Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
STRAIGHT RAZOR FROM JUICE CREW'S FIRST LADY
Patrick Frierson | 11/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 90's, shortly before Cold Chillin' bit the dust, A lot of rappers on that label hardened their styles to appeal to the era of Black Hoodies and Timberland Boots. Albums like G. Rap & Polo's "Live and Let Die" ,I.U.'s "Lead Pipe" and King Sun's "Strictly Ghetto" are grimier flipsides to the traditional battle raps of M.C. Shan and Kane and the comedy raps of Biz that made the label a prominent force in hip hop. However By 92', west coast gangsta rap was becoming more common place, so a number of east coast rappers knew they had to get dirty if they expected to remain relevant in a rapidly changing hip hop landscape. Cold Chillin' was one of the first east coast labels to embrace the harder style of hip hop of the 90's before Wu Tang and Black moon embraced the same styles with greater acclaim and record sales. Shante's "The B*&ch is Back" is one of the first records to celebrate a less fun, but nonetheless dope era of east coast hip hop.
The B*tch is Back is a entertaining album that finds the first lady of Hardcore hip hop adapting well to the grimy N.Y. hip hop that was taking place at the time. When you look at the title of the album and listen to songs, the title fits her like the provocative lingerie that she's draped in on the photo inside the album cover. Throughout the album, she has a snooty and tactless disposition that lives up to its intentions of being b*tchy. This mentality is especially evident in songs like "Big Mama" where she's takin shots at all of the popular female rappers at the time. "Trick or Treat" predates TLC's "No Scrubs" by several years as it advise women to make men drop some ends before they let em' in and I ain't talkin about their places of residence! Now that's a Jane I'm sure Erick and Parrish wanna avoid. Since I mentioned EPMD, "Trick or Treat" in a way is a unofficial answer to "Golddigger" since the song encourages women to take - where as Gold digger encourages men to keep and not give up half (battle of the sexes in hip hop is more grand than the price of them fat gold chains). The most hilarious is "Brothers Ain't S*it" where Shante' is givin playas and skirt chasers some straight razor and tellin' them to stay away from her cuz they ain't s*it!
The B*tch is Back doesn't always have a dismissive tone. "Gotta Be Free" is a nice uplifting track that encourages women to achieve in spite of their circumstances. That sounds refreshingly positive in an age of scantily clad video honeys. "Straight Razor" is a cautionary track warning women not to waste their lives on a man who doesn't treat them right and simply cut him off rather than cut him up!
Putting the album into perspective, it does have a b*tchy tone because she's demanding respect. The fact that there are legitimate reasons for her bitchiness, as opposed to her being a stereotypical drama queen, makes the songs even more enjoyable because it sounds like a cry to be taken more serious. Even "Trick or Treat" is demanding a man to treat her if he expects to get a treat. It's one of the most brutally honest records ever released by a female rap artist and the funky backdrops provided by I.U., Mr. Cee, Trackmasterz, Grandmaster Flash, and G. Rap himself makes it keeper in any hip hop collection. The strong feminine undertone on certain tracks may be a bit off setting for some but, the humor behind these tracks will make you not even care if you're open minded. If you're lucky enough to find this CD, you should most definitely grab this overlooked piece in Cold Chillin's catalog. Big Mama ain't playin, but you should be playin it!