Written By: Fletcher Bonin
Remy Ma and Fat Joe have collaborated on some truly dope tracks in the past couple years. These include anthems such as ‘Money Showers’ and ‘All the Way Up’ that I for one still mix in to my shuffle. But now they’ve outdone themselves. With their latest album Plata O Plomo (money or bullets), Remy Ma and Fat Joe team up for twelve tracks of pure Bronx grit. These two pull no punches, spitting fiercely over slow east coast style beats. Their angry vocals are at the forefront of the album, their lyrics telling stories of growing up and blowing up, messing up and making up.
The album’s title is as provocative as it should be. Not only are riches and violence highly prevalent themes throughout the composition, they are indeed the undercurrent tone of the album itself. Rich with features such as French Montana, Sevyn Streeter, The-Dream and many more, this album is an education in hardcore New York rap. In a genre that has recently thrived upon trap rappers that blow up over night with throbbing bass beats and auto-tuned bird noises, Plata O Plomo is refreshingly genuine. One listen to a song off this album and you won’t doubt for a second the authenticity of either Fat Joe or Remy Ma. Both of these rappers are composing songs based upon their experiences, holding nothing back. With this latest studio production, both Fat Joe and Remy Ma prove that their old school grit deserves a spot on the new school radar. They are elite rappers that refuse to bend to the will of the mainstream.
But these two are more versatile than at first glance. The track ‘Heartbreak’ featuring The-Dream and Vindata proves this perfectly. This track is Caribbean and makes use of Kygo-like deep house beats. Their lyrics and flow prove equally effective on smoother, mellower tracks like this as they do on the more vicious tracks that make up the rest of the album. ‘Money Showers’ was released earlier this year features Ty Dolla $ign and is a club style song imbued with Fat Joe and Remy Ma’s signature complex lyrical scheme and icy flow.
However, my favorite track of the album is ‘Spaghetti’ featuring Kent Jones. This track to me is the most purely in the style of Fat Joe and Remy Ma. It is hard-hitting and guttural, gritty in all the best ways. The track is satisfyingly lurid, Bronx rap through and through. In between rotations of FUTURE and Culture, I suggest working in Plata O Plomo, to hear just how silky bars can be when focus is on lyrics rather than beats. Remy Ma and Fat Joe are legit, and this latest album proves it.