Published Feb 17, 2017If you forgot how good Fat Joe and Remy Ma are at rapping, you're not alone.
The only two living Terror Squad members that anyone can remember haven't exactly been setting the world on fire over the last few years: Ma spent most of the last decade in jail, and then celebrated her 2014 release by dropping the wildly inconsistent mixtape I'm Around; Joe hasn't actually released a full-length album since 2010, and has spent the last five years mostly focusing on his multi-level marketing empire. (This is a real thing. Google it.)
So when they announced the release of this joint mixtape, the question you had to ask yourself was "Can they still even rap?" The answer turns out to be "Holy shit, yes."
Plata o Plomo is just song after song of grimy New York street rap, with a handful of love songs thrown in because even the hardest folks still have feelings. The production is heavy on sharp, aggressive percussion and ominous keys and big horns. Imagine the sort of rap songs MMA fighters walk out to. It's that. Heaps of it.
Joe spits out his bars like he's mad at them. It's the sort of aggressive, furious delivery that made his '00s output so exciting. Remy sounds like she's finally knocked the rust off, and is rapping with the sort of in-your-face urgency that made her Terror Squad contributions so exciting.
Plata o Plomo is an end-to-end solid record, and vastly better than expected. If Joe keeps this up, he can go back to rapping full-time and stop trying to get people in his downline. (RNG/Empire)