La Bella Mafiaby Lil' Kim
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 clean version does its best to edit the innumerable moments of profanity.]
- Release Date:
- Atlantic Mod Afw
Performance CreditsLil' Kim Primary Artist
Full Force Background Vocals
Shelene Thomas Background Vocals
Governor Background Vocals
Technical CreditsDeniece Williams Composer
Full Force Producer
Roy Hawkins Composer
Jimmy Webb Composer
Notorious B.I.G. Executive Producer
R. Kelly Composer
Adam Horovitz Composer
Owen Brown Vocal Coach
Sean "Puffy" Combs Composer
Kenny Gamble Composer
Leon Huff Composer
K. Jones Composer
Terrance Kelly Composer
James Mtume Composer
Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels Composer
Tim Patterson Composer
Rick Rubin Composer
Lil' Kim Composer
Lynn Kowalewski Art Direction
Nathan Watts Composer
Carlos Evans Composer
J."Wax" Garfield Producer
Kamel Abdo Engineer
R. Evans Composer
Big Hill Producer
J. Garfield Composer
L.J. Porter Composer
Fantom of the Beat Producer
Kasseem Dean Composer
Sha Money XL Producer
Greg "Gee" Stewart Engineer
Lanre Gaba Administration
Dan "The Man" Humiston Engineer
Cortez Farris Engineer
Joseph "Run" Simmons Composer
DJ Bless Producer
Scott Storch Composer,Producer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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
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.
LIL KIM IS EXCELLENT!!!
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.
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.
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!
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......
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!!!
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
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!
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.
i love lil kim , i respect her because she's blunt and she's mrs,frank white holla kim
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.