2005 began as a year of controversy for Fat Joe...what with his well publicized beef with 50 Cent, to being accused of ripping one of the hottest tracks of 2004, "Lean Back" ...the Don has remained steadfast though his album has been pushed back more than the wigs of stage door groupies.
But, now that "All Of Nothing" has dropped after an almost 3 month delay featuring production by Just Blaze, Scott Storch, Swizz Beats, Dj Khaled & Timbaland...as well as featuring the vocal stylings of R. Kelly, Nelly, J.Lo, Eminem and a host of others.
And of course this album would not be complete without his boys Cool & Dre working the exec production of the entire album. This is Joe stepping up his game after the "piggy bank" challenge from 50 with the previously titled "Fuck 50" which is toned down to "My Fo-Fo".
There are some definitive standouts on this CD with the summertime banger with Nelly, "Get It Poppin' ", which I have heard from Atlanta to Miami to LA to Louisville...errybody is feeling this cut. Of course last years pumper "Lean Back" is revised in the "Lean Back Remix" which features Lil Jon, Eminem, Mase and Remy Ma.
Tracks 9 and 10 titled "Temptation 1" and "Temptation 2" respectively, gives you an idea of Joe's mindset regarding those that are against him and his. "Listen Baby" featuring Mashonda offers a nice R&B smooth fantasy cut to show how Joe can "lean back" and allow himself to just "be" on a cut without the prostrating and proof of bad-assness.
Joe appears to want to distance himself from beefs..in the album liner notes he states; "I gave it my all for 13 years, I barely know what my kids look like, that's dedication. All I ever wanted was respect from my peers. I love Hip Hop and I'm still a fan. To all the kids that listen to me please know that this is entertainment. I say crazy shit, but that's just music..."
The single "So Much More" has been bombing video and radio and is probably one of the most recognizable tracks for this summer with it's "King Of New York" (hint, hint) inspired visuals in the video. Cool & Dre worked their hands on "So Much More" , but the album as a whole does not meet the mark that Joey Crack set when he laid the gauntlet down before 50 Cent and his G-Unit camp. With the diverse variety of production and A-List features on "All Or Nothing" it's safe to say that it could have been so, so much more.