Livin' in a Hoe House

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In 1996, Lil' Kim's Hardcore demonstrated that a female rapper could be every bit as X-rated as 2 Live Crew or Too Short. But she wasn't the first. In the early '90s, female rap groups H.W.A. (Hoes Wit' Attitude) and B.W.P. (Bytches With Problems) went out of their way to be as offensive and sexually explicit as possible. Released in 1990, Livin' in a Hoe House is hardly the first example of women talking dirty. Vanity and other Prince disciples did it in the '80s, and Lucille Bogan's '30s blues classic "Shave 'Em Dry" is as X-rated as anything that H.W.A., B.W.P., or Lil' Kim ever recorded. But while this album isn't revolutionary, it's entertaining -- that is, if you have a taste for crude humor. If you find Rudy Ray Moore, 2 Live Crew, and Too Short entertaining and amusing, you should have no problem getting into "Tight," "Little Dick," "Eat This," and other sexually explicit rhymes. But if you are offended by X-rated humor, it's best to pass on this album. Musically, Livin' in a Hoe House is closer to Oakland native Too Short than Luther Campbell's Miami-based 2 Live Crew; the beats and production are very West Coast, although H.W.A. members Kim "Baby Girl" Kenner, Tanya "Jazzy" Kenner, and Dion "Diva" Devoux lived in Chicago before they moved to Los Angeles. This album doesn't have the sort of fast, hyper grooves that 2 Live Crew and other Southeastern bass artists are known for, but lyrically H.W.A. and 2 Live Crew have a lot in common, which explains why this album fared well in what hip-hoppers call the Dirty South. Livin' in a Hoe House didn't go down in history as one of rap's all-time masterpieces, but it's a guilty pleasure that is good for some cheap thrills.

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