January 06, 2016

Fat Joe "Don Cartagena" (1998)

Taken from the original press kit from Fat Joe's Don Cartagena: "With the wisdom and experience of a Don, Fat Joe brings to life street morality, Mafia fantasy and hardcore realism, delivering "Don Cartagena," his third and best album to date. On "Don Cartagena," Fat Joe plays musical auteur directing each track dramatically and intensely. Fat Joe - aka Joey Crack - wields an album with diverse tentacles, reaching some of the complexities and contradictions of Hip-Hop. Through the course of his six years in the industry, having fostered relationships with major players, and after growing up in squalor of the South Bronx, he has good reason to call himself the Don of Rap." In my eyes, this was Fat Joe's last (near) classic album, and while I don't run to it often in my crates, you cannot deny his ear for production - especially on this project. Vibe had this to say about "Don Cartagena" in October, 1998: "Third time's a charm for Bronx bad boy Fat Joe. After two marginal releases on Violator/Relativity, Joey Crack returns with Don Cartagena - a refined arsenal of explosive songs ... Don Cartagena proves that the game ain't over until Fat Joe rhymes." Check out the video below for the smash track "John Blaze," featuring Nas, Big Pun, Jadakiss, and Raekwon.

Promotional t-shirt from '98's Don Cartagena...