The Notorious KIM
- Queen Bee/Undeas/Atlantic
Nasty, in-your-face lyrical prowess is no longer just a man's game, and tart-tongued rapper Lil' Kim has helped shake up a scene that's been dominated by misogynist males for far too long.
Turning the tables on urban machismo, Kim rips through raunchy and rhythm-fired cuts like the down 'n' dirty "How Many Licks?," (which features red-hot Sisqo) and the outrageous slap-back at an ex-lover "She Don't Love You." The disc is filled with cameos, ranging from the smooth and soulful Mario "Yellowman" Winans on "Single Black Female" and old-school queen Grace Jones ("Revolution") to a deeply moving and surprisingly spiritual duet with Mary J. Blige on "Hold On." The latter song is a tribute to Kim's late lover, the Notorious B.I.G.
In contrast to so many current rap albums, this one is refreshing for its wide variety of musical styles. Kim even gets into a Latin groove on the flat-out, fun-filled "No Matter What They Say" and flips Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" over, under, and sideways down as she teams with Carl Thomas on "Right Now."