label: goodvibe

producers: dj drez, chops, eq, ronald "ron e." estill, dwele, soulfingerz

guests: dj revolution, planet asia, rasco, chops, slum village, dwele

website: bahamadia.com
rating
tracklisting
1. BB Queen's Intro feat. DJ Revolution
2. Special Forces feat. Planet Asia, Rasco, Chops & DJ Revolution
3. Commonwealth (Cheap Chicks)
4. One-4-Teen (Funky For You) feat. Slum Village
5. Philadelphia feat. Dwele
6. Beautiful Things feat. Dwele
7. Pep Talk

 

BB Queen

Females and hip hop. That's a topic asking to be debated. And that fact is a fact to be debated. Shall we? Well, a little.

Of course the whole machismo thing is very persistent in hip hop. A whole lot in hip hop is centered around machismo. And so a whole bunch of females in hip hop try to do the same, and end up as manly women. Or they go the complete opposite and have their tits hang out of barely there clothing, expose and emphasize their femininity that a man can get a hard on by looking at and listening to them, but he can't relate. It's fascinating in a two lesbians going down at each other kind of way, but lyrically it's getting boring after the second curse word. And then we got bunch of female rappers / emcees that actually do what the feel, and what their personality is. It's not important if it's a male or a female personality, but just the fact that they are speaking from an honest point of view, some real thinking and some real human being point of view, is attractive enough to appeal to every true hip hop fan.

It was Apani who wrote the perfect feminist hip hop hymn with "The Women In Me", and it was also her "Estrogen" that featured all them female emcees. However, within the hip hop annals, you gotta mention Bahamadia for being a strong voice in giving the hip hop world a perspective of the so called 'weak sex'. And while it has been a long time since her first album came out, with the resurrection of the (hopefully) 'thinking underground', the chance might just have returned for her, to tell the world how it is to look through her eyes. On "BB Queen's Intro" Revolution is cutting up bits and pieces from all kinds of other tracks, while Drez is providing the bass and boom. So things start tight, but things sound bitten on the Chops produced "Special Forces". This sounds too much like "M.I.A." by Missin' Linx. But while the beat is questionable, the rhymes are ill. Check how Bahamadia goes at it: "stay calm but potent / debut flopped I'm over it / back on my feet just like I'm 'pose to get / lifting up my left tittie to y'all token chicks / you ain't really hot you just image and politics / I'm prototype, you duplicate of male affiliates / sounding the silliest doing renditions of hits like Al Yankovicz". And although Planet Asia, Rasco and Chops follow her verse, her's might just make the most sense.

What is not helping 'Madias cause though is the extra smooth voice. Listen to her speaking on "Commonwealth (Cheap Chicks)". Sounding like a little girl babbling, it's just hella annoying. That bad taste vanishes though when she rhymes, as that smoothness is nestling tight with the extra smooth composition done by EQ. On the lyrical tip, she's talking about the complete opposite of bling bling thugs: She supports and spreads pride to the 'common women' out there, that are not out to be 'label whores', not spend there hard earned money on overprized status symbols objects. True words. Ronald "Ron E." Estill then hooks her up with another smooth beat for "One-4-Teen (Funky For You)", that's getting as party wild as Bahamadia will allow to, with Slum Village providing the hook.

Quite surprising on a seven cut EP, she steps back on "Philadelphia", showing her love to her hometown with an almost instrumental piece, done by Dwele. Again very smooth, this is butter. Bahamadia then returns to the mic on another Dwele produced cut, that goes by the name of "Beautiful Things". Not allowing any track on this record lacking relevance, this is some social conscious, society questioning and asking us to 'talk about beautiful things a little bit' track, pointing her finger on values like 'only bad news are good news' and 'if it bleeds it leads'. Remembering the extreme dopeness of her collaboration with Roni Size's Reprazent on "New Forms", Bahamadia goes the Drum'N'Bass route again on "Pep Talk". Her flow is amazingly fast, the tongue twisting in a breaking pace, as she gives us some of her understanding, or what some would call esoteric nonsense. Brilliant.

For all those that slept, this will be the rude awakening, of how sorely missed Bahamadia was. Although for some people this is probably too smooth, those that know how much we can cherish Bahamadia, will feed off of this record for some time to come. A very strong return of one of hip hop's most slept on artists of hip hop's slept on gender.

review: tadah the byk

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