Written by Marvin Rashad
After legal troubles, beef, a few singles and a critically acclaimed mixtape release, the Queen of Rap Lil’ Kim released her first album in over 14 years entitled ‘9,’ a collection of Contemporary Rap that shows she knows how to keep up with the times while still remaining Brooklyn.
The album starts off with the inspirational “Pray For Me” featuring Rick Ross and Musiq Soulchild, an R&B forward Rap track where Kim sings and actually sounds pretty good, good enough for me to doubt if that was really her singing or not. As the beat changes, Rick Ross then Kim trade bars before the song ends.
The next track, “Bag” is more of a Trap type Rap record where Kim does a sing-songy Future style flow, but it suits her word play. Appropriately, “Rich The Kid” featuring Rich The Kid follows, where she let remind others why she is the Queen of Rap.
While “Go Awf” is the lead single, and she did “go awf” on this album, this is by far the weakest song on the album (flow, lyrics, singing, autotone…all of it weaker). The next track, “Too Bad,” suffers from the same over-saturation of autotune as the prior track. Honestly, both of these songs are the low points of the album and I wouldn’t recommend listening to them. Still, she makes up for it on “You Are Not Alone” where she uses some of the lyrics from Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” towards the end. The beat and her flow matches nicely, and I’d say this is one of the better tracks on the album- minus the singing.
The second single, “Found You” featuring O.T. Genasis & Yung Miami of City Girls, follows next. While song is perfect for clubs with it’s catchy chorus and bass-forward beat, it sounds less like a Lil’ Kim song and more like an O.T. Genasis song.
“Auto Blanco” is probably the most street song on the album. It’s also one of the best songs on the album and I see why her team released the song earlier this year. Kim talks a lot of big sh*t on this song, knowing she can back it up and vows to keep BIG’s name alive because “he ain’t die for nothing.”
Queen Bee ends the album with “Jet Fuel,” which easily follows “Auto Blanco,” where she boasts about her materialism, sex game and stance in the streets & Rap game. The song includes assisted raps from TLZ and BIG Lew, though they aren’t accredited on the album.
All in all, I give the album 3 out of 5. It’s a solid album that you would expect from Lil’ Kim if you’ve followed her musical change over the past decade, though she leaned too heavily into the 808/trap beats, sing-songy style of Rap and autotune. The album shines the best when she raps without autotune, especially on songs like “Pray for Me” & “Found You.” I would consider tracks like “Go Awf” and “Too Bad” to be skippable. Honeslty, this album would have been better suited as a 5 track EP. Lil’ Kim’s 9 is available in all stores and where music can be streamed. Click HERE to preview & purchase!