March 13, 2003

Lil' Talent, Less Clothing

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Before I start my review of Lil’ Kim’s latest release, La Bella Mafia, I want to thank Atlantic Records for sending the daze the edited version. Because, at 21 years-old, I have never once been exposed to a four-letter word, I’ve never heard an Eminem song, and I really wouldn’t want to be corrupted by the music industry.

Now that I’m done with my dedications, I’ll admit that I am from suburban Long Island. But last week I was named the “scourge of bad metal” by a certain daze Editor-In-Chief. So I’m trying something new.

Anyway, Lil’ Kim starts off her newest collection of sexually charged rap songs with an intro complete with commentary from the late Notorious B.I.G. It was this hip-hop godfather who helped Brooklyn’s Kimberly Jones become the infamous celebrity today who enjoys pressing the boundaries of tiny clothing and explicit lyrics. Biggie, as his friends affectionately called him, says that he chose to help Lil’ Kim because “she was hungry.” Well, she certainly enjoys eating away at people’s expectations of a female artist.

In “Hold It Now,” the petite rapper threatens that “[she’s] feared in her country like Saddam Hussein,” over a sample of the Beastie Boys’ 1986 hit “Paul Revere.” Okay, maybe that’s going a little bit too far; but extravagance seems to be Lil’ Kim’s specialty. In “Doing It Way Big,” she spouts off enough designer names to rival Joan River’s Oscar fashion special (“My bathroom is Chanel/ My bedroom’s Louis Vuitton/ Office decorated in Ralph Lauren/ I got a Versace couch and pillows I sleep on”). Kim also likes to assert her toughness, how no one can overcome her, and how she is poised to take over the world.

The most annoying part of La Bella Mafia is the recurring skits Kim inserts in between a few of her tracks. During one, which is apparently a conversation between a DJ (played by Lil’ Kim) and a horny phone-caller desiring a “hardcore scratch and sniff posters,” and wants the singer so much he will “suck [her] farts out.” Uhh