We gave it an A-
Yo-Yo does not mince words. While most women rappers avoid directly criticizing their male counterparts’ liberal use of the ”B word,” Yo-Yo proves that it’s most effective to confront them head-on — and her own solo debut is full of such fire. She first sprung onto the scene last year in a duet with gangsta rapper Ice Cube, ”It’s a Man’s World.” She hilariously rendered her articulate but foul-mouthed partner speechless by postulating that ”women are superior over men” and questioning the size of his, uh, private parts. Yo-Yo raps quickly — at times fighting to catch her breath — but she never tires when taking on sell-out rap rivals, men who ”dog” women, or careless, unsafe sex. Make Way for the Motherlode is propelled by thick servings of bass and percussion, most notably on its first single, ”Stompin’ to tha ’90s.” This song thunders enthusiastically as Yo-Yo brags that she ”was born/To wear a mike until it’s worn” and plugs the I.B.W.C. (Intelligent Black Women’s Coalition), a group she founded to fight sexism and register voters. Strong and angry, Yo-Yo refuses to be taken lightly. If this album is any indication, she won’t be.