Venni Vetti Vecci

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. The album was supported by one successful single, Holla Holla, which peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.


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 Records. Under their association to TVT Records, the group has recorded two of their albums, releasing one single, before they're been dropped from the label. Ja Rule called it a "bullshit deal" as TVT, and withheld the publishing royalties of the recorded material. While working as an executive producer for Def Jam, record producer Irv Gotti was hired as A&R and convinced Ja Rule to sign a deal with the label.
Russell Simmons then decided to give Gotti his own record label. In 1997, Murder Inc. Records was founded by promoting and marketing Ja Rule, which places him on these songs among the artists with 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.


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


The track titled "Only Begotten Son" alludes to the biblical verses 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".


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.

Critical reception

Upon its release, Venni Vetti Vecci received generally mixed reviews. Ja Rule received several comparisons to fellow rappers Tupac Shakur and DMX. 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 complement his MC skills".

Commercial performance

Venni Vetti Vecci debuted at number 3 on the US Billboard 200, selling 185,000 copies in its first week. The album became a certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In November 2002, the album had sold 2 million copies worldwide.


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.

Track listing

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
Sample credits
Credits for Venni Vetti Vecci adapted from Allmusic.
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