When I found out that Fat Joe & Remy Ma were reuniting for an entire album, I was beyond ecstatic. Here you have two staples of the New York rap scene, coming back together for the first time in over a decade. However, Plata O Plomo (translation: money or bullets) packs neither the stacks nor the ammunition for two veteran rappers of this caliber.
15 minutes. That’s roughly (give or take 30 seconds) the amount of time combined that Fat Joe and Remy Ma spend spitting bars on Plata O Plomo. They each spit a maximum of one verse a song, and with the exception of Remy’s hook duty on “Spaghetti”, that’s it. The album clocks in at a total of 46 minutes. What goes on for the rest of the album? Long, drawn out, and overly repetitive hooks by a barrage of guests.
There are exciting guests, such as the legendary Stephanie Mills who handles hook duty on the reflective and poignant closer “Dreamin”, a standout. However, the majority of the album is muddied down by the guests, who by and large don’t add much value to the project. They really just waste time that should be dedicated to Fat Joe & Remy Ma spitting bars.
The album’s highlights start with the aforementioned “Dreamin.” Joe reminisces of the old days, name drops Freddie Gray, and envisions a moment when Birdman & Lil’ Wayne can put their beef to bed. Remy flashes back to being 21 years old, her days in jail, and how things have changed now that she’s home, going as far as saying she “used to be in that cell dreaming I was home, now I’m home dreaming I’m back in the cell.” Powerful, to say the least.
Their latest single, “Money Showers” is another highlight. With some help from Ty Dollar $ign, Joe & Remy flow over a sample of Ralph Tresvant’s 1991 hit “Do What I Gotta Do“. Remy steals the show, closing her verse with the searing “bitch claiming she the queen? what? nah, hardly. Who the fuck gave you your crown bitch? Steve Harvey?”
Of course, the first single “All The Way Up” is also a highlight. However, the remix featuring Jay-Z should have been a bonus track at the least. Beyond the notable addition of Jay-Z in his first post-Lemonade verse, Joe & Remy both upstaged their original verses on the remix, and that should be spotlighted on the album.
Overall, the album features solid verses from two rap veterans, and dope beats. It’s downfall is that it loses punch amongst the long and drawn out hooks and intros and outros.
Stream Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s Plata O Plomo: