May 12, 2007

Drink Coasters: Foxy Brown - Ill Na Na (November 19, 1996)

There comes a time, usually found when you write a blog that is devoted to track-by-track album reviews, when you realize that not every album is worthy of the time and patience required to praise or pummel it. In every genre of music (but especially in hip hop, it seems), there are some very, very, very shitty albums. I don't mean disappointing. I mean fucking horrible albums that rob you of seventy minutes of your life. The albums that would be best served as drink coasters, or at the very least, Frisbees. These are the albums that are so bad that I can't be bothered to follow my own standard format. Just know, my two dear readers, that I care about you, and feel strongly that you should NOT WASTE YOUR TIME with any album on my blog labeled as such.

The inaugural post is dedicated to the shit sandwich known as Foxy Brown's Ill Na Na. Somehow, based off of her features with artists such as Jay-Z and Nas, Inga Marchand (I know; I'd change my rap name to Foxy Brown, too) became known as the best female rapper. This is because she spent a lot of time talking about her tits and ass, and her expertise at fucking (she's rumored to have had relations with, interestingly enough, Jay-Z and Nas. Hmmm...), and everyone knows the average hip hop fan is a horny adolescent white male living in the suburbs.

Somehow, this album sold a shitload of copies. As you can see from the album cover, this was due to two things. Granted, they do look nice, but airbrushing can do amazing things. Anyway, the only way I can accurately portray this Def Jam-presented mess is to compare it to a big-budget blockbuster movie that has forty-seven screenwriters, and no sense of direction. Speaking of movies, the best feature of this otherwise horrific album is the "Intro", on which Def Jam had the sheer balls to "preview" albums by better artists, like Cormega (of "Hey, I just got fired from 'The Firm'! You want fries with that?" fame) and Cru (a group that didn't sell very well, but had a Tribe Called Quest-esque sound, and one of their songs featured Slick Rick). I had never heard an album with musical sneak previews before this, so I always thought this was an interesting route to take.

The Trackmasters produced the bulk of this shit, but the term "produced" is used loosely, as one song is a straight jack of LL Cool J's "Rock The Bells". The first single, "Get You Home", features Blackstreet (back when they were still relevant), and it's your average radio-friendly pap that sounds decent enough, but an hour later you're still hungry. The features remain in the "WTF?" column: Method Man's cameo is godawful, and the obligatory Jay-Z appearance is a waste (although I'm sure he wrote most of the album, so good for you, Shawn!). The only actual song that I can recommend is "The Promise", produced by and featuring Havoc from Mobb Deep, as it is the only track here where Foxy's rhymes are remotely bearable, even though Havoc (who has never been known as the best rapper from his group) walks away with the track as if it were a stolen briefcase.

All in all, Ill Na Na is a complete waste of time. But that's what I'm here for; I listen to the shit so that you don't have to worry about it.

Till next blog,


  1. AnonymousMay 13, 2007

    hahah thanks for the tip... i remember in high school when this crap came out and all the girls at my school who wanted to be some kind of bad bitch were always bumping it. do female rappers ever make good cds? aren't these bitches supposed to be singing R n B?

  2. Hey this is one of the first singles I heard from Foxy and hell from then I love here`...I love that beat in the back that meth` entry it`s one of my favourits though I ain`t got the whole album ihst` peace

  3. I remember "Aint no Nigga" and how popular that song was with every woman in the world.
    I have a feeling Nas wrote some of the songs on this cd.
    "China White" on the other hand sounds like Shawna Carter.

  4. Just readint this now, but I gotta reply to the "female rappers suck" comment and say that Jean Grae makes good, no... great music. Lyrically. Thanks.

  5. AnonymousMay 14, 2009

    This was a very bias and unfair review. Foxy is a talented artist and there are some great songs on this album. Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that Foxy has a GREAT album which raps about more than just sex.. it's called "BROKEN SILENCE" .. pick it up, you won't be disappointed. Oh and as for Foxy having "ghostwriters" thats UNTRUE.. foxy always wrote her own material, Jay-Z & Nas have both gave her credit for being a writer.. p.s. ppl with ghostwriters (lil kim ala biggie, maino, cardan) don't freestyle the way FOXY DOES.. check this out:

  6. AnonymousJuly 05, 2009

    i remember buying this stupid album for m girl, she bump this shit so loud that i got mad, took out the CD outta my stereo and listened to Nas' It was Written instead, thats were my girl slapped me