SOUTH BRONX (WABC) -- What's love got to do with it? For Fat Joe, it's all about love for his hometown.
The South Bronx native was out bright and early Thursday morning with the sole purpose of giving back to the kids in his community.
He held a back-to-school clothing drive at The Eagle Academy for Young Men. Students were shocked by the surprise of the Grammy-nominated artist, actor, and entrepreneur's appearance.
For these high school kids, Fat Joe was someone their parents grew up listening to, maybe some older siblings, but he is still a local celebrity who loves to give back to the Bronx.
He encouraged these young men to do just that, not if, but when they become successful.
Patience paid off for the high schoolers of The Eagle Academy for young men who gathered in the gym waiting, looking at tables stacked with sneaker boxes and bags of new outfits, knowing good things come to those who wait.
Rapper Fat Joe gave high fives and a pep talk, urging them to keep working.
"What we're telling them is that you can become successful, but you don't have to leave where you're from. You can be in your community and you can also inspire the youth, because every now and then, all they need is a little push, they need a little inspiration," Fat Joe said.
"It's great to see a successful figure from our borough just come back and give back to us like this," said Amadou Tall, an Eagle Academy Senior. "I think it was true, really real what he said. He was telling us seniors how to stay out of the streets, stay focused in school."
Fat Joe also promised their new fall gear would keep them looking fly after school when they change out of their uniforms.
Their dean says the most exciting thing about this was the anticipation, and keeping it a secret, and now it'll be driving home that message this school year.
"I'm going to be able to really emphasize the importance of working hard and you get rewarded for the hard work that you put in, so I'm excited that they got to participate in this today and I'm even more excited that every student got to have something today," said Jamir Dickens, Dean, The Eagle Academy for Young Men.
Fat Joe donated more than $100,000 worth of brand-new clothes to the students.
The clothes included sweatsuits, tracksuits, t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers and were given out to the high schoolers at The Eagle Academy, middle schoolers at I.S. 219 New Venture School, and elementary school kids at P.S. 146 Edward Collins.
P.S. 146 was actually Fat Joe's alma mater.
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