Today in Hip-Hop: Ja Rule Drops ‘Venni Vetti Vecci’
On this day, June 1, in hip-hop history...
1999: On June 1, 1999, Queens MC Ja Rule dropped his debut album, Venni Vetti Vecci.
After working behind the scenes for years and getting a good look in writing the hook of Jay Z's 1998 hit single, "Can I Get A...", Ja Rule, a relatively new Def Jam signee, seemed to come out of nowhere with his solo debut. Playing off the Latin phrase, "veni, vidi, vici" which means "I came, I saw, I conquered," Ja sought to prove himself a ferocious MC with the debut. Venni Vetti Vecci was the first album released under Irv Gotti's then budding label, Murder Inc., so it was a moment of show and prove for Gotti as well.
Having already worked with big hip-hop names like Jay Z, DMX and LL Cool J during his time at Def Jam, Ja enlisted his connects for his debut album. The 20-track LP features Jay Z, Erick Sermon, DMX, Black Child, Tah Murdah and more. The album was propelled by the success of the infectious single "Holla Holla", which peaked at 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and as a whole, the project peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. Though the album was met with mixed reviews by critics, some comparing the East Coast rapper's tone and delivery to that of 2pac, by July of that year, Venni Vetti Vecci became certified platinum by RIAA. Based on this successful debut, Ja Rule would go on to dominate rap charts for much of the early 2000's as one of Murder Inc's brightest stars.