Album review

Ja Rule - The Last Temptation

Irv Gotti's Murder Inc crew have dominated the hip hop mainstream in the past couple of years with their glossy dilution of G-funk. Ja Rule epitomises the style, mingling macho posturing with gruff attempts at sensitivity; "Thug Lovin'" is the most telling title here. One suspects, too, that his popularity is down to impressive musculature as much as rhyming skills, since his clumsy barking artlessly copies the style of real-deal DMX. And what a treat to discover another album (following Xzibit's recent Man Vs Machine) that samples Toto's "Africa".

Joy unconfined.

Rating: 2 / 10


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"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye": Cosimo Matassa 1926-2014


Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of...