The Darkside, Vol. 1 Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: Fat Joe's latest album features Busta Rhymes, Clipse, Cam'ron, Lil Wayne, Rico Love, TA, Too Short, Trey Songz, and Young Jeezy as guests.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. His inspiration trails off slightly toward the end, but at least half of these tracks will delight purists.
  2. While the pull of the charts is hard to resist, the tracks with Primo and Just Blaze show he knows where his heart truly is, while the rest of the album tries and either fails or succeeds at pulling him away from the grime, grease and grit of the street corner.
  3. 70
    The Bronx native's tenth LP is consumed by legacy: his lengthy career, his harrowing life, and his craft.
  4. Whether it works or not depends on whether you're in the love him or the hate him camp, but no compromise is just what his fans signed up for in the first place. The Darkside, Vol. 1 is a mean beast of an album that will surely make Joe's army re-enlist for Vol. 2.
  5. Joe is one of the last remaining beasts from the East, and as he demonstrates on the DJ Premier ringer "I'm Gone" and "At Last Supremacy" with Busta, he sounds better in his back yard than he does in trying to appease pedestrians with unnecessary Wayne and Jeezy cameos.
  6. 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.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jan 27, 2011
    8
    There is enough lyrical depth to satisfy hip-hop fans however the astonishing beats are so well produced that sometimes Fat Joe's verses doesn't do them justice. His rhymes are tight but technically repetitive and though his words are insightful he is maybe losing his status as a relevant musician. This record is no different to the last 3 or 4 he has put out and the major label backing is overshadowing his artistry. 50% of this record is above average and 50% is below, unsurprisingly the better tracks feature collaborations. If this album was an instrumental album it would be one of the greatest of all time, as soon as Fat Joe is laid on top it loses something. I am one of Fat Joe's longtime supporters and while there is no denying his substantial prowess he needs to change something because his albums are lacking inspiration and he may be slowly losing his audience. 8/10 79/100 Expand
  2. Aug 31, 2010
    8
    A really good album by Fat Joe. All the beats have a great New York sound and this album is pretty much the only really good mainstream album that has this kind of sounds. Lyrically it has all the standard late 90's good and bad sides but all aficionados will be pleased with FJ delivery of some of the most interesting glances of the criminal life with both irony and strong attitude. A must have. Expand