PIC: See Fat Joe’s 88-Pound Slimdown!

 Alexander Tamargo/WireImage.com; Graham Denholm/Getty Images

After losing seven friends (all in their 30s) last year to heart attacks, Fat Joe shifted his focus from dropping beats to dropping weight: The rapper has lost 88 pounds in the past nine months.

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"What's the difference between me and [my friends]? Health doesn't discriminate just because I'm famous," the 40-year-old told the New York Daily News. "I can't leave my daughter behind. I want to be here for her; I don't want to die on her."

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The Bronx native (real name: Joseph Antonio Cartagena) debuted his slimmed-down frame in his new music video for "Drop a Body" Tuesday. Once topping the scales at 425 pounds, the 6-foot-2 heavyweight is now around the 265-pound range.

Fat Joe, known for the 2004 hit "Lean Back," leaned out by trading his high-fat, high-carb plates for six healthy small meals a day in addition to weight-training and cardio sessions with his trainer.

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So will his new weight loss call for a change in alias?

"They're all trying to alter my name, but I can't see myself as anything else," he told the Daily News, referring to friends who started calling him "Skinny Joe" and "Joey Flaco" (Spanish for "thin"). "I think I gotta ask Diddy what my new name is."

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