Lately there has been many artists releasing surprise albums and mixtapes that garnered success among fans, as well as introducing hit singles. Lil’ Kim is the latest artist to put out a project on short notice as a service to her fans, announcing the title and release date only a few days prior. Longtime fans of the veteran MC have been waiting for an album and were left hungry for more after 2014’s Hard Core 2K14 mixtape and releasing a number of new tracks within the past few months. So, is the Lil’ Kim Season mixtape enough to keep longtime fans as well as casual fans hype until the release of her album that is currently in production or is this simply another mixtape?
The mixtape begins with ‘Fountain Bleu’, a remake of the popular Plies record, Ritz Carlton. While the New York artist puts her own style and signature delivery onto the instrumental, the first half of the song, including the intro skit, feels more like she is parodying Plies’ social media persona. While things get better, this introduction does little to make listeners excited for what comes next. As for the other remakes, which include remixes of ‘Designer’s Panda’, ‘Drake’s Summer Sixteen’ and ‘Cut It’ by O.T. Genesis, the Queen Bee is able to keep the energy of the singles while implementing her own familiar flow and delivery style.
All except for one of the original songs on the album have already been released prior to the release of this mixtape. ‘Diego’ and the Kevin Gates collaboration ‘Mine’ are the two tracks that stand out the most. With Diego, Lil’ Kim seems to have a potential street anthem that is the female answer to the usually male dominated trap genre. However, the single seems slightly forced, as if Lil’ Kim tried to compensate and completely switch her style to make a track to sounds similar to the typical club/ trap record. ‘Mine’ is the standout single that has the most potential to become a hit, with an excellent beat to go along with Kim’s flow and Kevin Gates’ signature style and delivery on the hook.
While Lil’ Kim Season has some good tracks, it still seems to feel incomplete in the end. It’s nothing new for a rapper to put out a pre or post album mixtape complete with 10 or more original songs and production to keeps fans occupied. Consisting of 10 tracks which include 7 remixes/freestyles and 3 original songs that were already released and made available to stream earlier this year, instead of making the statement of “The queen is back and she’s here to stay!” it feels more like it’s saying “Just reminding you guys that I’m still doing music”. With that being said, Lil’ Kim Season is a good mixtape that’s worth taking a listen. While longtime fans certainly won’t be disappointed, longtime fans that have been awaiting a mixtape or actual album from the queen… may be left wanting more than they have received.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Listen to Lil’ Kim Season Here