At a time when many old guards of this type are sent to the shredders, the last chapter of Joe’s discography, 26, is struggling under the cruel hand of Father Time to postpone such a fate and manages to pick up most of the ordinary garbage. If Family Ties is indeed his latest album, it’s at least an admirable farewell to the Bronx giant, but one that doesn’t have much courage to repeat beyond its 42 minutes. Joe stands next to the guilty Dr. de Cool and Dr. Ruhm and throws his blinded wrist out the window, a constant flow of Armand de Brignac, who gathers between the two ghosts, like sea foam laughing at night on the hulls of passing ships. Although the days of the Cadillac and Terror Squad chains are a thing of the past, they are perpetuated through Joe’s animated stories, with $50,000 in cash and door-to-door withdrawals, after learning that his balance had sunk into red. While the black-and-white illustrations from Fat Joe’s eleventh studio album might have been found in an infomercial for Rolls-Royce Manhattan, it’s better that they represent Joe’s musical character in 2019, but even the presence of these high-flying nudes doesn’t distract attention from the apathetic mix of trap melodies and internal parables that is Family Ties. He has a way of speaking that is a byproduct of Big Pun’s testimony, which transforms murmuring tongue twisters into pairs of iconic verses, and a “predator or prey mentality” that has nurtured his “ascent” from forest projects. With the utmost respect for Wilson, Joe needed little support for the discussion and delighted those present with vibrant studio vignettes and stories of encounters such as Dapper Dan and Stephen A of First Take. Unfortunately, Family Ties is not a masterpiece for all participants, even if Joe removes all obstacles and requires many services from his friends around the world to put together this set of 11 tracks. This doesn’t mean that it lacks redeemable qualities, but that it has a violently linear flavor, which is a disgrace given Joey Cracks’ aforementioned catalog of stories and testimonials. “Projects” is a determinant of decent sound, its snapping percussions sounded around buzzing street words when Dre and Joe exchange topics.
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