Album Review: Fat Joe’s J.O.S.E., Pt. II

17 Oct

Fat Joe - J.O.S.E. 2For most of his career, Fat Joe has been trying to re-create the success of his 2001 album, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.). The album was the sequel to his 1995 album, Jealous One’s Envy. Early in his career, Fat Joe had his own distinctive style, but he decided it would be easier to follow the trends.

In 2001, the hottest rapper was Ja Rule. A song with him on it or influencing it made the song an instant hit. Irv Gotti, the boss of Rule’s Murder Inc. Records worked closely with Fat Joe on that album, which led to his hit single, “What’s Luv?,” which featured Ashanti and Ja Rule. To date, that song remains the most successful in Fat Joe’s career.

Since that time, Fat Joe has decided to simply follow the trends of hip hop. His next album followed the Ja Rule formula and when the dirty south style of Lil Jon took over rap, Fat Joe’s style changed. He has ridden the wave of Lil Wayne harder than the artists on Young Money. There is nothing wrong with that because all of Fat Joe’s albums are good.

The number one question is, can Fat Joe create a classic album? When talking about this album, Joey Crack expressed interest in creating a classic. That would require Fat Joe actually being creative, as great as he is, he does not bring anything new to hip hop.

The album opens up with the Ron Browz-produced and Lil Wayne assisted “Windin’ On Me.” It is clear that the song was recorded during the auto-tune movement of Ron Browz late last year. The song is the ultimate club song and it is an attempt to become the next “Make It Rain.” While the song is good, it is not that good.

Out of nowhere, the flow of the album switches up with “Joey Don’t Do It,” but Fat Joe holds his own. He is at his best on such songs as “One” and “Aloha.” It is clear that Fat Joe is more comfortable making songs for the ladies as he collaborated with Akon, Pleasure P, and Rico Love on those two songs.

Continuing the trend of heavy collaborations, Fat Joe features such artists as T-Pain, OZ, Rico Love, Raekwon, Swizz Beatz, Lil’ Kim, and some newer on the album. Other standout songs on the album are “Porn Star,” “Blackout,” and “Ice Cream.” The album is a solid release, which is expected out of Fat Joe.

More than anything, J.O.S.E., Pt. II is a desperate attempt from Fat Joe to change things up. He has been criticized for coming out with the same album each year. This album is a cross between Fat Joe’s last two releases with a dash of the short-lived rap, auto-tune era. The album seems a bit outdated, since the whole “D.O.A.” thing, but it is a definite must-listen.

Overall, Fat Joe’s J.O.S.E., Pt. II is a 5/10 album. It is one of the best albums of 2009, there are not too many rappers than can create consistently good music the way that he does, but the album is the same. With this album, Fat Joe does nothing to separate himself from the other rappers in the game.

This album is good, but it is nowhere near a classic album.

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