Fat Joe / Fat Joe da Gangsta

Represent

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When Fat Joe debuted in 1993, few would have guessed that he'd be topping the charts years later -- both the album charts as a gangsta (Don Cartagena) and the pop charts as a charmer ("What's Luv?," his duet with Ashanti). After all, when he released Represent in 1993, Fat Joe was known as Fat Joe da Gangsta and had no qualms about being hardcore. And that's precisely how he flows on this album -- gangsta and hardcore. It helps, though, that Diamond D, one of New York's finest producers from the early '90s, keeps the beats flowing throughout Represent. Moreover, it helps that Fat Joe had a catchy single here, "Flow Joe," to market the album with as well. Granted, Represent finds Fat Joe dropping rather juvenile rhymes relative to his later work, but you can hear on this album what all the fuss would be about later.

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