La Bella Mafia

La Bella Mafia

5.0 2
by Lil' Kim
     
 

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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, HardSee more details below

Overview

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.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2003
Label:
Atlantic Mod Afw
UPC:
0075678357329
catalogNumber:
83573
Rank:
360979

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

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

Technical Credits

Deniece 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
Scott Spencer Storch   Composer,Producer
Lil' Kim   Composer
Lynn Kowalewski   Art Direction
Havoc   Producer
Timbaland   Producer
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

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