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Fly Magazine/February 1998

Queen Pen
Elevating Rap's Feminine Image

Instant success is rare! But for recording artist Queen Pen, the rapper who kicked a rhyme on BLACKstreet's popular song 'No Diggity', Instant success did happen! When Queen Pen's performance so impressed Gerald Levert, he choose her to rap on 'True Dat', his flavorful single. She also performed with BLACKstreet on New Edition's 1996-97 'Home Again' tour. When she rapped with the group on the Soul Train Awards, Showtime At The Apollo, and the MTV's Spring Break TV special, Pen received rave reviews.

Recently, Pen a.k.a. Lynise Walters a Brooklyn native, could be found in the studio, recording her debut solo album. "I'm in the studio with Teddy Riley, and the tracks are the bomb," Pen says. "Working with Teddy is something I've looked forward to. He promised me that one day we'd work together. When he came through, I wasnt surprised, but I was pleased and excited."

Based on the excitements and platinum-plus sales generated by Teddy's and Queen Pen's 'No Diggity' collaboration, her forthcomming album has the potential to break new ground for her and for female rap artists. Instead of falling into the mundane playa formulas that are the rage these days, Pen wants to elevate rap's feminine image to a stronger, more positive, and relevant level. "Although in many respects I consider myself on the mack tip, there's much more to my game than that." Pen states. In fact, she has suffered lifethreatening situations in the ghetto wher she succumbed to some baser elements so that she and her younger son could survive

When Teddy finally asked me to be on BLACKstreet's album, I was having a pretty hard time, doing things I'm not proud of." Candidly admits Queen Pen, whose aspirations to a music career had begun at age 14 with her writing songs. "Despite my personal setbacks, I hadn't given up on my career. Without going into detail about what I was doing or going through back then, I will say that the lyrics on my album reflect some of my true street experiences without glorifying ans negative activities." She adds, "I hope my brothers and sisters can identify with and learn from my mistakes."

This diehard MC Lyte fan is an articulated, street-smart combination of femininity, serious sensuality, and thematic flexibility. The complete songs rise to the occasion through poetic imagery of ghetto lust and love and through radical readings of urban reality. Two classic examples include 'Mr. Melody' a righteous rap saluting street brothers and 'So Many Ways' a hardedged anthem that pays homage to Pen's Brooklyn hood. "The music Teddy plays and the samples he's using complement my lyrics and flow perfectly," she claims. "We're going to blow everyone's mind!"

It's obvious why Queen Pen has quickly established herself as hip-hop's hottest new leading lady!

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