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4.3 out of 5 stars
Naked Truth
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2005
Queen Bee put it down on this one, no question. The entire album bangs from start to finish. The beats are hot, her lyrics are on point and she has great guest appearences from The Game, Bun B(the legend), Snoop, Twista and T.I.P.. The skits are hilarious thanks to Money Mike and the album flows very well. As far as the 5mics rating goes, The Source has lost so much creditibility, that a rating from them isnt worth the paper that its printed on. So it's basically up to the consumer to decide.

As far as being called a certified "Classic," like I said only time will tell. A Classic album is an album that you can play 5 to 10yrs from now and still be just as good if not better than when you first heard it. Thats a true definition of a "Classic." The word classic gets thrown around in this industry so much, people have really lost the true meaning of the word. Just because an album has more than 5 tracks that are actually good, doesnt make it a "classic." I think that the hip hop consumer hasn't really heard a truly good album is so long, that we latch onto the first thing that comes along.(i.e. Common's "Be")

But all in all it is definetly a hot album, clearly one of the best albums of the year. However, its still very early to calling it a "Classic."
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
To start off I will go ahead and admit that I have been and always will be a huge fan of Lil Kim "The Queen Bee" of rap. She tore onto the scene in 1996 with "Hardcore" which is seen by many as one of the rawest, hottest cds put out by a female rapper. I loved it of course, then I also loved her second cd "the Notorious K.I.M.". This cd was over the top in all aspects, sexy, nasty, and straight up raw. Taking a hint she toned it down with the perfect "La Bella Mafia" taking the best of her first 2 cds and making a truly masterful album with some really hot singles. And now .. despite all of the personal struggles which I wont go into (the jail sentence, the plastic surgery, yadda yadda) Lil Kim has done it. This is the album of her career. And being a Grammy winner and highly respected artist in the game, this was a hard feat. But truly this is the definitive album for Kim. Absolutely hands down the best rap cd of the year, Im sure of it. She takes a little of the old, a little of the new, and mixes it together with perfection. Its not only her best work since "Hardcore" but her best work period. And it's not just me who thinks this. The Source magazine, which is the premiere magazine for rap and hip-hop rewarded "the Naked Truth" with a 5 star rating. 5 stars equals a hip hop classic. And it is the first time the Source has ever given 5 stars to a female MC. That pretty much says it all. Added onto that I have read 3 other reviews from various sources that are praising this cd as Kims best work. 3 perfect ratings. I even got the cd home and listened to it with a non-Kim fan .. and even he had to admit Kim did it. And then later today I am going with him to pick up a copy for himself. Something he said he would never do. Also when I purchased the cd, they had to go into the back to get it, after 30 minutes of circuit city opening up it was sold out from the front. They had sold over 200 in 30 minutes. They also were sold out of the compantion sampler music video dvd that circuit city was offering. So I was pissed about that, but happy because this cd might finally put Kim on the top of the charts. I wouldn't be surprised if this sat atop the charts next week, and if not it definately will be Kims highest seller. Too bad she cant be with us to enjoy the hype and positive reviews this cd is recieving. All I can say is next years Grammys I know who has a lock on the female rap award, if not .. a crime will be commited. Here's my thoughts on the songs:

1 - Intro (skit) - This is Kim coming out of court and the press asking her for the truth. Of course, she is about to lay it all out. Love this intro.

2 - Spell Check - (5 out of 5) - Kim goes all out on the opening track. Spelling out most of her rhymes. She settles the score with fellow rapper 50 Cent (haha dont miss what she says .. always a real b*tch not letting anyone get away with what they done). This is one of the standouts on a perfect album. Hardcore rhymes, tremendous beats. amazing.

3 - Lighters Up - (5 out of 5) - The "2nd" single from the cd is tremendous. She has been compared to Lauryn Hill on this track, however I'll step out and say she even slays the great Lauryn. This is back to the old school rap with a reggea flair. Truly stellar. Check out the hot video too on BET. Kim is working it out here.

4 - Shut Up B!tch (intro) (skit) - Funny intro to one heck of a song.

5 - Shut Up B!tch - (5 out of 5)The 1st single .. more of a hype single really, is truly what Lil Kim does best. Takes all the rumors and trash talk about her and turns it around to make her stay on top again. She takes on rumors that she doesnt write her rhymes, that shes had plastic surgery, that she is broke, that she is on drugs, jail, star jones, worst dressed lists, etc etc. Whatever it is, Kim stays on top. She isn't afraid to face anything said about her and turn it all around and make her enemies look silly. With all the rumors being spread, Lil Kim know just how to take it, and just how to dish it right back. Haters must really hate this song, it will put them in their place.

