Classic Album Review: Lil’ Kim | La Bella Mafia

The bodacious Bed-Stuy b-word makes sleaze work for her again on her third LP.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


OK, so Lil’ Kim isn’t exactly what you’d call a class act. So she has the fashion sense of a crack ho and the mouth to match. You’ve still gotta hand it to her — she makes sleaze work for her.

La Bella Mafia, the bodacious (and self-proclaimed) Bed-Stuy b-word’s third album, isn’t going to earn any Good Housekeeping Seals of Approval. But this crunktastic effort likely won’t disappoint fans of her hardcore, provocative approach, either. On 14 bootylicious tracks, Queen Bee Kim — with the help of guests like Missy Elliott and 50 Cent — slings the bling, rocks the Chanel and spews enough expletives to make Tony Montana blush over aggressive, hard-whomping grooves by the likes of Timbaland, Havoc and Swizz Beats. “You know what we about — sex, drugs and cash,” Kim says on The Jump Off. That’s another thing you gotta love about her: She’s honest.