Lil' Kim 

The Naked Truth (Atlantic)

The most compelling question about Lil' Kim's fourth album is how many "black Martha Stewart" comparisons it will spawn. That's a shame, since the Queen Bee -- now serving a year for perjury and conspiracy -- actually offers some of her finest performances on The Naked Truth. Following the disappointing Notorious K.I.M. and the thuggishly workmanlike La Bella Mafia, Kim didn't have much momentum for a jail sentence to interrupt. But she turns any doubts to her advantage on the clever, dancehall-tinged "Shut Up B***h," which repeats every rumor whispered about her, then slaps them all down. And the beats from Kanye, Scott Storch (the reggaefied "Lighters Up"), et al. make this by far her best-sounding release.

Yet it's tainted by the naked truth of the album, which is -- like most pre-prison recordings these days -- mostly one long whine about the-artist-as-martyr. "I'm a stand-up type," Kim declares on the haunting soul ballad "Slippin'" -- before blaming everyone else for her troubles. Most hilarious, she claims "they indicted me for my fuckin' music"; such inanity makes the heavy-breathing Missy Elliott retread "Kitty Box" a comparative relief. But as the latest hip-hop artist to explain away a crime by claiming the government is out to get her, Kim's got plenty of company, at least.

Speaking of...

More by Dan LeRoy

  • Prefuse 73

    9 p.m. Wednesday, September 22. The Billiken Club, in the Busch Student Center on the campus of Saint Louis University, 20 North Grand Boulevard.
    • Sep 15, 2010
  • Budweiser Superfest

    7 p.m. Thursday, August 26. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights.
    • Aug 25, 2010
  • Trey Songz/Monica

    8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20. Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard.
    • Aug 18, 2010
  • More »

Best Things to Do In St. Louis


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2016 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation