Z = mc2

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It's safe to say that the vast majority of rap lovers have never heard of Zabrina or her obscure album, Z Equals MC2. But the rapper didn't remain unknown because she was untalented -- Z Equals MC2 is an example of a decent, if uneven, album that fell between the cracks. Zabrina generally favors a girlish, cute style of rapping that easily lends itself to the fun and the frivolous, and much of this album falls into that category. Not for hip-hop's hardcore, tunes like "Irresistible" (which is based on Prince's "Irresistible Bitch"), "Sucker for a Man with a Boody" and "Sunsister" will appeal to those who like their rap laced with lots of pop and R&B. But just when you're ready to label Zabrina a commercial pop-rapper, she throws you a curve ball by offering something more hardcore and sociopolitical. "Philosopher of Fiction" addresses Black-on-Black crime and decries the senseless murder of Boogie Down Productions' Scott LaRock, while "Fellas from the Southside" paints a disturbing picture of inner-city life. Not fantastic but generally likable, this CD should have done better.

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