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Bella Mafia
     

La Bella Mafia

4.9 15
by Lil' Kim
 

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On her sophomore disc, Notorious K.I.M., rap vixen Lil' Kim was both grieving the loss of -- and trying to emerge from the shadow of -- her slain mentor and lover, the Notorious B.I.G. Although that disc had some winning moments, Kim fares better at establishing her own identity on her

Overview

On her sophomore disc, Notorious K.I.M., rap vixen Lil' Kim was both grieving the loss of -- and trying to emerge from the shadow of -- her slain mentor and lover, the Notorious B.I.G. Although that disc had some winning moments, Kim fares better at establishing her own identity on her self-produced third disc, La Bella Mafia. What that identity is, however -- beyond a kinky young woman with an affinity for mobsters, plastic surgery, and shopping sprees -- is still a bit hazy. Although blindly boastful lyrics such as, "Y'all get your diamonds from Jacob/I ain't mad at cha/I get mine straight out the Kimberly gold mine in Africa" won't win her any points for being socially conscious (or too bright), love her or hate her, Kim is still the most captivating female rapper in the biz. Continuing in the sexually explicit and materialistic vein of her previous discs, Lil' Kim sounds the most energized on the percussive, Timbaland-produced "The Jump Off"; the Scott Storch club thumper "(When Kim Say) Can You Hear Me Now?," featuring Missy Elliott; and the bluesy, R. Kelly–produced "This Is a Warning," on which Kim sounds a tongue-in-cheek alarm to her rap rivals. In case that track missed its intended targets, Kim reloads on "Came Back for You," where she spits venomous rhymes like: "It's enough I got to put up with this doo-doo Brown chick...Keep your tacky ways/And go back to your stripper days/As long as I'm around/You 'gon bow down." Looks like Foxy and Eve better take cover. With La Bella Mafia, Lil' Kim reclaims her throne as rap's reigning Queen Bee.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
After a couple low-profile years where it seemed like Lil' Kim was fading away into the obscurity of rap history, she returned in 2003 with a strong effort, La Bella Mafia, that reestablished her as an industry icon. Her previous album, Notorious K.I.M. (2000), had been somewhat of a disappointment relative to her smash debut, Hard Core (1996). Where her debut had lived up to its title and presented her as a sexually charged gangstress -- the Notorious B.I.G.'s right-hand woman and the momentarily undisputed queen of New York -- her follow-up made an ill-fated bid for pop-crossover success. Overseen by Puff Daddy on the eve of his initial popular collapse, Notorious K.I.M. was a mishmash collection of collabos and overblown Biggie odes that didn't resonate well with her fans, the pop crowd, or critics. It's perhaps fitting then that on La Bella Mafia Kim returns to her sexually charged gangstress image, forgoing overt pop concessions in favor of the sort of hardcore motifs that had always been her stock-in-trade. While she plays up the gangstress image well, there's still plenty of commerciality going on here, as hitmakers like Timbaland, Scott Storch, Kayne West, and Swizz Beatz craft the beats while guests like 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Styles P, and Twista bring some additional flavor. This results in some edgy yet radio-ready tracks like "The Jump Off," "Magic Stick," and "(When Kim Say) Can You Hear Me Now?" Elsewhere, there are some substantial album tracks that fill out the album, particularly the emotive "Heavenly Father," the slow-jamming "Can't F**k With Queen Bee," and the "Guess Who's Back"-esque "Came Back for You." As with most rap albums, La Bella Mafia could use a little trimming, but it's a relatively solid album with quite a bit of lyrical substance to accompany the first-rate beatmaking. The Queen B has a lot to say here after her long sabbatical, and she's noticeably slowed down her flow, which brings her word choices to the fore. As a result of all this, La Bella Mafia affirms Kim's briefly questionable status as a formidable female presence in a man's world and once again turns the often sexist mindset of rap on its head in the process.
The Source
While the late Frank White (a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G.) guided her 1996 debut, Hard Core, and P. Diddy sprinkled his commercial style all over The Notorious K.I.M., the Queen Bee's honey comes straight from the source on her third go round, La Bella Mafia. Kim Osorio
Billboard - Rashaun Hall
La Bella Mafia is a testament to the talent that B.I.G. saw in his fellow Brooklynite/Junior M.A.F.I.A. cohort. Lead single "The Jump Off," which features Mr. Cheeks, is classic Kim -- deliciously raunchy, raw, and real.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2003
Label:
Warner Bros Mod Afw
UPC:
0075678357220
catalogNumber:
83572
Rank:
7567

