One of the last standing big men in East Coast hip-hop is back! Fat Joe has been silent since the loss of his protégé Big Pun, and with the ‘business’ of the Terror Squad losing members, things looked bleak for the Don. But like the lightning flash after the thunder, Joe has come back with his new album Jealous Ones Still Envy.
The Don Cartegena has packed 18 tracks with production by Psycho Les (Beatnuts fame), Rockwilder, Irv Gotti and many more. Features also include Ja Rule, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, R. Kelly and more. But, it sounds like Joe has come out with more anger than passion for the hip-hop game.
With the Neptunes-ish “We Thuggin’” featuring R. Kelly and platinum shinning video, Joe is obviously following the trend but the creativity of his music is not apparent. Stand out tracks, which are few and far between, include “King of N.Y.” featuring Buju Banton, “Fight Club” featuring MOP and Petey Pablo (who sounds like Mystikal more than Mystikal), “The Wild Life” featuring TS’ prospect and Xzibit, which sounds like a Dre production. But the creativity stops there. Repetitive lyrics about ice, cars, women and his criminal exploits get boring. Other clangers include tracks like “What’s Luv” featring Ja Rule and Ashanti, “Definition of A Don” and the remix of “We Thuggin’” featuring R. Kelly, Busta rhymes, Noreaga and Remy, of Ante Up fame. Although the latter shines because of Busta Rhymes’ you wonder why the track was made.
Like the platinum T.S. chain Joe is sporting on the album cover, he is trying to shine through but he falls short. In the past, his albums have never received that much interest from the industry and it looks like that’s going to happen again.