If “Family Ties” truly is Fat Joe’s last album, he went out with a bang!
I love it when Fat Joe raps over some smooth ass s**t! In Drive, Joe gives me what I want, as, on the song, he and Dre spit playa-like bars about spoiling and f**king on chicks over this instrumental that you would love to cruise in your drop-top to.
Hitmaka is killing these 90s-inspired instrumentals!
4. LORD ABOVE
Lord Above isn’t the first big collaboration between Eminem and Fat Joe; back in 2004, the two united for “Lean Back (Remix).”
As expected, Lord Above sounds sacred as s**t. For starters, the track features this roaring instrumental that literally has cries of help attached to it. Over this instrumental, Mary J. Blige hooks us up with a churchy chorus, Dre hooks us up with a bossed up verse, Fat Joe hooks us up with a gangsta ass verse, and Eminem hooks us up with a verse that features a myriad of flows, attacks on Nick Cannon, and wild threats towards rappers he deems useless.
Somehow Fat Joe and Dre were able to get Mary J. Blige and Eminem on the same song… That’s like mixing oil and water.
3. HEAVEN & HELL
“Heaven & Hell” goes harder than left out Italian bread. With the track featuring this hard-hitting/soulful instrumental, Dre and Fat Joe go back and forth on some chest-out s**t, gifting us with advice on how to move in the streets, how to boss up, and how to spend money aimlessly.
On some real s**t, you’re going to love how both Joe and Dre feverishly hurl out their bars on “Heaven & Hell.”
One of my favorite years of rap was the mid-2000’s. At the time, artists like Lil Wayne and Fat Joe were running the game, dropping explosive tracks the young
virgin innocent me loved indulging in. If you fast forward to 2019, what you will hear is that the two legendary rappers are still ticking, as in “Pullin,” they sound like their old kill-a-rapper selves.
In “Pullin,” you get serious bars, a myriad of rap styles, and a random ass “Let’s Get It On” sample. The combination makes for the first-ever viagra-inspired banger.
Whenever you have a song that features heavy bass and a whining chick in the background, nine times out of ten, that song is going to be a hit! In “YES,” that’s exactly what you get, as Fat Joe, Cardi B and Anuel AA absolutely kill s**t over the winning format I just mentioned.
You know what I love about “YES?” Fat Joe, Cardi B and Anuel AA all rap hard on it, but they also infuse their own unique flair into their respective verses, too. I also love how raw the lyrical content is from the trio, as they unapologetically tackle the topics of smashing on other dudes’ chicks, making money, and violence (Ahhh, the premise behind every black Netflix movie).
Fat Joe is one of the most unsuspecting club hit-makers of all-time.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. PROJECTS (4/5)
2. BEEN THRU (3.5/5)
3. HEAVEN & HELL (4/5)
4. HANDS ON YOU (4/5)
5. DAY 1’S (4/5)
6. YES (4.5/5)
7. BIG SPLASH (3.5/5)
8. LORD ABOVE (4/5)
9. DRIVE (4/5)
10. PULLIN (4/5)
11. DEEP (3.5/5)
When it’s all said and done, is Fat Joe a top 5 rapper? No, but the impact he has had on the hip-hop game should never be overlooked. In “Family Ties,” Joe puts the supposed ribbon on a successful career, gifting us with every kind of hit he is capable of making.
Fat Joe is a helluva rapper. Personally, I think he’s explosive, has killer punchlines, and is underrated when it comes to wordplay. With that being said, Joe finds ways to hit us with bars that stick out like sore thumbs in “Family Ties,” which will definitely make you feel like a satisfied customer.
In “Family Ties,” Dre plays a Poor man’s Drake very well! I f**K with his hooks, his melodies, and his knack for spitting gassed up bars despite being 6’6 and 170 pounds soaking wet. (I’m being nice, I didn’t like the n***as contributions to this album).
Fat Joe has always known how to make hits. What I like about his brand of hits is that they are wide-ranging. In “Family Ties,” you get hits that are ferocious (ie “Pullin”), smooth (ie “Drive”), and on some serious club s**t (ie “Yes”). Each style of hits do not lack in energy, which I think makes the album feel like something that you can hold onto for whenever you need an energy boost.
The production on “Family Ties” might just be the best thing about the album. Yes, Cool & Dre kill s**t on the songs they produced, but Hitmaka also killed s**t on the songs he produced, too! Nonetheless, the whole album features beats that knock Cheerios off of the top of fridges, gets girls to strip, and harbors competitive rapping.
I’m not going to lie, I’m going to miss the s**t out of Fat Joe! To me, he has always been one of the most entertaining rappers in the world. So in honor of him, not only will I blast this album over and over again, but I will also let 50 know that “Lean Back” WAS a f**king hit when I see him!