6 - Whoa (5 out of 5)- Also known as "My N*ggas" this is the song where Kim really starts in on how the Junior Mafia really turned and snitched on her, and it consequently led her to jail time. She lays it all out about the case. If you want the Naked Truth on what went down with Lil Kim, here it is. She attacks those that turned on her, and it is one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard.

7 - Slippin (5 out of 5) - Kim slows it down a little bit. This track is all about how everybody was wanting Kim to slip off her game and fail. And how no matter what she is gonna hold it down and rise to the top of her game. She really has. She tackles the slow beat like a monster.

8 - Answering Machine Message 1 - This is also a funny skit. Fellow rappers and producers leave messages for Kim while shes in jail. Things like: I bet you got gucci sheets in jail and I heard you was the first b*tch to have a fashion show in jail, really made me crack up.

9 - All Good (5 out of 5) - Lil Kim teams up with the late Notorious B.I.G. again. And as always, this team doesn't dissapoint. Lil Kim tells a lot about her life and how she got to where she is. This one has a killer beat. I could really hear this one on the radio. My favorite line: "I went from negative to positive" .. basically a mantra for Kim right now. We really know that like she says "You can't keep a good b*tch down".

10 - I Know You See Me (5 out of 5) - Some great samples used here, which Kim doesn't usually do, so its a welcome change. This is basically Kim preaching on how she has truly made the mark in the industry, the Queen Bee of rap. The covergirl of rap fashion and sex appeal. She compares herself to the female Scarface, and I'd have to agree. A real club hopper and feel good song.

11 - W.P.I.M.P. - (skit) - Another funny skit.

12 - Quiet (5 out of 5) - Featuring the Game, this is the track. This better be a single. Lil Kim spits like she has been told she can never spit again. Aggressive, powerful, angry, and in control, this is the track that shines perhaps the most on this perfect cd. Lil Kim could outrap anyone here. She disses on Foxy, takes on a flow that Eminem is known for, and shows him how its done. Truly stellar.

13 - Durty (5 out of 5) - This starts out as something truly different for Kim. The first verse is done fully in reggea tempo and style. She sounds downright amazing, and totally different. I dind't know Kim could rhyme like this. She then goes into spitting out her raps, but the stellar begining shocked this fan, and loved it. Basically this song talks about how people envision Lil Kim as the dirty girl of the rap game. Which she is, but as she states, shes so much more. And the ones calling her durty are also the ones sittin in their room blaring the Lil Kim cds. Haha.

14 - Answering Machine Message 2 - more messages on Kims cell

15 - We Don't Give a F*ck (5 out of 5) - Featuring Bun B and Twista this is a hot track, definately a club banger. The only down side is I wish Kim was on it more. I truly cannot get enough of her rap. But Twista and Bun B are also on spot and lend some cred to this great track. The title really says it all.

16 - Gimme That (5 out of 5) - Featuring Maino, this is one of the catchiest songs on the cd. Definately a sexy song. Kim turns on the appeal here, and just when I dind't think it could sexier she hit me with the next song.

17 - Kitty Box (5 out of 5!!) - This is my personal favorite track on the cd. Because its so different from anything I've ever heard Kim do. Its got a pop feel too it, but its still definately hood, and really really sexy. Using a mix of samples, some guitar, and some real slow, low sexy rapping, Kim really turns up the heat here. I dare you to listen to this and not admit to me that Kim is the sexiest woman in the biz. Its like the best off of "Notorious" made better. One heck of a song.

18 - Kronik (5 out of 5) - Finally Kim gets together on her cd with Snoop Dogg. And the team doesnt dissapoint. They truly mesh amazingly well. This could also definately be a single. Snoop and Kim hold it down.

19 - Winners and Losers - (skit) Kim is definately the winner.

20 - Get Yours (5 out of 5) - Featuring T.I. and Sha-Dash this is definately a revenge track. As ambitious and angry and powerful as anything on the cd. Once again I wish Kim was featured a little bit more because I cannot get enough, I really like T.I. and he shows his talent on this track.

21 - Last Day (5 out of 5!!) - The closing track of the cd is truly the most powerful. Its Kim facing all the problems coming her way with the jail sentence, all the troubles shes had in the past, but above all how she will continue making money making music and giving back to her fans until her last day. And this fan knows that its true. A sad and powerful track. Kim has done it all with this album, and she ended it perfectly.

