Brooklyn's Don Diva

by: Foxy Brown

You'd think seven years -- turbulent years that involved a bout with near-total deafness and in-public temper issues that led to some time behind bars -- would allow Foxy Brown more than enough time and experiences to make Brooklyn's Don Diva anything but a reheated version of 2001's Broken Silence, but that is what it most resembles, as opposed to a bold step forward or a reclamation of her power. A couple tracks and a few stray lines aside, these verses could have been dashed off by the MC at just about any earlier point in her career -- a shame since the hypnotizing likes of "Too Real," featuring snaking and skanking production from Statik Selektah (and a verse from AZ), and "Star Cry" hint at how potent the album could've been, given the soul-searching tension between anger, sadness, and swaggering combativeness. During the latter, she temporarily rejects her possessions and fame, fights back tears through "I'm just like y'all, but I probably hurt more/After 13 years I feel I deserve more." But these moments are few and far between, moderately satisfying only for those who have been eager to get their hands on a new Foxy Brown album since the 2005 single "Come Fly with Me" (unfortunately not included here). Retraced steps, backed by an assembly line of knockoff production work, are the rule. ~ Andy Kellman

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