** MC Lyte, "Seven & Seven," EastWest.

On her sixth album, female rap pioneer MC Lyte sounds as if she's merely keeping up with the times. Widely heralded for her fierce battle rhymes, the L.A.-based New York transplant dwells here on steamy scenarios popularized by Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown. Lyte's done this before, but she focuses more on lust than love this time around. Adequate, largely lighthearted production is supplied by Missy Elliott and others.


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).


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* Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times' World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: http://www.latimes.com/soundclips

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