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Bad, Kelis, and Life: it, helping her disovery lay a foundation for his fledgling career The respected and in- demand artst discovered Carter singing for money on the streets of Ne York Citys Greenwich Village and signed him, then took him to the studio to work with producers Timbaland, Nokio, Bink Dog, the Flavahood team, and Gerald issac. In the studio herself work ing on her own project, Missy plans an album release later this year...Back with their master- piece, female supergroup En Vogue has a new album, Masterpiece Theatre, a 13-song work which saw them joining forces once again with the producing duo, Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy, who helped put them on the map. Still appreciated by fans for the sophistication and glamour they brought back to female R&8 groups, En Vogue is the quintessential girl group. one of the foundations upon which rhythm 'n blues was built. WHO'S NOT showing than whats been reflected by the sales of her second album, Fear Of Flying. Not that she doein't have fans, but her skills are lacking and need serious work..Out of the gate with a bang, newcomer Kelis attracted attention with her anthemic first single, but the rest of her albun, Kleidoscope, failed to measure up. Shes gt a nice marketable look and sound. however, so there's lots to salvage for the next time around..We'll make it short and sweet. What happened to Keisha, Kima, and Pam? Once the strongest group on the Bad Boy Entertainment's roster, these three ladies exuded, street atti tude mixed with smoldering urban sex appeal, Dust 'em off, and bring 'em on back, we say! MARY J. BLIGE DA BRAT 14 WORD UP! BYJAN PETERS WHO'S HOT rhaps more than any other female rapper, Lil Kim has come to define today's hip-hop generation brash, irreverent, outspoken, vulnerable, and real. Hot since Hard Core, L Kim has upped the ante on her populatity by making strategik career moves which have kept her in demand and in the publics eye through a succession of image-making makeovers and bicoastal appearances in person and on wax. Kim's cur rent album, The Notorious K,LM is the first flight of the Queen Bee without the Notorious 8.1.G, a reality which forced her to look within herself for direction. Kim's expansion into other media, film, print ads, and who knows what else is to corme, has brought her clos er to the kind of notoriety that she says she's after, How hot is Lil Kim? Ask your mom if she knows who Lil Kim is. Chances are she will. Lir Kim's friend Mary J. Blige is also another artist whos come into her own. With her most recent album, Mary, already certitied platinum, Mary has retained her superstar status building yeary on her every woman appeal. Currently expanding her horizons as an actress and a model spokesperson for MAC cosmetics Viva Glam lI lipsticks, along with her girl, Lil Kim, Mary's longevity and popularity seems assured...New on the xene, female emcee Rah Digga classifies herself as a "serious" rapper. Not that she cant get all dolied up, but she doesn't want what's on the surface to interfere with the substance underneath. Nevertheless, with the releave of her debut album, Dirty Harriet, Rah Digga immediately established a fan base composed of all kinds of rap fans. Why? Because shes got skilk. A rapper who believes in earning her accolades, Rah Digga s the kind of everyday female to whom fans can relate. If anything, it's her dream that one day female rappers can be taken seriously without relying on the externals to help get them over. Fans cer- tainly have responded to her approach...Fashioned in the same outspoken mold as Lil Kim, Eve came onto the scene and immediately regis tered as a real-life, around-the-way sista whose rap skills secured for her a place in the hip-hop hierarchy. Touring with labelmates from the Ruff Ryders crew, Eve never fails to amaze fans who get impressed with her street cool, flavorful flow, For her, the heat stays on and on...Branded as a hip hop tomboy, Da Brat made her appearance as a rough neck femme whose image lately softened under hot lights for sexy shots as a calen dar queen. for women whe indulge the feminine and masculine sides of their gender, Da Brat was a long awaited role model whose duality they appreci- ated in addition to her rhyme skills. Currently rolling strong from the success of her third album Unrestricted, Da Brat has the distinction of being the first solo female rapper to go platinum. Since then, shes built on her fan base and remained in the spotlight while others faded away...Even when Missy Elliott inot on the charts, better believe she's always got something going on. In this case, it's the debut album release from Torrey Carter, the first male artist from Missy's label imprint, Gold Mine Records. Missy does a turn on ERNEST PANCCIOU MYA LIL'KIM EN VOGUE EYE WORD UP! 13
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