Like a prize fighter coming into her own, Lil' Kim finally realizes her true potential on her third Atlantic effort.
Like a prize fighter coming into her own, Lil' Kim finally realizes her true potential on her third Atlantic effort. Once a protégé of the Notorious B.I.G., Kim has long lived in the late Brooklyn, N.Y., rapper's shadow. However, La Bella Mafia is a testament to the talent that B.I.G. saw in his fellow Brooklynite/Junior M.A.F.I.A. cohort. Lead single "The Jump Off," which features Mr. Cheeks, is classic Kim—deliciously raunchy, raw, and real. With a chaotic Timbaland-helmed track, "The Jump Off" has served as the perfect introduction to this set. Whether Kim is parodying R. Kelly ("This Is a Warning") or teaming with "it-rapper" 50 Cent ("Magic Stick"), she pulls no punches. With few female MCs stepping to the plate, Lil' Kim appears to have majorly regained her crown as "queen bee" of the hip-hop game.—RH