The infamous Fat Joe (aka Joey Crack), a heavyset bully of a rapper out of the South Bronx, dropped this noisy jackhammer of an album in late 1995. The follow-up to his street-acclaimed Represent from 1993 is bloated with vivid tales of violence and fortified claims to street credibility. Joe has an old-world sense of the criminally minded and displays a Cosa Nostra-like romanticism in his hearty boasts to rap supremacy. An interlude of Spanish braggadocio over the melodic Godfather theme and a Frank White (Christopher Walken) monologue from King of New York are proof of Joe's self-professed kingpin status. The healthy dose of inspired production from heavyweights Diamond D, Premier, and Domingo provide an amply pugilistic background for Joe's nitroglycerin-fueled verbal warfare. Joe makes no bones about his affiliations with drug trafficking and thievery either: "I'm the realer MC/the drug dealer MC." The legendary KRS-One climbs aboard on "Bronx Tale" and the Wu-Tang's Raekwon helps out on "Respect Mine." Even the shamelessly purloined sample of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" on "Envy" cannot slow down this driving record. Few rap albums of the modern era have the pure testicular quality of Jealous One's Envy and the lyrical content, while tending to be repetitive, is always clever and never nauseating. A solid second effort from a true Bronx Bomber.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by M.F. DiBella