17 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It says a lot about Teena Marie’s stature in the African-American community that at age 48—decades removed from her last hit—she was signed to Cash Money Records, the New Orleans-based rap label that launched the careers of Lil Wayne and Juvenile. La Dona is a contemporary R&B record gilded by her timeless voice, which hadn’t aged a day since her 1979 debut. Among the standout tracks are “Still in Love,” “Hit Me Where I Live,” and “Black Rain,” all of which have a rich funk sound akin to D’Angelo or Jill Scott. Even when she delves into hip-hop territory on “Off the Chain” or “Revelations 3:8 Introduction,” she sounds right at home. (After all, this lady had hip-hop swagger before it was even a genre.) The album also features “I Got You,” an autobiographical duet with Rick James that turned out to be his last appearance on record. La Dona shows that Teena Marie made records not for the money but because she still had a lot she needed to say; she'd cultivated a family of fans always eager to listen.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It says a lot about Teena Marie’s stature in the African-American community that at age 48—decades removed from her last hit—she was signed to Cash Money Records, the New Orleans-based rap label that launched the careers of Lil Wayne and Juvenile. La Dona is a contemporary R&B record gilded by her timeless voice, which hadn’t aged a day since her 1979 debut. Among the standout tracks are “Still in Love,” “Hit Me Where I Live,” and “Black Rain,” all of which have a rich funk sound akin to D’Angelo or Jill Scott. Even when she delves into hip-hop territory on “Off the Chain” or “Revelations 3:8 Introduction,” she sounds right at home. (After all, this lady had hip-hop swagger before it was even a genre.) The album also features “I Got You,” an autobiographical duet with Rick James that turned out to be his last appearance on record. La Dona shows that Teena Marie made records not for the money but because she still had a lot she needed to say; she'd cultivated a family of fans always eager to listen.

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