result of trying to prevent high blood pressure, which runs in her family. She cites exercise and diet as the tools for her weight loss, and has since modeled for MAC’s Viva Glam campaign.
Timbaland has worked with everyone from Missy Elliot to Keri Hilson to Justin Timberlake, just to name a few. He’s the one who helped Timberlake “bring sexy back,” and his vocals and production talent can also be heard on Justin’s hit single Cry Me a River. Timbaland, who is also a rapper, was known for his cute and chubby build and wasn’t much of a heartthrob until he started losing weight. That’s when he started posing for pictures wearing tank tops, so we could get a good look at his pectoral muscles and bulging, toned biceps and triceps. He looks great, but reducing his arm workout slightly could keep him from looking so incredibly Hulk-ish.
4. Mack 10
West Coast rapper Mack 10 has always been a pretty big guy. Recently, he stated that he was inspired by his children to lose weight, and that he gave up red meat, particularly beef, in order to help him meet his goal. Mack 10 also states that he is consuming healthier forms of protein, like chicken and fish, to keep him slim and trim. He’s gone from 267 pounds to under 200 pounds, and it’s easy to see the definition in his chest and arms, so he could return to the music scene as a rapping sex symbol if he wanted to. Hey, the formula has worked for so many others, he may as well give it a try.
3. Dr. Dre
When the rapper and producer stepped onto the stage at the 2007 MTV Music Awards, he got applause for more than his musical accomplishments. People were likely shocked that Dr. Dre had lost so much weight and was so muscular! The tone in his arms may be a little more defined than some people would prefer, but you can’t deny that he looks great. Dr. Dre, who is known for his work with NWA in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as his collaborations with 50 Cent and Eminem, has been making some great business moves these days. His Beats by Dre headphones are continuing to sell extremely well, and he still shows off his production skills every now and then.
2. Rick Ross
Rick Ross debuted with a number of controversial songs that talked about drug dealing, carrying weapons and questionable romantic encounters with women. However, he was just as well known for his weight, as he was for his shocking lyrics. Rick Ross started the Maybach Music record label and has definitely made an impressive life for himself, which is in direct contrast to his poor Mississippi upbringing. In 2011 when Ross had a health scare that included having a seizure while traveling on a plane, the rapper decided to make some serious changes. He has lost over 100 pounds, which means his fans don’t mind seeing him without his shirt as much these days.
1. Joell Ortiz
Joell Ortiz isn’t exactly an extremely well-known rapper, but he definitely tops the list when it comes to going from chubby to chiseled. The rapper, who is a native of Brooklyn, has released three albums, and in 2012, he started making some major lifestyle changes. Ortiz made the decision to stop smoking cigarettes and to adopt a healthier lifestyle in order to lose weight. He also stated that he was tired of waking up with a hangover, which caused him to be fatigued and unable to think straight. After adding exercise to his regimen, he realized that he was able to work in the studio with clarity and a renewed sense of creativity. His biceps aren’t half bad either. Ortiz is a part of the hip hop group SlaughterHouse, and he also released a single called Music Saved My Life (featuring B.o.B) that talks about how he was able to make positive changes in his life due to his love for music.