The Naked Truth

Artist: Lil' KimTitle: The Naked TruthRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Starrene Rhett

Hell hath no fury like Lil’ Kim scorned. The Queen Bee is back with her fourth LP The Naked Truth (Queen Bee/Atlantic). Irreverent and unapologetic, she has a stinger more like a hornet’s. In the midst of the usual “baddest b*tch,” “f**k the haters,” “I’m fly” talk, she verbally lashes everyone from 50 Cent, Foxy Brown and The Junior MAFIA, to Star Jones. With production by Scott Storch, Red Spyda, Kevin “Khao” Cates, and others, The Naked Truth is 21 tracks infused with reggae, soul, Notorious B.I.G. voice samplings and lyrics, and gritty Brooklyn rawness. You’ll definitely be nodding your head vigorously and screwing up your face — in a good way — at the blunt force and dexterity of her lyrics and flow.

On the opener “Spell Check”, Kim suggests that 50 Cent is a snitching homo, the entire Junior MAFIA is pu**y based on their treason in the court case that landed Lil’ Kim in jail, and boldly proclaims that she is “more nigga than them b*tch ass guys.” While her insults are rife with venom, the self-proclaimed “female Scarface” is also sardonically comical. ”Star Jones don't like me/she cheap and I like the best /Damn, it must feel good to pay less,” she jeers on “Shut Up B*tch”. On “Quiet”, while accompanied by The Game on the hook, she executes an Eminem-like flow-think “The Way I Am”-and mentions an alleged incident where Jacki-O beat up Foxy Brown in a Florida studio, thus implying that Foxy’s bad girl status is null and void. Kim aggravates the sore by threatening to go after Foxy’s alleged ghostwriters. On “All Good”, a combination of Biggie’s sampled voice in synch with the boom-bap driven beat, and Lil’ Kim asserting that she is unscathed by her recent trials and tribulations, listeners are assured that everything really is “all good.”

Aside from the insults and her “I took one for the team” mentality, The Naked Truth is not without the raunchy, sexually charged anthems which have become staples of Lil’ Kim’s style, like “Gimme That” featuring Maino, “Kitty Box” and “Kronik” featuring Snoop Dogg. In summary, Lil’ Kim’s versatility shined on The Naked Truth, yet she managed to remain true to her original hardcore sound. With the exception of excess skits and one or two songs, this album is most definitely a straight run.