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BEST RAP GROUP Minneapolis 2000 - Little Buddy

Readers' Choice: Atmosphere

Hip-hop bigness is part art, part the art of public relations. So let's measure "best" in terms of cold, hard hype. To wit, The Source and Vibe love Little Buddy, whose "What's the Haps" is perhaps the biggest-selling local rap single ever. An album is on the way. Blaze and Spin, meanwhile, love Slug of Atmosphere, whose Overcast! is perhaps the biggest-selling local rap album ever. Another is on the way. Abstract Pack released what was perhaps the first great Minnesota hip-hop album ever, Bousta Set It (For the Record), just two years ago. Another, again, is on the way. Raw Villa will soon be collaborating with their new fan in the Wu-Tang fam, Ghostface Killah, which perhaps represents the biggest local-national Marvel Team-Up ever. Who knows, maybe another is on the way. All four acts have major-label buzz, with distribution deals pending. But, as the Queen once said, ladies first. Hard-as-hell 19-year-old Ms. Chambers beats all of the above in sheer numbers: 18,000 copies of her brand-new debut CD, Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover, Vol. 1: Causin' Tragedies (on Oakland gangsta indie DogDay Records) are already being distributed nationwide, spanning Targets to mom-and-pop shops. Recorded in Minneapolis, Chambers's album sees her go toe-to-toe with such established regional sensations as Bigg Nastee and Youngbleed--"clubbin' like we famous," as MC KC puts it. Listening to her poignant anti-alcohol remembrance, "Gone Off That Juice," it's not hard to imagine her hitting a female-hungry market for been-there-done-that rap with the force of an intelligent (and more talented) Mia X. "Before the night ends/I'm bent backwards/So come and drink with me," she spits. "That pure liquor devil's piss zipper/Then hit the corner feelin' sicker/Flick a finger to the booze." Whatever hype she gets, she deserves.

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