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16.11.04

Ja Rule
The Last Temptation



When "Holla Holla" made heavy rotation during the summer of 1999, no one really expected much to come from this rumored DMX rip-off. Let's take a moment to reflect on Venni Vetti Vecci, the sacred days when Ja could almost (but barely) convince listeners he was the thug he shamelessly continues to try and be. With the success of Rule 3:36 tracks "Put it on Me" and "Between Me and You," Rule relocated his interests into territory only LL Cool J lovers can wholeheartedly appreciate.

This move for Ja could have gone without a care, if it wasn't for these two little syllables painfully instilled in America's knot head: J-LO! With the amazing success of the Rule-penned remix of "I'm Real," the reformed music industry scornfully ensured there is no way to get rid of Ja Rule. This would be a good thing, if it were not for Ja's immense lack of talent and originality as a "Pop N*gga" he tries to lash out in irony against on his latest spoof, The Last Temptation.

The Last Temptation was seemingly created as further proof of this. It is difficult keeping a straight face while indulging in the sparse scraps the Last Temptation has to offer. There are only two worthwhile tracks here, and they are mediocre at their very best. "Mesmerize" is good in the same exact spirit of the other twenty Ja Rule 'collabos.' Then there's "The Pledge Remix," which features Nas and a very brief 2Pac, the only worthwhile contributors to this album (sorry Bobby Brown, you were too high off Whitney's stash to realize the eighties are over!).

There's noteworthy humor on this disc, whether Ja intended it to be or not. For example, Rule, Cadillac Tah, and Alexi rap/sing perfectly in tune with the sample's sourc--"Anniversary" by Tony! Toni! Tone! Then there's the too-confident Ja talking his success way up on "Rock Star," which features a painfully over-sampled "I Belong to You" by Lenny Kravitz.

Rock star?? Nah, Ja Rule's just a pop star, and a bad one at that. The only noteworthy success he's obtained for himself has been writing "Rainy Dayz" for Mary J. Blige. Now we can only hope that just maybe that same hot air balloon from "Always on Time" will return soon to carry Ja Rule off the land of TRL rejects.
Crystal at 11/16/2004 11:18:00 AM

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