Remember when Eminem used to release inspired records? It seems hard to believe now, but there was a time not too long ago when he had something to talk about: his drug-addicted mother, dysfunctional marriage and random beefs. Shady fell off, but Lil’ Kim finally found her motivation – and she’s pissed.
Turns out being indicted for perjury and prison time does something to a woman – rumor has it Martha Stewart got “Thug Life” tattooed across her shoulders and is releasing Straight Outta We$tport on Def Jam Records. On The Naked Truth Kim manages to call out everyone who’s done her wrong in the past four years. No one’s safe and she takes no prisoners.
“Shut Up Bitch” is the album’s aggressive battle cry. Riding a Neptunes-esque groove of handclaps and computerized blips, Kim dispels all myths and criticism. She deals with her financial situation, the notion that Notorious B.I.G. wrote all of her songs and drug addiction: “I heard she mad rich / I heard she dead broke / I heard she snorting coke / Shut up bitch.”
“Spell Check” is another belligerently assailing track. Kim – who employs GZA’s style on his Hollywood freak out “Fame” – flies through lines, randomly spelling out words while boasting her abilities and cutting up her enemies. Kim even gives a shout out to U.G.K while she slows her flows like the dirty South’s screwed and chopped lifestyle.
In today’s world, you can’t mention the South without having T.I. spitting some rhymes. “Get Yours” has a booming horn ensemble and brooding, heavy bass lines. When the Urban Legend finally picks up the mic, he drops a verse of casual, standard cockiness.
Kim does hit a couple of potholes along her trail of anger. “Quiet” is a mess of imitations from the Game’s gravel chorus – obviously stolen from 50 Cent – to Kim’s Eminem cadence and production style. Also, the tired rap skits are too frequent and too long to keep anyone interested.
The Naked Truth might be Lil’ Kim’s masterpiece. While, every generation has had it’s muses – drugs, girls, oppression – Kim opts for sheer rage.
Music Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars