Venni Vetti Vecci

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Venni Vetti Vecci
A sepia-colored album cover. On the lower part of the cover, the upper torso of an African American man is seen. His head is turned upward, eyes closed and hands clasped together. On the upper part of the cover, behind the man, stands a white statue of Jesus Christ, with its arms stretched outward, with its palms facing upward. In the center, it reads "Ja Rule" in all capital letters.
Studio album by Ja Rule
Released June 1, 1999
Recorded 1998–99
Genre East Coast hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Length 76:17
Label Murder Inc., Def Jam
Producer Irv Gotti (also exec.), Tyrone Fyffe, Lil Rob, Erick Sermon
Ja Rule chronology
Venni Vetti Vecci
(1999)
Rule 3:36
(2000)
Singles from Venni Vetti Vecci
  1. "Holla Holla"
    Released: March 2, 1999

Venni Vetti Vecci is the debut studio album by American recording artist Ja Rule, released through Murder Inc. Records. The album title alludes to the Latin phrase "veni, vidi, vici", meaning "I came, I saw, I conquered". The album was also the first release on Irv Gotti's Murder Inc. Records imprint. Before the end of 1999, the album had been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). This album, much like DMX's, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, was a shift from Puff Daddy, Mase, and Bad Boy Records' "shiny suit era".

Background, conception and artwork[edit]

Ja Rule was first featured on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build" in 1995. Shortly after, he formed a group called Cash Money Click with his friends. The group was signed to TVT Records and recorded two albums, releasing one single before being dropped from the record label. Ja Rule called it a "bullshit deal" as TVT withheld the publishing royalties of the recorded material. While working as an executive for Def Jam Recordings, record producer Irv Gotti was hired as A&R and convinced Ja Rule to sign onto the label.[1]

Russell Simmons, the Def Jam founder, CEO, and mentor to Gotti then decided to give Gotti the label he had wanted for so long. In 1998, Murder Inc. Records was founded. To promote and market Ja Rule, he placed him on songs with Jay-Z, LL Cool J, DMX, Cash Money Records, and Fat Joe. Due to Ja Rule's exceptional performances on these songs, Def Jam gave his album a release date.[citation needed]

The album title, Venni Vetti Vecci, refers to the Latin phrase "veni, vidi, vici", which means "I came, I saw, I conquered".[2]

The track "Only Begotten Son" alludes to the biblical verses John 3:16 and John 3:18, signifying "the father so feared the world that he left his only begotten son, in order to show that pain is love".[3]

The album cover of Venni Vetti Vecci features Ja Rule with his head turned upward, eyes closed and hands clasped together, standing in front of a white statue of Jesus. It has been interpreted as referring to the "only begotten son" metaphor.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[5]
RapReviews (6/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]
Vibe unfavorable[8]

Upon its release, Venni Vetti Vecci received generally mixed reviews. Ja Rule received several comparisons to fellow rappers Tupac Shakur and DMX.[7] Writing for Vibe magazine, Shaheem Reid felt that the majority of the album was "hampered by colorless production", stating that Ja Rule "desperately needs tighter tracks to compliment his MC skills".[8]

Venni Vetti Vecci debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 184,000 copies in its first week.[9] The album was certified platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America.[10] By November 2002, the album had sold over 2 million copies worldwide.[11]

Aftermath[edit]

Ja Rule became one of the biggest hip hop stars, along with Jay-Z and DMX. Their albums, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, and Venni Vetti Vecci, all gained notoriety and multi-platinum sales. Because of these albums, Ja Rule was able to tour with these artists as they formed a group entitled, Murder Inc., who fittingly signed to Murder Inc./Def Jam. He would be an opening act for Jay-Z and DMX on the 1998 Hard Knock Life Tour along with Memphis Bleek. The success of the album led to the credibility of Irv Gotti as a producer. The album, produced by Gotti was also overseen by Chris Lighty and Violator Management, ironically one of the companies that Ja Rule now has issues with.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The March Prelude"     Irv Gotti 1:19
2. "We Here Now"     Irv Gotti & Lil' Rob 3:25
3. "World's Most Dangerous" (featuring Nemesis)   Irv Gotti, Lil' Rob & Tyrone Fyffe 5:07
4. "Let's Ride"     Irv Gotti & Lil' Rob 4:22
5. "Holla Holla"     Irv Gotti & Tai 4:24
6. "Kill 'Em All" (featuring Jay-Z)   Self 4:17
7. "I Hate Nigguz (Skit)"       1:06
8. "Nigguz Theme"     Irv Gotti & Lil' Rob 4:09
9. "Suicide Freestyle" (featuring Case)   Irv Gotti 2:16
10. "Story To Tell"     Irv Gotti & Lil' Rob 4:05
11. "Chris Black (Skit)"       1:40
12. "Count on Your Nigga"     Irv Gotti & Lil' Rob 4:35
13. "It's Murda" (featuring Jay-Z & DMX)   Tyrone Fyffe 3:36
14. "E-Dub" (featuring Erick Sermon)   Irv Gotti & Erick Sermon 4:14
15. "187 Murda Baptiss Church (Skit)"       2:48
16. "Murda 4 Life" (featuring Memphis Bleek)   Irv Gotti & Tai 4:48
17. "Daddy's Little Baby" (featuring Ronald Isley)   Self 5:20
18. "Race Against Time"     Irv Gotti & Lil' Rob 4:43
19. "Only Begotten Son"     Irv Gotti, Lil' Rob & Tyrone Fyffe 4:55
20. "The Murderers" (featuring Black Child & Tah Murdah)   Irv Gotti & DL 5:08

Samples[edit]

Daddy's Little Baby

It's Murda

N****z Theme

  • "N****z 4 Life" by N.W.A

Suicide (Freestyle)

World's Most Dangerous

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Venni Vetti Vecci adapted from Allmusic.[12]

Sequel[edit]

In late 2008, Ja Rule released a mixtape called The Atkins Files, Vol. 1. The mixtape was a comeback after the long wait for his album The Mirror. In the mixtape he explains that he plans on releasing a sequel to Venni Vetti Vecci.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 20
U.S. Billboard 200[13] 3
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[13] 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ogg, Alex (2002). The Men Behind Def Jam: The Radical Rise of Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. Omnibus Press. p. 227. ISBN 0-7119-8873-0. 
  2. ^ Farber, Jim (June 21, 1999). "Ja Rule, The Conqueror, Drug Dealer Turned Rapper Has Got a Lot to 'Holla' About". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Blount, Brian K.; Felder, Cain Hope; Martin, Clarice Jannette (2007). True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary. Fortress Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-8006-3421-7. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Venni Vetti Vecci > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ Baker, Soren (May 30, 1999). "Ja Rule; 'Venni Vetti Vecci'; Def Jam; ** 1/2". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ Juon, Steve (July 15, 1999). "Ja Rule :: Venni Vetti Vecci :: Def Jam". RapReviews. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition. Simon & Schuster. pp. 422–423. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ a b "Vibe". Vibe (Vibe Media Group) 7 (5): 182. 1999. 
  9. ^ "Backstreet Boys Hold Off Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez on Chart". MTV News. June 9, 1999. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Billboard". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 114 (45): 182. 2002. 
  12. ^ "Venni Vetti Vecci > Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved May 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c "Venni Vetti Vecci – Ja Rule". Billboard. Nielse Business Media. Retrieved May 13, 2010.