Ja Rule - Venni, Vetti, Vecci      
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written by Hugo Lunny    
The first time I heard Ja, well the first time that I remember clearly was on a DJ Clue tape along with DMX and Jay-Z....The track was of course known as 'Murdergram Pt. 2' and after Clue had it, you found it on practically every other tape in the Spring/Summer of '98. It even got quite a bit of radio airplay.

Since then, the DMX affiliate has been dropping rhymes with Jay-Z, Blackstreet, Method Man, Eve and many more. And, he was starred on a Coca Cola commercial, sitting on a train rhyming about love.

Now, 'Venni, Vetti, Vecci' is an album which in some aspects is pretty good, but, in others, it's the opposite. For some reason, Ja hasn't noticed that he contradicts himself throughout the LP. He tries his hardest to come off as a sincere killer with a soft side. I don't think he fully understand that people like that aren't people to aspire to become. His background is a mystery to me, I really don't know whether his songs reflect his life or not. But, I do know how they've turned out.

The LP begins with a track entitled 'Worlds Most Dangerous.' This basically kicks off the cocky style he usually adopts. Though the slow paced beats aren't too bad(and Ja does flow well over them), it's his lyrics that spoil it. Amongst him repeating the word 'nigga' there's plenty of references to him being a feared killer. Sometimes coming out with a cut like that works well; this isn't one of the times. Tracks in that sort of style are very prominent on this LP. You also have 'Murda 4 Life,' 'Kill 'Em All' and 'It's Murda.' With regards to the murder-style tracks this LP actually manages to come up with a couple of great ones. If you don't already know, I'm talking about 'Kill 'Em All' featuring Jay-Z and 'It's Murda' featuring Jay-Z and DMX. Both those tracks have some really dope beats, dope flows and dope rhymes.

Ja also seems to have some more serious tracks that have a little depth to them. Two good examples of this are with 'Daddy's Little Baby' and 'Race Against Time.'

'Daddy's Little Baby' has Ja speaking to his daughter about ways to act etc. in life. It shows a side of him, which I said, makes him come off as some sort of psycho. You know, he goes on about being a killer and then comes up with this. Weird, anyway, it's a dope track with some nice beats and nice rhymes. 'Race Against Time' is another eye-opener. Ja sings for the hook and talks about him wondering why he's on earth, what happens in his life and what he does. It's quite good.

The sad thing about this LP is that on a few of the aforementioned tracks, Ja shows some real potential. He seems like he can (if he thinks more about the content) come up with a good LP. But, with tracks like 'Holla, Holla' and 'Bitch Betta Have My Money' he kind of lessens the overall quality of his work. Though the LP is by no means perfect, it does have some good moments. But really, it isn't one of the better debut LP's we're bound to be seeing as this year progresses.









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