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Lyrics to 4, 5, 6 by Sol

It could be 4, 5, or 6
You bet not be nowhere
Laid up with no -----
You better bring that home to momma
Don't be playing that ----
If you get horny when you out
No need for eyeing them hoes
Why eat a burger when you got steak and potatoes at home
A short drive is all it takes
I'm just a phone call away
Ain't no excuses ----------
For you running astray
I give it to you when you want it
Ain't no others like mine
Yo ex- ----- can't ---- with this
So don't be wasting yo time
The Indian Black mix
Boy like I told you before
And we can Iy-yi-yi- the throw rug on my living room floor
And ain't near a hoe can bring it like you know I'ma bring it
And ain't near a hoe can freak it like you know I'ma freak it
And ain't near a hoe gone shake it like you know I'ma shake it
And ain't near a hoe gone take it like you know I'ma take it
So don't make me come looking for you
Pull you out of some -----
Then turn around and bust you in yo ---- for 4 5 or 6

I don't care if it's 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 in the morning
Boy you better call me when you think you're getting horny
I don't give a damn 'bout who you're with
Just as long as you ain't giving up my ----
I don't care if it's 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 in the morning
Boy you better call me when you think you're getting horny
I don't give a damn 'bout who you're with
Just as long as you ain't giving up my ----

JT Money:
You know me as yo player
Yo pipe layer
Yo all night stayer
Off in yo sauce when you need yo rocks off
Knock yo socks off
Baby I'm the chain in this -----
Have you wide --- open while I'm slangin' this ----
Got you loving this ----
Sucking and ------- this ----
Wanna go and make some bucks for this ----
Fighting all in the club for this ----
I'm that player that you chose
Long as you satisfied baby ---- them other hoes
Just keep my ----- horny
So you can put it on me
Girl you know I'm the only
One who satisfy yo monkey
Ain't nobody gone do you like I do
When I put this love stick inside you
Money man guaranteed to satisfy you
Have you open all night like drive-through
So bring yo thang on so i can get my bang on
I hope you like a good ---- because my game strong
And I ain't lying
Girl you wouldn't if you could quit
I signed my name on that ----- Mr. Good ----
That's my ----

Now ----- what you gone do
Let me put this good loving on you
We can do everything that you want to
Cause I like it real freaky ----- don't you?
That's right don't make no promises
Can't find none better than momma's is
Stay wet stay tight keep you comin' back
Go all night, feeling right, you be lovin' that
Hell yeah like when I'm makin a move
------- you boy like [ I ] got somethin to prove
Running loose, before you leave, gotta pay your dues
Make you wanna say boy, it's all about who?
No talking now come and get the good ----
Make you never wanna ---- another hood -----
Hate breaking off players come to lay me
---------- don't ever try to play me

(Chorus 3x)


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Parlaying a guest spot on "Who Dat" into a dazzling solo debut album, Skin Deep, Solé proves to be as skilled as she is sensuous.

   Bring it up... okay, now... five, six, seven, eight... Give it to me!" It's mid-afternoon at Atlanta's Crossover and Backline studio, and dance instructor Christopher Flournoy is taking rapper Solé through a video dance sequence. "4,5,6," an upfront declaration of female sexual prowess from her upcoming album, Skin Deep, booms from a pair of monstrous speakers. Solé's boasting comes through loud and clear on record, and Flournoy's job is to make sure it translates onto the screen. Flournoy bears down: "Bring it from here...Bring it up...." Solé shimmies and twists through the umpteenth run-through, her black stretch top and black pants holding on for dear life. She hits the last step dead on and smiles. Then she falls back, feigning exhaustion, flinging her ex-hurdler legs over her head, the same legs that Flournoy jokes make her look like a Japanese cartoon. In an instant, she's gone from videogenic hottie to goofy co-ed, giggling and wiping her long hair out of her eyes.

   This is the Solé whom you probably won't ever see, unless you live in Kansas City, Mo., her hometown, or Atlanta, her present stomping ground. The Solé whom the rest of the world knows is the roughneck who popped a speedbag rhyme on JT Money's "Who Dat." The one who'll smoking debut album features guest spots from JT, Goodie MOb's Big Gipp, Montell Jordan, Xscape's Kandi Burruss and Kansas City homie Tech 9. The one that'll have guys open with her Biggie-influenced storytelling skills on "Da Story" and independent women cheering on "Accurate Math." The one who boasts of having shit so good that "niggas wanna eat me on my period."

   Nothing's new about that kind of rap persona - at least not in the post Kim/Foxy/Gangsta Boo universe. What is different about 25-year-old Tonya Johnston is that she doesn't try to hide that Solé isn't her, or at least not all of her. Solé is an amalgam of different facets of Tonya's personality - hardcore yet still curiously womanist - which makes the persona as multi-hued as the person behind it.

