Def Jam - 2001 - 72 minutes

Foxy Brown came to the attention of the hip-hop world freestyling at an open mic session at New York's Lyricist's Lounge. Even at the tender age of fourteen she was streetwise, pint-sized, and dirtier than the top shelf of a Swedish newsagent.

After two solo albums, a three-header LP with Queensbridge rappers Nas and AZ as The Firm, and numerous guest appearances, Ms Brown is now a high-profile player. She ends her recent music exile after a torrid two years of broken engagements, high-profile drug overdoses and general mayhem to release her third album 'Broken Silence'.

'Candy', the album's best track by far, sees Foxy team up with red-hot producers The Neptunes and new school R'n'B diva Kelis, with incredibly catchy results. 'Candy' is a bouncy, poppy ode to the joy of cunnilingus (how often do you get to write a sentence like that?). It ought be a huge summer jam.

Elsewhere, 'Broken Silence' ploughs a fruitful furrow between reggae and hip-hop, particularly on heavily dancehall influenced cuts like 'Oh Yeah' and 'Run Dem'. Foxy's vocals are still as taut, upfront and bad as a Tarantino moll but, sadly, hip-hop hubris is a contagious disease and weak production is again the villain on much of this album.

I have written before about the atrocious samples that are being dredged up by unscrupulous producers - Tupac's most recent album, Until The End Of Time, jacked a nasty hook from Mr Mister's ghastly 1980s ballad 'Broken Wings'. So what's this on the title track? Yep, Broken bloody Wings again. Foxy love, you deserve so much better.

Luke McManus

Tracklisting: Broken silence (intro) - Fallin' - Oh Yeah - BK Anthem - The Letter - 7:30 - Candy (Brown, Foxy & Kelis) - Tables will turn (Brown, Foxy & Baby Cham) - Hood scriptures - Run dem - 'Bout my paper (Brown, Foxy & Mystikal) - Run yo' sh*t (Brown, Foxy & CNN) - Na Na Be Like - Gangsta Boogie - I Don't Care - So Hot - Saddest Day - Broken Silence