If Fat Joe's last few albums were episodes of a TV series, you wouldn't make it through the season. You'd stop watching, unless you're an amnesiac who doesn't mind repeatedly suffering through the same clichéd narrative: fat kid from the Bronx perpetrates criminal acts, mainly crack-related (see I Am Crack), becomes a rich rapper, accumulates the required accessories of that lifestyle and carries on with his crack obsession.
Mir-crack-ulously, Joey Crack manages to flip off the autopilot a couple of times on The Darkside and talk about something interesting. On the DJ Premier-produced I'm Gone, the rapper pays tribute to the late Guru and talks about signing Big Pun. But in no time, we're back to the crack crack crack talk.
Unlike Rick Ross, who entertainingly describes his (completely fictitious) exploits in fantastically opulent terms, Joe brags with a dullness that betrays how often he's repeated this story. And the production seems dated all the way down to Kilo, which uses a sample that Ghostface Killah and Raekwon employed to much grimier effect in 2006.
Top track: I'm Gone