The cd then ends with a phone conversation with Kim. It really shows you that Kim is down to earth and handeling her business right now and is ready to get this jail sentence behind her and come out on top of her game and richer than ever. And with this cd, there is NO WAY that wont happen.

Look .. the bottom line is .. fan or not, this is the cd for all hip hop fans. The source is right, this is a hip hop classic. And if you are a fan of hip hop then you cannot miss this album. Go out and buy it, order it, whatever. Support Lil Kim, she needs it. And shes given her fans, and the world of hip hop, a huge gift here. Don't miss out.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Despite going through all the turmoil in court and being betrayed by her former associates JUNIOR MAFIA, then receive the news of facing federal prison dosent affect this album at all. I think it only brought out the best of Kim and hands downs she delivers on every track. She stepped it up Lyrically and brought it back to her old Hardcore days. Every song I've heard from the album is a hit and this Album is definitely a certified CLASSIC!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2005
Don't Get Me Wrong This Is A Really Good Album, Kim Puts Together A Tight Album All Around, But For The Source To Call This Album A 5 Mic Classic And The Best Hip Hop Album To Ever Be Put Out By A Female MC IS A Complete Slap In The Face To MC Lyte's 1988 Classic "Lyte As A Rock", Buy Lyte's Album And Get To Hear A Female Rock The Mic With Skills And Not Skin!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 28, 2005
Let me just jump in here before the nut riders and haters flood the scene.

Let me start by saying that I'm not even a Lil' Kim fan. I have all of her albums (all given to me by my brother), but I'm not a fan. Hell, I don't even like her other albums because of her weak rhyme skills. What I am is a realist that gives credit where it is due. The Naked Truth deserves most of the credit it gets (even though I'm thoroghly convinced that The Source needs to quit rating albums). The difference with this album can be directly attributed to Lil' Kim's pending incarceration and the fact that she plays to her strengths this time instead of trying to make an album full of party/club/pop hits (not to mention a noticable improvement in her lyrical skills). Tracks like "Slippin'", "All Good", and "Quiet" all have Kim speaking on her turmoil and severed ties with the Junior Mafia clique. There are still some club bangers on the album in the form of "Lighters Up", "Whoa", "Get Yours" feat. T.I. & Sha Dash, and "Spell Check" as well as a few others. "Last Day" is a nice track that features a rather long Lil' Kim conversation at the end of it. I have to commend Kim for standing on her own two this time around. Out of 21 joints, she only has guests on 5 of them. Plain and simple, the album is dope. Lil' Kim has stepped her lyrical game up and her production is more concrete than her past albums.

There are a few corny tracks on the album though. "Shut Up B*tch" has a decent topic, but the hook and the intro are kind of weak. Also, "I Know You See Me" isn't terrible, but it's skippable. If there are any wack tracks to be found, they would have to be "We Don't Give A F*ck" feat. Bun B & Twista and "Kitty Box". The former sounds kind of corny and forced and the hook to the latter is terrible. In my mind, a classic album doesn't have those kind of tracks. The album as a whole tends to lose focus toward the end. Also, it'd be great if Katt Williams would drop the Money Mike routine, it's not funny anymore. His appearance on this album is pretty much pointless. I mean, he's been trying to squeeze blood from that turnip for almost 3 years now. Move on.

Is this a classic album? Probably not, but good hype will always have fans/groupies and press making claims that don't always hold up a few years (or in some cases weeks) down the road. Only time will tell if this is classic, but if you ask me right now, I'd have to say no. The album takes a nosedive toward the end and it's really noticable. This much is apparent though, Kim has stepped her lyrical game up. No one will confuse her with B.I.G. anytime soon, but she's improved drastically. It would appear that rappers seem to put out their best work when they're faced with jail time. Kim is walking in the footsteps of Tupac, Beanie Sigel, C Bo, and many others in that respect. It's sad that it took these circumstances for her to drop a dope LP, but lets hope that she keeps up this pace when she gets out of prison. I reccomend checking this one out.

Standout Tracks: Quiet feat. The Game, All Good, Kronik feat. Snoop Dogg, Slippin' (My Favorite), Lighters Up, My N*ggas, I Know You See Me, Spell Check, Get Yours feat. T.I. & Sha Dash, and Whoa
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Hot damn! She did it again, only this time Kim has showed the world yet another one of the many chapters in her life, only this time, she sheds the image and gives us the "Truth." And "truth" be told, the Queen Bee proves herself the "B-A-D-D-E-S-T" chick in the game........period! Being a long time fan of Kim's from talking about the "Big Momma Thing" on Hardcore to pouring her soul out on "Last Day" on the Naked Truth, I have definitely noticed the maturity and growth of Kimberly Jones.

