Venni Vetti Vecci

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Venni Vetti Vecci
Ja Rule - Venni Vetti Vecci.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1, 1999
Recorded1998-99
Genre
Length76:17
Label
Producer
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 rapper Ja Rule, released on June 1, 1999, via Murder Inc. and Def Jam. It was the first album to be released on Murder Inc. Production was mostly handled by Irv Gotti, with additional work provided by Lil Rob, Ty Fyffe, Erick Sermon and Self service. The album features guest appearances from Jay-Z, DMX, Case, Memphis Bleek, Black Child, Ronald Isley and Erick Sermon, among others. The album title alludes to the Latin phrase "veni, vidi, vici", meaning "I came, I saw, I conquered".

Venni Vetti Vecci was released on June 1, 1999, debuting at number 3 on the US Billboard 200 and selling 184,000 copies in its first week.[1] It remained on the chart for 31 weeks, and went on to be certified double platinum for sales of more than 2,000,000 copies in November 2002.[2][3] The album was supported by one successful single, Holla Holla, which peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[4]

Background[edit]

In 1995, Ja Rule was one of the first artists to be featuring on Mic Geronimo's "Time to Build". He then formed a group named "Cash Money Click" with his friends. The group then signed a deal to TVT. Under their association to TVT, the group has recorded two of their albums, releasing a single, before being dropped from the label. Ja Rule called it a "bullshit deal" as TVT, withheld the publishing royalties of the recorded material. While working as an executive producer and A&R for Def Jam, Irv Gotti convinced Ja Rule to signed a deal with Def Jam.[5]

Russell Simmons (who was the founder and CEO of Def Jam) gave Irv Gotti a record label with distribution, promotion, and marketing from Def Jam. In 1997, Murder Inc. was founded by promoting and marketing Ja Rule, which places him on these songs with artists like Jay-Z, LL Cool J, DMX, Method Man and Redman. Due to Ja Rule's exceptional performances on these songs, according to Def Jam; the representatives from the label it gave this album a release date.[citation needed]

Title[edit]

The album title, Venni Vetti Vecci refers to the Latin phrase "veni, vidi, vici", which means "I came, I saw, I conquered".[6]

Music[edit]

The track, titled "Only Begotten Son", which alludes to the biblical verses John 3:16 and John 3:18, in which signifying "the father so feared the world that he left his only begotten son, in order to show that pain is love".[7]

Artwork[edit]

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.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[8]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[9]
RapReviews(6/10)[10]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[11]
Vibeunfavorable[12]

Upon its release, Venni Vetti Vecci received generally mixed reviews. Ja Rule received several comparisons to fellow rappers Tupac Shakur and DMX.[11] 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".[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

Venni Vetti Vecci debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200, selling 184,000 copies in its first week.[13] The album became a certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[14] In November 2002, the album had sold 2 million copies worldwide.[15]

Aftermath[edit]

Ja Rule became one of the biggest hip hop stars, along with Jay-Z and DMX. With their albums, Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life and It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, which 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 titled, Murder Inc., who fittingly signed to Murder Inc. and Def Jam. He was an opening act for Jay-Z and DMX on the 1998's "Hard Knock Life" tour, along with Memphis Bleek. The success of the album led to the credibility for Irv Gotti as a producer. The album, produced by Gotti was also overseen by Chris Lighty and Violator Management, one of the companies that Ja Rule developed issues with.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."The March Prelude"Irv Gotti1:19
2."We Here Now" (featuring Black Child)Irv Gotti, Lil Rob3:25
3."World's Most Dangerous" (featuring Nemesis)Irv Gotti, Lil Rob, Tyrone Fyffe5:07
4."Let's Ride"Irv Gotti, Lil Rob4:22
5."Holla Holla"Irv Gotti, Tai4:24
6."Kill 'Em All" (featuring Jay-Z)Self Service4:17
7."I Hate Nigguz (Skit)" 1:06
8."Nigguz Theme"Irv Gotti, Lil Rob4:09
9."Suicide Freestyle" (featuring Case)Irv Gotti2:16
10."Story to Tell"Irv Gotti, Lil Rob4:05
11."Chris Black (Skit)" 1:40
12."Count On Yo Nigga"Irv Gotti, Lil Rob4:35
13."It's Murda" (featuring Jay-Z & DMX)Tyrone Fyffe3:36
14."E-Dub and Ja" (featuring Erick Sermon)Irv Gotti, Erick Sermon4:14
15."187 Murda Baptiss Church (Skit)" 2:48
16."Murda 4 Life" (featuring Memphis Bleek)Irv Gotti, Tai4:48
17."Daddy's Little Baby" (featuring Ronald Isley)Self Service5:20
18."Race Against Time"Irv Gotti, Lil Rob4:43
19."Only Begotten Son"Irv Gotti, Lil Rob, Tyrone Fyffe4:55
20."The Murderers" (featuring Black Child & Tah Murdah)Irv Gotti, DL5:08
Sample credits
  • "Daddy's Little Baby" contains a sample of "Voyage to Atlantis" performed by The Isley Brothers.
  • "It's Murda" contains a sample of "Smiling Faces Sometimes" performed by David Ruffin.
  • "N****z Theme" contains a sample of "Niggaz 4 Life" performed by N.W.A.
  • "Suicide Freestyle" contains a sample of "Suicide" performed by R. Kelly.
  • "World's Most Dangerous" contains a sample of "I'll Live My Love for You" performed by Millie Jackson.

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Venni Vetti Vecci adapted from Allmusic.[16]

Sequel[edit]

In 2008, Ja Rule released the mixtape titled The Atkins Files, Vol. 1. The mixtape was a comeback, after the long awaited from his album The Mirror. In this mixtape, he explains his plans on releasing a sequel to Venni Vetti Vecci.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[17] 20
US Billboard 200[17] 3
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[17] 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Backstreet Boys Hold Off Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez on Chart". MTV News. June 9, 1999. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  2. ^ "Billboard". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 114 (45): 182. 2002.
  3. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/ja-rule/chart-history/top-album-sales/song/174505
  4. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/Ja-Rule/chart-history/hot-100
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Venni Vetti Vecci > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  9. ^ Baker, Soren (May 30, 1999). "Ja Rule; 'Venni Vetti Vecci'; Def Jam; ** 1/2". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  10. ^ Juon, Steve (July 15, 1999). "Ja Rule :: Venni Vetti Vecci :: Def Jam". RapReviews. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ a b "Vibe". Vibe. Vibe Media Group. 7 (5): 182. 1999.
  13. ^ "Backstreet Boys Hold Off Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez on Chart". MTV News. June 9, 1999. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  14. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  15. ^ "Billboard". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 114 (45): 182. 2002.
  16. ^ "Venni Vetti Vecci > Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  17. ^ a b c "Venni Vetti Vecci – Ja Rule". Billboard. Nielse Business Media. Retrieved May 13, 2010.