Nefertiti

L.I.F.E.: Living in Fear of Extinction

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Nefertiti was a product of the Los Angeles rap scene of the early '90s, but L.I.F.E.: Living in Fear of Extinction didn't fit any of the convenient stereotypes of L.A. rappers who emerged during that period. Nefertiti was far from a gangsta rapper, and she stayed away from commercial pop-rap. Sounding like a cross between Queen Latifah and MC Lyte, Nefertiti showed some promise on this decent and often inspired, if a bit uneven, CD. The rapper's tough, hard-edged delivery suggests Lyte, but the positive-sister vibe she brings to sociopolitical rhymes like "I Don't Drink the Water," "Family Tree" and "Mecca to Watts" brings to mind Latifah. One of the best things on the album is "Trouble in Paradise," a poignant ode to the late MC Trouble. (You could say that Trouble's story is one of the most heartbreaking in the history of the rap -- signed to Motown, the female rapper seemed to have a promising career ahead of her when an epileptic seizure claimed her life in 1990). This album received generally favorable reviews from the hip-hop press, although commercial success would elude the underexposed Nefertiti.

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