After dealing with many problems in 2000 - Fat Joe returns as 2001 ends with his fourth "solo" album. Since '93's 'Represent' and '95's highly praised 'Jealous One's Envy,' Joe created a nice reputation for being an enthusiastic and fairly talented thug-like lyricist. Being involved in two crews; D.I.T.C. and the Terror Squad, Fat Joe has had a wealth of experience and featured on many a hot track. But, he hasn't exactly remained at the level that he once was stationed at. 'Don Cartagena' had a much more commercial feel than his previous material, and so his reputation - at least within the underground scene loosened its tightness.
'J.O.S.E.' or 'Jealous One's Still Envy' has Fat Joe supposedly continuing on from his second release, and has him aiming back for the infamy he once had by saying he's still envied.
As a whole, 'J.O.S.E.' has a smooth feel to it. The majority of the tracks feature Joey Crack rhyming well in his cocky manner - talking about running the streets and having people afraid of him. That's not a bad thing, when done well. But, unfortunately, 'Definition Of A Don,' though it begins well - is an example of how not to feature a less than grade a female emcee for your hook. Remy simply ruins it with her addition. Remy Martin really doesn't do much for me I've come to learn due to her additions to 'J.O.S.E.' She guests upon a few tracks, including the aforementioned 'Definition Of A Don.' She also adds to a lackluster beat, a bad back and forth rhyming attempt with Joe. There are an abundance of guests here. Unfortunately, though the track is a "grow-er" - 'We Thuggin' (featuring R.Kelly) and a remix of it are essentially the vibe provided by the album. Though there are a fair amount of standout tracks.
'What's Luv' featuring Ja Rule and Ashanti sounds definitely like it could get a lot of airplay, but it isn't that good of a commercial track. And, 'Get The Hell On With That' featuring Ludacris and Armageddon seems to take the same perspective. An okay track aimed for commercial success (which it could very possibly get).
What Fat Joe manages to do with this album, is continue along his trend of bragging excessively. This is a good thing when done properly, because it's what he can do the best. 'My Lifestyle' features Joe boasting "Ya'll wanna live my lifestyle / Never seen a brick, never seen a crackhouse / Want a war with the Don have your techs out / Bring it on, and I'ma show you gangsta." The tone of the track is somewhat sinister, but puts Joe upon a pedestal. 'King Of NY' which also features Buju Banton has a very distinct pro-Joe vibe and works nicely. The beat has a perfectly regal feel to it and Banton's additions add to Joe's contributions.
The finest moments on 'J.O.S.E.' come in the form of the overly energetic 'Fight Club' with M.O.P. and Petey Pablo. It's not possible not to get a rush when this comes on at loud volumes in your stereo. 'Still Real' continues on with Joe's 'Shit Is Real' theme. The track features a fitting beat and Joe provides some nice rhymes above it.
"Jealous One's Still Envy" is an album that features a couple of gems, but the majority of the material is simply "listenable." Not Joe's best by quite a distance...for that - see 'Jealous One's Envy' instead.