The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.
The '90s was a prosperous time for hip hop with artists from all parts of the country -- and from both genders -- all making an impact on the cultural landscape. During the latter half of the decade, a new crop of female spitters with the ability to outwit their male counterparts descended upon the rap world and nothing would ever be the same. One rapstress who left her imprint like few other MCs have is Foxy Brown, who helped alter what we expect from a lady behind the mic.
Hailing from the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, Foxy first invaded the rap consciousness in 1995, and then, unleashed her solo debut, Ill Na Na, in the September of the following year. Reaching platinum certification, Ill Na Na launched a then-teenage Foxy into the stratosphere and made her a top contender for the Queen of Rap. But, with success comes expectations and pressure, two things Foxy couldn't avoid ahead of the release of her anticipated sophomore album, Chyna Doll.
However, when the smoke cleared, Foxy exceeded expectations on all levels. Chyna Doll debuted at No. 1 and made her the second female rapper in history (behind Lauryn Hill) to have an album hit the top of the chart in its first week. The project also had a number of critics noting Foxy's songwriting skills on the album. This was proof that she was able to thrive on her own creative vices if need be. Reaching platinum certification in a matter of months, Chyna Doll marks the pinnacle of Foxy's reign as rap's femme fatale.
On its 20th anniversary, REVOLT looks back at seven memorable songs from Chyna Doll that showcase the brilliance of the rap superstar.
1. "Hot Spot"
Fox Boogie took listeners to the V.I.P. with this fan favorite, which doubles as the lead-single from the album. Produced by Irv Gotti and Lil Rob, the track is powered by rollicking guitars, and jittery kicks and snares. It's the most renowned record on the album and a quintessential club banger. Peaking at No. 91 on the Hot 100, the song was a moderate hit on radio. But, it was a mainstay on music video outlets due to its glitzy accompanying visual, which was directed by both Foxy and Joseph Kahn. It's regarded by many Foxy fans as a signature record in the Park Slope native's discography.
2. "Dog & A Fox"
DMX joins Foxy in a battle of the sexes on this Swizz Beatz produced selection, which captures the two New York rap stars getting X-Rated. One of the more anticipated collaborations on the album, the song resulted in the infamous fallout between Foxy and then-boyfriend Kurupt because of rumors that she and DMX were having an affair. Kurupt would address the elephant in the room with his scathing diss song "Callin' Out Names," where he attacked both DMX and his former love.
3. "I Can't"
Producer Ty Fyffe revamps a sample of Wham!'s 1984 single "Everything She Wants" on this glossy offering, which pairs Foxy with R&B trio Total. Presenting herself as a man-eater, the Brooklyn Don Diva gives the ladies a detailed blueprint on how to get the most out of their dealings with the opposite sex. Released as the album's second single, the song failed to crack the Hot 100 or duplicate the success of its predecessor. But, it's aged gracefully.
4. Bonnie & Clyde Part II
First collaborating on JAY-Z's hit single "Ain't No Nigga," Foxy and her fellow Brooklyn native established themselves as one of the top tandems in rap, regardless of gender. Foxy and Hov extended their streak of entertaining duets with this upbeat affair from her sophomore solo set, which picks up where the pair left off on the Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life heater "Paper Chase." Produced by Ty Fyffe -- despite being billed as a sequel -- there was, in fact, no original to this record. It would be one of the last instances of Hov and Fox appearing on a track together.
5. "Ride (Down South)"
Foxy takes a trip down to the south on this high-powered deep cut, which features guest appearances from southern rap luminaries 8Ball & MJG and Juvenile. Produced by Mo-Suave-A and anchored by dialogue from Too $hort, this number is rife with bars and flows galore with all participants contributing strong individual showings. A regional banger and undeniable standout, this selection helps give the album added flavor. It highlights Foxy's versatility and willingness to tread outside of her comfort zone.
After bridging the gap between herself and the south with her appearance on Mia X's Unlady Like album, Foxy's favor was returned when No Limit's first lady appeared alongside her and Memphis rapper Gangsta Boo on this epic showdown. Produced by Irv Gotti and Lil Rob, this collaboration finds Foxy and company unleashing lyrics of fury, while drawing inspiration from the N.W.A. classic "Real Niggaz Don't Die." The outcome is an often forgotten show of solidarity between three of the hottest female artists in rap at the time.
Homage is paid to female MCs of yesteryear on this nod to the old-school, which captures Foxy in all of her raunchy splendor. Produced by Ty Fyffe and powered by a sample of The Mohawks' 1968 cut "The Champ," this selection boasts one of Foxy's more heady lyrical performances on the album. It packs more than enough attitude to spare.