Believe it or not, I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. When my ex-girlfriend played a then Unknown sample tape in my car of a new artist named "Eminem", I went into immediate "hate" mode because the impression of white rapers that Vanilla Ice had imprinted on my misguided brain. After hearing a few bars of the Michigan MC, I had to turn my frown upside down and admit that the rapper in question had undeniable skill. My bad. When a friend of mine suggested that I see the Rockafella produced "Paid in Full" I openly scoffed, telling them that any bastard that put out a monstrosity like "State Property" can never make a decent movie. When I saw it I was surprised, it was a pretty decent flick. My bad. So when I heard that The Source magazine had given Lil Kim's new album, "Naked Truth" 5 mics I knew that either it was a typo, or Lil Kim must have given that reviewer one hell of a hummer.(..and I don't mean the vehicle either)
Before I judged Lil Kim's album, I openly thought about the rapid decline that a magazine that I used to covet had taken. First you have the shitload of advertisements that the magazine began to have, of course they have to make their money but that shit got to be rather ridiculous. Then you have Benzino, who runs The Source with Dave Mays, who committed the ultimate conflict of interest by also being a artist.(Here is a funny line by Benzino:"Zino is the realist,since Pac been alive" Straight Comedy) You have Benzino's beef with Eminem, him providing a 14 year old tape with Eminem using the "N-word", sexual harassment allegations by two of their employees, and more recently the resignation of one of their writers because his rating of the new "Little Brother" album was changed. In saying all that, due to their recent history of unprofessionalism and lack of ethics, you can understand why I was taking their "5 mic" rating with a complete grain of salt. But, I have been wrong before so I decided to listen to Lil Kim's recent release.(Saying "Lil Kim" and "release" somehow brings nasty thoughts into my mind)
To not offend the Hip Hop gods(I can see St. Peter now, "HumanityCritic, you barely made it in. Wait, didn't you once by a Lil Kim album??") I didn't buy the album, I borrowed a copy from a friend of mine that "swears by it". That alone scared me because she considers Nelly to be, in her words, "mad lyrical", so that wasn't a good sign for the album I was about to review. Other bad signs were reviews, a lot of them good, who said shit like "This is good for Lil Kim", or "considering it is Lil Kim, it is a masterpiece". What in the fuck is that??? When did we started grading Hip Hop on a curve?? That is what I call the "retarded little brother" defense. When I was a kid my friend Manny had a little brother who was mentally handicapped and when we would play basketball and he would make a shot, me and Manny would cheer vigorously. When the other kids wondered what we were doing, Manny and I would say, "Dude, he is retarded!" If Lil Kim doesn't suffer from some sort of mental disability, her album is getting judged like anyone Else's, fuck that. You don't want to search out a doctors credibility and they say, "She is pretty good, pretty good for her that is, but she has a nice set of tits though!" Utterly ridiculous.
Anyway, I sat at my desk and started to listen to the entire album and was open minded to the fact that I might be completely wrong. To be totally honest, the first half of the album is what I would call "Listenable" at best. When I say "Listenable" that means that the music wasn't so wack to make my body convulse uncontrollably and dive for the eject button, "listenable". On the track "Spell Check" she's rather marginal, as she spells out certain words throughout the track like a poor woman's K-Solo. On the track "My N***as" I didn't find the immediate need to pummel my CD player, as she belted out her "hood anthem" of the album. "Lighters Up" is probably the best track on the album, but you know you're in trouble when the best song on your CD is based on another song out at the moment.(Damian Marley's "Welcome to Jamrock") The album, in my honest opinion, takes a nose dive from "listenable" to "steaming pile of horseshit" at the speed of light. The song she has with "The Game" entitled "Quiet" seems like she borrowed her flow for this song from Eminem when he used it on the song "I am". In the same track, where she references Foxy Brown, she declares, "Coming at me your playing with fire/I ain't going to come back at you, I'm coming at your ghostwriters." Huh?? Motherfucker you use ghostwriters, so what is you collagen filled ass talking about?? On the song "Durty", Granted, I'm not the biggest reggae fan in the world, but nothing is worse than a bad Jamaican chant like the one that she incoherently spew during the chorus of this song. You have the sleep inducing "Gimme", and a LL inspired "Kitty Box" that is a misguided sex romp based on LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali"
When I finished listening to the album I had to openly wonder what in the fuck the people at The Source was smoking when they gave Lil Kim's album 5 mics.(..and can I have a hit?) 5 mics?? Other 5 mic recipients include Nas' "Illmatic", Notorious B.I.G's "Ready to Die", A Tribe Called Quests "Low End Theory", Outkasts "Aquemini", and Ice Cube "Death Certificate", you mean to tell me that Lil Kim's album is in the same stratosphere as those masterpieces?? Get the fuck out of here. So it's now official, the pages of The Source are not fit to wipe one's self or line the cage of a domesticated animal, that is the simple truth. But even if I did think it was the best thing since sliced bread or Nia Long's thighs, wouldn't I have to immediately deduct 2 Mic's based on the fact that Lil Kim doesn't write her own lyrics?? What did MC Lyte say, "Do not say shit till you write your own rhyme!!" Amen to that. I could still say that this album is "good for Lil Kim", or "considering it's Lil Kim, it's pretty good", but this faithful Hip Hop fan gives this album 2 throat-chops out if five, retarded little brothers aside.