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lil' Kim   Primary Artist
Full Force   Background Vocals
Shelene Thomas   Background Vocals
Governor   Background Vocals
Lil James   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Deniece Williams   Composer
Full Force   Producer
Roy Hawkins   Composer
Jimmy Webb   Composer
R. Kelly   Composer
Adam Horovitz   Composer
Owen Brown   Vocal Coach
Sean "Puffy" Combs   Composer
Leon Huff   Composer
K. Jones   Composer
Terrance Kelly   Composer
James Mtume   Composer
Darryl McDaniels   Composer
Tim Patterson   Composer
Rick Rubin   Composer
Lil' Kim   Composer
Lynn Kowalewski   Art Direction
Havoc   Producer
Timbaland   Producer
Nathan Watts   Composer
Ez Elpee   Producer
Carlos Evans   Composer
Kanye West   Producer
J."Wax" Garfield   Producer
C.C. Mitchell   Composer
Kamel Abdo   Engineer
R. Evans   Composer
Vincent Soyez   Cover Photo
Big Hill   Producer
J. Garfield   Composer
L.J. Porter   Composer
Fantom of the Beat   Producer
Kasseem Dean   Composer
Greg "Gee" Stewart   Engineer
Shaft   Producer
Lanre Gaba   Administration
Dan "The Man" Humiston   Engineer
Cortez Farris   Engineer
Joseph Simmons   Composer
Kejuan Muchita   Composer
DJ Bless   Producer
Scott Storch   Composer,Producer

Customer Reviews

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La Bella Mafia 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I am a Kim fan I no all sorts of lil kims but this time I saw a real Queen B with a non-sropping buzz and I have actually been stung by this queen B. I just got this album yesterdy (february 28th) and can not get over it that I actually sleep with it underneath my cutions just in case some trys to break-in, Now aint that crazy. Queen B has proven that she is the best female rapper alive. I aint being sexist but most female albums have about one or two good songs and then the rest is just wack! but it doesnt exactly happen all the time, but Lil Kim proved to me that she could spit better then a broad, I guess its just the Biggie in her. With bruisers and killer tracks like "Magic" featuring 50 cent the album deserves quadruple platinum status and mixed with clubs like "Jump off" and (when kim say)Lil Kim proves she can play with and types of guns switching from the soft guns to the hardcore guns etc. This album, I feel is a strike back, and to think that people thought kim couldnt do it without the Juniour M.A.F.IA. we were all proven wrong. I guess its because the fallen B.I.G is still with her as she steps in the studio. This is a great album and definetly go cop it and cop Fabolous and 50 cents album too. Well done Queen Bee. Oh yeah and like the tune with Styles P.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lil' Kim is back and better than ever! The rest of these female rappers need to step there game up. The whole album is hot! Production on it is crazy, Lil' Kim has truly earned her crown back!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kim,you did your thang with this one! With the exception of Foxy Brown,all these other females need to take a seat. There is no competition....Excellent!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I PERSONALY ALREADY LOVE HER SO IT REALLY DON'T MAKE A DIFFERENT NOW WILL IT, BUT ANYWAY LA BELLA MAFIA IS THEE BEST ALBUM I HERD YET SO FAR MIGHT I SAY.ALSO JUST TO REMIND OTHERS IN THE GAME THAT THE QUEEN WILL NEVER LET DOWN HER GUARD THIS GO ROUND.....AND MIGHT I ADD THE QUEEN IS HERE TO STAY THIS TIME, EVEN THOUGH SHE NEVER LEFT......
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first I didn't think this album would be good with out biggie ghost writing for her , but I herd it amd it lead e to believe that biggie probably didn't write for her every song has strong lyrics to them and is a very street credit album although kim talks about the street she still has a little nasty rymes left for you. this is an overall great album from a female rapper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm in awe. "La Bella Mafia" is an absolute masterpiece. When I heard BIG give her big ups on the introduction and she came in with the "Paul Revere" beat, it was over. This album is perfect hip/hop.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a Lil Kim fan forever, I love her music alot, And theres no questions that she can hold her own with Bad Boy. I agree this is her best work up to date.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is hot to death!!!! The Prada Momma has come back after a break with even more hardcore songs. She is truely the Queen of HIp Hop and will always be
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kim is back and better than EVER! without Puffy, without Junior Mafia (cease,banger,brist) she still wears the CROWN! this album is HOT 2 DEATH, i bought 2!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The album takes me back to hardcore this is the real lil kim she is doing the Damn thang!!. Without P. Diddy. She is the tru brookyn queen of rap and this is only just the begining
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love lil kim , i respect her because she's blunt and she's mrs,frank white holla kim
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this ablum is the best of Kim's work. It shows that lil'kim is an true artist. This ablum will give her more street creditability. It shows that she can make it own her own without the help of p. diddy or junior mafia. This ablum shows that kim does not have to rap about sex all of the time. This ablum should win lil'kim a 2004 grammy award.
Guest More than 1 year ago
LIL KIM IS EXCELLENT!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this album is another testament to prove kim's enormous talent and place at the top of hip hop music. she ups the game, and pimps it out, just as raunchy as she did before but with a harder beat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago