By Jim Farber
Updated May 09, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lyte may have lost her major-label contract four years ago, but she more than backs up the key boast — that she’s ”still major” — on her first indie record. Her rhymes remain fierce and her flow forceful. While her new beats aren’t the most cutting-edge, the heft of her character reasserts her status as a hip-hop heavyweight.