The Week's Can't-Miss Performance

Princess Superstar rules the hip hop world with satiric rhymes and cartoonish sensuality

Princess Superstar is the queen bee of hip hop comedy, a rhyme-wielding satirist with a cartoonishly inflated ego and libido. While Superstar -- nee Concetta Kirshner -- may look like a foxier Donatella Versace, she's no spoiled royalty. Raised on a diet of DIY hip hop and indie rock, she eventually founded her own imprint, A Big Rich Major Label (later changed to the Corrupt Conglomerate), to put out her records. Beginning with 1996's cheekily titled Strictly Platinumand the following year's CEO, her records have attacked the intrinsic greed of the music industry -- most clearly on CEO's "Stuck in a 401 K-Hole," a collage of moronic phone messages from major label suits.

On her new release, Princess Superstar Is, Her Highness shows that the court jester still holds sway over her kingdom. With guest help from Kool Keith, Bahamadia, and folkie Beth Orton, she delivers wisecracks about being a horny baby-sitter, making a snuff film with Snufalufagus, and gagging Sisqó with his thong. Not content with being just a class clown, Superstar flips the hip hop gender games, pimping out her man JZone on "I Love You (Or At Least I Like You)" and marketing "Kool Keith's Ass" (on her previous album, Last of the Great 20th Century Composers).

Like German-based rapper Peaches, Superstar doesn't mind being a sex kitten as long as she's the one sporting the claws. She isn't subtle about telling the listener when, where, and how she wants it, admitting she's "kinkier than a pubic hair" and commanding an attack on the part of her anatomy that got "four stars in Zagat." While mainstream female role models prove to be little more than puppets, Princess Superstar is pulling her own strings, using her "cunning linguist" skills to ascend to the hip hop throne.

 
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