Shawnna

Worth Tha Weight

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Released just before fellow Disturbing tha Peace member I-20's Self Explanatory, Worth tha Weight is Shawnna's own chance to step out as a solo artist. When she says "weight," meaning "wait," she's not kidding -- even by rap standards. The album comes four years after her breakthrough guest spot on Ludacris' "What's Your Fantasy." To anyone who has heard any number of her verses, it will come as no surprise that the Chicago-based MC (believe it or not, the daughter of blues guitarist Buddy Guy) is consistently thuggish and sexed-up. A series of strong productions come from heavies Timbaland (the particularly hot Wild West-shootout "Shake Dat Shit"), Jermaine Dupri, Just Blaze, and Trackboyz, but nothing tops the Shondrae-produced "R.P.M.," somewhat distressingly reprised from the Disturbing tha Peace album. Even though the best track on it is two years old, the album -- for the most part -- remains true to its title. On the down side, the remix of "Posted" (featuring N.O.R.E.) is yet another "Superthug" knock-off, and the MC Lyte-sampling throwback "Kick This One" (apparently the sister of I-20's like-minded, Run-D.M.C.-sampling "Point 'Em Out") does not come close to improving on the source material. Even with these nagging flaws, Shawnna holds her own and is only complemented -- never outshined -- by the many guest MCs.

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