On the Naked Truth, Kim lashes out on one-time collaborator "Magic Stick" G-unit frontman 50 Cent several times, The View host and former lawyer Star Jones, longtime rival and fellow Brooklyn native Foxy Brown, and the infamous former alliance of Kim known as the Junior Mafia. She also tells the story and legal process of her case and what exactly happened in the courtoom (even a real life recorded conversation with her manager in the end).

My personal favorite tracks are: Spell Check (My absolute favorite track on the album, definitely shows her creativity), I Know You See Me (A Reminiscence of "You Can't F*** W/ Queen Bee" on LaBella Mafia), Kitty Box (Classic Kim track, very much back to her Notorious K.I.M. days), We Don't Give a F**k, Quiet (In arguably an unadulterated diss track, Kim takes out the whip and lashes a few people in the industry), Durty, All Good, Slippin, and Last Day.

Comedian Money Mike killed it on the skits on this album, the man is hilarious! The Source gave this album 5 mics and many question their judgement....like myself...Hell, personally I think she deserves a 6th mic (like she said on "Whoa", GIMME SIX MICS!)...SO for all of you who supposedly didn't like the album, it's one of 3 reasons:
1.) You just skimmed through the tracks and didn't listen to her words (which is insane because the album is called "Naked Truth," which entails for you to pay attention anyway)
2.) You never liked Kim to begin with, so you can just stick with the ghost-writing females in the game already and "Shut Up B***h!"

or

3.) You focus too much on her surgery and not her lyrics...that's cool, but it's also irrelevant, she's the biggest sex symbol since Janet and it's high time you haters just give it up and let the queen reign supreme..So put your lighters up and enjoy the album for the one and only QUEEN BEE!...........
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 28, 2005
Let me just jump in here before the nut riders and haters flood the scene.

Let me start by saying that I'm not even a Lil' Kim fan. I have all of her albums (all given to me by my brother), but I'm not a fan. Hell, I don't even like her other albums because of her weak rhyme skills. What I am is a realist that gives credit where it is due. The Naked Truth deserves most of the credit it gets (even though I'm thoroghly convinced that The Source needs to quit rating albums). The difference with this album can be directly attributed to Lil' Kim's pending incarceration and the fact that she plays to her strengths this time instead of trying to make an album full of party/club/pop hits (not to mention a noticable improvement in her lyrical skills). Tracks like "Slippin'", "All Good", and "Quiet" all have Kim speaking on her turmoil and severed ties with the Junior Mafia clique. There are still some club bangers on the album in the form of "Lighters Up", "Whoa", "Get Yours" feat. T.I. & Sha Dash, and "Spell Check" as well as a few others. "Last Day" is a nice track that features a rather long Lil' Kim conversation at the end of it. I have to commend Kim for standing on her own two this time around. Out of 21 joints, she only has guests on 5 of them. Plain and simple, the album is dope. Lil' Kim has stepped her lyrical game up and her production is more concrete than her past albums.

There are a few corny tracks on the album though. "Shut Up B*tch" has a decent topic, but the hook and the intro are kind of weak. Also, "I Know You See Me" isn't terrible, but it's skippable. If there are any wack tracks to be found, they would have to be "We Don't Give A F*ck" feat. Bun B & Twista and "Kitty Box". The former sounds kind of corny and forced and the hook to the latter is terrible. In my mind, a classic album doesn't have those kind of tracks. The album as a whole tends to lose focus toward the end. Also, it'd be great if Katt Williams would drop the Money Mike routine, it's not funny anymore. His appearance on this album is pretty much pointless. I mean, he's been trying to squeeze blood from that turnip for almost 3 years now. Move on.

Is this a classic album? Probably not, but good hype will always have fans/groupies and press making claims that don't always hold up a few years (or in some cases weeks) down the road. Only time will tell if this is classic, but if you ask me right now, I'd have to say no. The album takes a nosedive toward the end and it's really noticable. This much is apparent though, Kim has stepped her lyrical game up. No one will confuse her with B.I.G. anytime soon, but she's improved drastically. It would appear that rappers seem to put out their best work when they're faced with jail time. Kim is walking in the footsteps of Tupac, Beanie Sigel, C Bo, and many others in that respect. It's sad that it took these circumstances for her to drop a dope LP, but lets hope that she keeps up this pace when she gets out of prison. I reccomend checking this one out.

