1996: In a year filled with blockbuster albums, Foxy Brown delivered a monster release with her debut album, Ill Na Na.
Signing to Def Jam at age 17 after a heated bidding war, Foxy would put the finishing touches on the album, with most of the production handled by the Trackmasters duo of Poke and Tone, and heavyweight guest shots from Blackstreet, Method Man and Jay Z, hit shelves days after the Brooklyn native celebrated her 18th birthday.
Ill Na Na was highly anticipated, evidenced by its debut at the No. 7 slot on the Billboard 200 with 109,000 copies sold in its first week. Going on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Three singles were released from the album. 'Get Me Home' was released on September 15, 1996. It peaked at number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single, 'I'll Be', released on March 4, 1997, also noted a commercial success. It peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Brown's highest charting single.
Released exactly one week after Lil' Kim's debut album Hard Core, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, heavily comparing the two albums. Two albums — within one week of the other's release — in November of 1996 forever changed the rap game as we know it.
Foxy took her stage name from Pam Grier’s character in the 1974 blaxploitation film of the same name. With her husky flow and dancehall swagger, Foxy is one the most interesting and influential female rappers of all time to Minaj and an entire generation of hip-hop fans.
Listen to Ill Na Na below.