Fat Joe has been getting at the money lately. Opting instead for more summery, radio friendly hits, his latest albums lacked much of the aggression and lyricism that not only Joe but his era of New Yorkers are known for. However just by the title alone on this one you can tell Joe is bringing it back to his boom bap, step and get slapped days.
Not wasting any time Joe steps in heavy on the LP with the Scram Jones produced “Intro”. This track shows Joe’s still got the gift of gab as he lays on straight verbal death threats to the beat. Joe’s intensity only rises as he descends into “The Valley Of Death” produced by Cool & Dre, the second album on the LP.
Other notable producers on the record are Just Blaze, DJ Premier, and the above mentioned Scram Jones. These producers give the record a very New York feel and I’m sure this was not by accident. Joe said his mission on this record was to bring back the mean and hard days of hip hop when everyone was not worried about money but more about who was tougher and who could spit better.
Fat Joe is a veteran in this game so you know he has plenty of friends to call on to round this album out and he did just that enlisting some of the biggest names in the game. Lil Wayne, The Clipse, Cam’Ron, Too $hort, and even R. Kelly join Joe on this one usually stealing the scene away from Joe.
This is probably the only drawback to this record as well as the repetitive content and short track listing, coming in at only 12 songs strong. Even though he may be doing it cleverly on “I Am Crack” Joey Crack is still talking about a tired topic which has been beaten to death in hip hop. Besides that I feel Joe did his job on this one and has maintained his title as one of the most consistent artists in the game.