Standout Tracks: Quiet feat. The Game, All Good, Kronik feat. Snoop Dogg, Slippin' (My Favorite), Lighters Up, My N*ggas, I Know You See Me, Spell Check, Get Yours feat. T.I. & Sha Dash, and Whoa
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Has been an unswered question with regards to Kim in the past. The Naked Truth has the answer: BOTH. But this is a very difficult review to write for many reasons... objectively there are certain undeniables... but i can't help be subjective on this matter because i've known Kim before and throughout the metamorphois. Interestingly enough when juxtaposing her physical changes with her musical [growth] it's both parallel and perpendicular altogether. Kim is as much of an anomoly as there has ever been in music and certainly in hip-hop. We could call her the FACE of hip-hop (no pun intended) but she's a woman so that correlation would never come to pass. For many reasons Kim is always compared to Foxy, the most apparent being that they're both from Brooklyn, they hit the scene virtually at the same time with Biggie and Jay-Z, and both contributed - along with the aforementioned Big and Jay - to the glamorization of hip-hop. Oh and they both could roc the mic -- ughh both mics. However this is where it ends and if you look at Kim's journey you would see they couldn't be any more different. Where Kim started off reppin Brooklyn hard and lovely asserting female independence in the male-dominated rap game on the classic HARDCORE, Foxy opted to jump off her career more main stream with sample after sample and well produced tracks. Kim was raw and edgy; Foxy, while flowing with precision, came out a little safe and calculated. Foxy was getting paid upwards of 500gs to put her crotch in Calvin Klein ads and Kim was plotting a way to get in and revamping her style. Both were successful... Kim had gotten more mainstream while Foxy has taken back the streets. Kim became image driven and Foxy's image just became less marketable. As kim is in the midst of doing a [bid] Fox is now about to have the stage all to herself once again as she did when she released Ill NANA before Kim gave us HARD CORE. So i believe it's come to full circle with The Naked Truth re-asserting Kim as street conscious while remaining iconic and Foxy's soon to be released Black Roses inserting Fox back into the mainstream market while still repping both her hood in BK and her roots in Trinidad. THE NAKED TRUTH shows Kim's complete growth...there are little to no missteps on this one. On TNT Kim maintains her style and restores her substance. It's not as hard as HARDCORE but it doesn't need to be nor should it be; It's far less pop than NOTORIOUS K.I.M. and the production is iller than it was on LA BELLA MAFIA. This album is as chiselled as Kim's new face and is a must have for any rap/hip-hop fan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
Lil'kim is back with this back in the old days mix with now album,That I can't stop listening to.The Source Magazine gave her new album 5 MIKES Classic album.Most rappers never recieve that status.The album hits you off with her getting back at the people who betray her and dis her.The lyrics of her album remind me of her first record hardcore which come up every now and then.

The beats are really good and enough tracks to listen to all day.

This Album is A MUST HAVE for any one and I mean anyone.GET IT TODAY.
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on September 29, 2005
Queen B is back, Miss White (as she states-does anyone know why?). I will give her props for defending her position. Unfortunate for anyone to get caught up but you know what they say about association only leads to speculation-birds of a feather flock together. I am particularly disturbed by the sentence. It appears to be spiteful and that I especially don't care for. Back to the CD, I am feelin' the tracks minus the skits and the Kitty Kat song, which I think is too explicit and would have thought that she would have moved beyond her sexual escapades, to some degree after reaching 30. But, I am going to let that go. I have always respected her lyrical style because she knows how to throw in a one liner that just signifies her confidence her own skin--example. "It's enough I got deal with this do do Brown chic", (not dissin Foxy because I love her) but the verse was banana's(Foxy answered stating that Kim was an industy chic and Foxy was an in the streets chic) and on this joint Kim spits "how a snitch nigga go write a song about wangsta"
I'm not feelin him at all so not only was it true but on point. Now another observation is that Kim now seems to be trying to put more emphasis on Reggae hip hop, a genre that Foxy has signified her lyrical style after, now Kim has stepped into that arena. "Put Your Lighters Up" is Fire but that other track, I think "Durty" is a little short, she sounds a little muffled or pretentious. Remember everybody accussed Foxy of trying to sound like Kim. Now Kim is using Foxy's trademark, Reggae. The other flaw I see with this album is that it sort of falls off or the tracks get less interesting. I think on a good day they are evenly matched. Foxy is just a little more laid back. I have to give it to Kim on her style, her stylist really put some nice outfits together for her photoshoot, she could easily be a model. She definately got it going on in that department. Best to Lil Kim, I hope her bid goes by fast and uneventful. The Source 4.5.
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