Artist: Fat JoeTitle: Me, Myself & IRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Dr. Zero
Many hip-hop veterans are typically acknowledged by Hip-Hop heads for contributing one element to the art or their entire career regardless of the fan's age. Rakim is known by many as the "God MC," KRS-One as "The Teacha" and one of the most vocal of the political emcees in the 1980s, and so forth. Fat Joe is one of the few exceptions to the rule. Some older Hip-Hop heads know him as the raw, gutter, Bronx emcee that was the mastermind behind Represent and Jealous Ones Envy, and an alumnus of the legendary group D.I.T.C. However, many younger listners know him as the dude that 50 Cent dissed and, as of late, despite hits, whose album's have "flopped." Despite varying opinions of his career and contributions to the art, Joe Cartagena has been active in the game since the early 90s. This is an undeniable fact. Fat Joe adds to his long career with his seventh studio release Me, Myself and I (Virgin).
Me, Myself and I will leave listeners feeling that something is to be desired. Joey stays true to his mantra conceptually meaning that fans know what to expect. The audience can anticipate cuts about boasting and bragging with a hint of social awareness like "Pandemic," for example. There is also the token club-friendly song such as "Make it Rain" featuring Lil Wayne and Joe Crack riding a rhythm riddled with boisterous horns and heavy drums from hit maker Scott Storch. The added bonus to this idea is that the record does not confuse fans with what the artist wanted to accomplish. Although artistic consistency is a good thing in principle, it is not a positive if the concepts, rhymes and even production produce the same type of record that has been done by other lyricists and executed better.
The theme of "leaving something to be desired" is also a perfect way to describe the actual music. "No Drama" is basically "Hustlin'" part two because the drum rhythm in the two songs are similar. Although "Think About It" has the head-nod factor because of the heavy bass line, trumpet, and deep piano keys, it sounded rushed and was not amazing;; that's the story of this album. Me, Myself and I showcases neither the "old" or "new" Joe; merely an emcee that could not get past the diseases of clichés and mediocrity.