Though high-profile members of the hip-hop community encouraged disc jockey-cum-rapper Angie Martinez to get on the mic, there was palpable resistance to last year’s Up Close & Personal. Most recently, Martinez was criticized by Nas, who called her debut “wack.” While she doesn’t specifically target Nas on her sophomore effort, Animal House, the Brooklyn-raised rapper bites back at naysayers on the track “Never,” indignantly proclaiming: “I can’t get budged/Cause when your best friend is the jury/Bottom line is, you can’t get judged.” The real bottom line, though, is that the album’s first single, “If I Could Go,” featuring Lil’ Mo and Martinez protégé Sacario, is about as “good” as anything coming out of Murder Inc. or Bad Boy these days. With Animal House, Martinez proves she can still play with the big boys; high-profile guests include N.O.R.E., Fat Joe and Missy Elliott, among others. (Predictably, Elliott helps elevate the Cool & Dre-produced “What’s That Sound” high above the rest of the album’s 11 tracks.) Martinez’s potent individuality and Latin heritage (the things that helped Up Close & Personal work) are once again present but in much subtler forms (“We Can Get It On,” “So Good”). Sadly, the album is not as varied or multi-textured as her debut, seemingly geared to live up to formulaic scripts rather than artistic instinct.
- Release Date
- August 19, 2002
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: