Music » CD Reviews

Lil Mama

VYP: Voice of the Young People (Jive/Zomba)

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We're so hoping Lil Mama isn't destined to join the New Radicals in One Hit Wonderland. Like the forgotten alt-rock group behind 1998's killer "You Get What You Give," 17-year-old Niatia Kirkland's 2007 debut single, "Lip Gloss," was one hell of an introduction. Thankfully, on her first album, VYP: Voice of the Young People, Lil Mama sounds like she's ready to conquer anything, compact in hand.

The tune-free "Lip Gloss" — built on a steady beat of hip-hop handclaps and percussive stomps — comes off a bit odd within a full album's context, but it still serves as VYP's anchor. That's not to say there aren't other keepers here. "One Hit Wonder" (yes, she has one eye on her destiny) and "Shawty Get Loose" (featuring Chris Brown and T-Pain) are solid tunes. And once Lil Mama breaks out her sweet singing voice in the easy-rolling "Truly in Love," you can believe that this sassy and charming teen might actually have a career that lasts longer than one novelty song. Now what'chu know about that?

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