The album was successful, moving 237,000 units in its first week, but less than his previous Pain Is Love. "Mesmerize" is ranked at #45 on Blender's list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever", but was the most successful single from the album, reaching number 2 on the U.S.Billboard Hot 100 and number 12 in the UK Singles Chart. It was also criticized by fans, saying that the album sounded too commercial, and that Ja Rule was selling out, and on top of that, many of Ja Rule's enemies such as Daz Dillinger, Eminem, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, G-Unit, Obie Trice, D12, Busta Rhymes,and DMX said that Ja Rule was trying to be just like Tupac Shakur, which fueled the rivalry even more. Though it didn't manage to surpass Pain Is Love, The Last Temptation is Ja Rule's third most popular album to date.
The album was released in a censored version as well which removes most profanity. However, sex-related lyrics like "gettin head" and violent lyrics like "murda" are left in.