FOXY BROWN’S FIRST ALBUM, ‘ILL NA NA’ AT 25

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25 years ago today, Foxy Brown released his debut album Ill Na Na and changed the way women resonate in hip-hop. Presented to the world Jay-Z, on the classic Ain’t No Nigga , Def Jam then bet everything on the queen of the label who released her album a week after her former friend, Lil Kim.

After appearing as a guest on a number of albums, most notably that of LL Cool J, Foxy Brown finally delivered her debut album, Ill Na Na , in late 1996. During her appearances, the teenage rapper raved about her three obsessions – fashion, sex and the mafia – and all three dominate Ill Na Na’s discourse. Taken in isolation, those words might get boring, but Foxy Brown’s sexy, confident voice makes her superficial concerns alluring. In addition, the album benefits greatly from the production efforts of the TrackMasterz, which gives the music an elegant and contemporary edge that makes even the weakest tracks quite listenable. She’s also assisted by cameos from Havoc from Mobb Deep, Jay-Z , Method Man and Kid Capri , among others, which gives the album star power, with enough charisma to steal the show.

Ill Na Na has produced two hit singles, Get Me Home with Blackstreet, and I’ll Be with Jay-Z. It reached number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100. I’ll Be , released on March 4, 1997, was also commercially successful and rose to seventh on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the highest-ranked single of Brown.

Tribute to the Brooklyn bombshell who influenced and continues to influence so many girls in hip-hop… .even after 25 years.

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