Bahamadia | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Philadelphia's Bahamadia is one of the finest female rappers to surface in the male-dominated hip-hop world in years. On her debut album, Kollage (Chrysalis/EMI), she joins forces with a raft of top-notch producers--Da Beatminerz, DJ Premier, the Roots, and Guru--to construct musical scapes worthy of her dazzling wordplay, sharp delivery, impressive range, and substantial knowledge of hip-hop history. She can dip into self-possessing romance ("I Confess"), update old-school classics ("Da Jawn" revamps the Funky Four + One More classic "The Joint"), give props to Philadelphia precursors such as Schooly D ("UKNOWHOWEDU"), or stand up for single mothers ("Biggest Part of Me") without ever appearing a mere composite of influences. This savvy ability to integrate concerns specific to womanhood with brawny hip-hop traits has earned her respect from the music's hard-to-please cognoscenti. Tuesday, 10 PM, Clique, 2347 S. Michigan; 326-0274.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of Bahamadia, by Piotr Sikora.

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