Kim proves to be style over substance, though.
only Lil' Kim's disc sounded as good as she looks on the cover of
"The Notorious K.I.M."! With airbrushed stomach, a blond
weave halfway down her back, and a come-and-get-it-before-I-kick-your-ass
look, Kim is the Farrah Fawcett of rap.
dedicates this disc posthumously to the Notorious B.I.G., with whom
she had a much-publicized romantic and professional relationship.
More importantly, though, Kim seems determined to show the rap
patriarchy that she can do anything the big boys can. This has never
been in question, but is that anything to brag about?
guns and violence? Kim's got 'em. Both "Revolution," with
Lil' Cease and a wasted guest appearance by Grace Jones, and "Do
What You Like" with Junior M.A.F.I.A. go heavy on that. Wanna
talk sex? Kim's not afraid to tell you how she likes it--at length.
In fact, the tracks are laced so heavily with obscenities and X-rated
lyrics even the most appealing beats and melodies are overshadowed.
misunderstand. The Queen Bee turns out a few noteworthy jams.
all you will, but you're unlikely to find a more smokin', sexy track
than "How Many Licks." Featuring vocals by Sisqo,
"Licks" proves to have a radio-friendly edit (not found
here) and should blow up sooner rather than later. Combine Kim's
scandalous, sex-drenched lyrics and Sisqo's smooth vocals, and the
track is by far the most memorable on the disc.
lyrics are smart, appealing and enjoyable.
Now" could prove to be a break-out hit, too, with guest vocals
by silky-voiced Carl Thomas. A memorable interpolation of Suzanne
Vega's "Tom's Diner," not to mention a brief
reinterpretation of Sisqo's "Thong Song," give the track a
good chance of striking a chord with listeners. But how much of that
can be attributed to Kim--and how much belongs to the extraneous
factors, samples and guest appearances?
"No Matter What They Say" is already finding a home at
urban radio. The sing-along chorus and "pussy cat" lyrics
are a sure-fire hit. "Don't Mess With Me" owes its appeal
to the instantly recognizable sample of Pat Benetar's
are the exceptions, not the rule. Far more prevalent are inane,
bland beats and senselessly profane lyrics. She even manages to
misuse R&B diva Mary J. Blige on the autobiographical tribute to
Biggy titled "Hold On." Mary and Kim declare that B.I.G.
still lives on through them.
sad fact is, however, that very few examples of Biggy's skill for
interesting, catchy, enjoyable lyrics, samples and melodies are found
here. If anything, Kim's insistence on mentioning the mentor that
made her a "goddamn legacy" leaves listeners wishing B.I.G.
was still alive to produce something a bit more listenable.
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