Though she had made more than a dozen appearances on soundtracks as well as albums from her Death Row Records cohorts, the Lady of Rage didn't release an album until 1997. A native of Farmville, VA, she was discovered by Death Row's Dr. Dre and cut several vocals for The L.A. Posse's 1991 album They Come In All Colors. Her 1994 single for Death Row "Afro Puffs" (from the Above The Rim soundtrack) placed on both R&B and the pop charts, featuring Dre on production and backing vocals by Snoop Dogg.
She was also featured on several Death Row albums, including Snoop's Tha Doggfather. Her own album, Necessaery Roughness, hit the Top 40 upon release in June 1997.
Lady Of Rage - Necessary Roughness
Lady of Rage was Death Row's attempt to reach the female market, but there isn't that much difference between her 1997 debut, Necessary Roughness, and the bulk of latter-day Death Row releases. Like many other later-period Death Row records, the form is more important than the content. Necessary Roughness is filled with minimally produced, bass-heavy productions that emphasize a fat, rolling groove. While there isn't anything particularly special about the rhythms, they are well-produced and occasionally catchy, and they often show more care than the lyrics, which tend be simple gangsta cliches. For hardcore gangsta fans, there's enough going on in the beats to make Necessary Roughness worth a listen or two, but for casual fans of the genre, it may seem a little too generic.