Ja Rule – The Last Temptation

Pumped and vacuous fourth album from rap's No 1 pin-up

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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.

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