   "I've always been the type of person who was into a lot of different things at the same time," she explains over a Flintstones-sized chicken platter at a downtown Atlanta eatery. "I was like, 'I can do that. I can do that!' In high school, it was everything - poetry, plays, drawing. You name it. I did it. I'm the type of person who likes to entertain people." But planning photo shoots and working on video steps is only half of her typical day. The rest of the time, she is just another Hotlanta sista juggling her job, kids, family, man and hobbies while still managing to look fly and keep a smile on.
Sole with her 2 children
   Maybe it's too early in her career to expect her to start acting like a star instead of a down-to-earth cousin. Or maybe she's just good at keeping the whirl and bustle of a nascent rap career in perspective, at keeping the line between stage and home clearly drawn. She'll let you know that she has two kids who keep her on her toes, that she has Native American in her line, that she's currently in love. And that she got accepted to Howard University as a teenager but went to a local school instead, that she loves to goof on folks, and that her pop owns Electronic Emporium, a store in Kansas City.

   On the other hand, there are things she doesn't elaborate on. She refers to her ex-lover as "the guy I was with" or "the father of my kids." She admits to getting into things she had no business doing in the past, but assures you it wasn't anything as heavy as drugs. While she offers tough rhymes on her album, she would like to get into other issues and personal experiences on her next one. She's already working out the project in her head. She hasn't decided exactly what shape it will take; either that or she just wants to keep it to herself for now.

   "My motto is not to tell too much of your business" Solé says, "or at least not all of your business, because people might take it and do what they want with it. That's what my father says. It's easy for people to look at me and judge me as being whatever I seem to be. But people have different sides to their personalities. That's why I named the album Skin Deep. What you see on the outside is not necessarily what you'll get on the inside." Solé is surprised that people are excited about her LP, even though she admits that collaborating with producer Christopher "Tricky" Stewart has given her a leg up. First, because she got a chance to shine on "Who Dat," one of the year's blazingest singles. Most of all, however, she likes Tricky's melodic, largely sample-free style, which she first heard on singer Sam Salter's debut album, It's on Tonight (LaFace Records). Even though Tricky hadn't done any hip hop production, Solé liked what she heard from him, both in the studio and on "Who Dat" (he was the one who came up with the song's "Ai Ya Ya" hook). His bass heavy, hooky productions - a shiny alloy of northern, southern and midwesterntype grooves - gave her a lot of material to craft rhymes around for her solo project. "I was real hesitant at first because I thought it was too much of a risk, with him doing mostly R&B; before. But on the other hand, I didn't want to work with the same old kind of hip hop producer and get the same old thing. I wanted to do something new. And he definitely came with it."

   Tricky was only returning the favor. He was producing "Who Dat" when a friend of his hooked him up with Solé. It was 1998, and she had just arrived in Atlanta when Tricky rang her and asked her to bust a verse on the track. "I had heard about this girl who had the rhymes and the look," he says. "She showed up at the studio, and the first thing she did was that "Who Dat" verse. As soon as I heard that, I thought, 'Hmm. We're onto something here.'"

   Solé is quick to downplay the "overnight success" angle. She had been making noise on the Kansas City scene for nearly 10 years, starting with her childhood friend Shurhea Mitchell in a duo called Divine. Managed by Solé's father, they lit up the talent show scene and eventually landed a trip to the BRE radio convention in New Orleans. After getting and turning down some label feelers, Divine dissolved. Mitchell went to Clark University in Atlanta, leaving Solé to find her bearings not just as a performer, but as an individual. "When I look back on it, I'm glad it didn't happen for us when it did," she says. "At that time, I was just over 17. We had nothing to talk about. We hadn't lived yet." Solé settles into the backseat of a hired Town Car as it pulls out from in front of Red Zone Entertainment Inc.'s studio in Atlanta, home base for Tricky and cohort She'kespere ("No Scrubs"). She's in post-rehearsal mode, her sweat-curled hair tucked under a blue Versace baseball cap. The wisecracking woman who came out during the video session has toned down to a more personal volume. It's the shy Solé now, the one who admits that she is more comfortable playing a character onstage than talking about herself.

   But Solé's stage persona, like all fictional characters, is built around a grain of reality. Mention the subject of her past long-term relationship, which coincided with her time with Divine and lasted several years after, and the badass comes out. "That relationship was abusive in every way you can think of, mentally, physically, emotionally, just everything," she says, her voice rising slightly. "He tried to make me completely dependent on him. He was always trying to convince me that I wasn't shit, that I wasn't going to be anything - 'You got all these bullshit rap dreams; you ain't this and you ain't that' - just constant. And eventually it got to the point where I was like, 'No, you ain't about to do me like this. I'm not the one who ain't shit. You ain't shit. Fuck this. Fuck you.'"

   That relationship - with a childhood friend she met through one of her brothers - was a life-altering experience. Her two girls, 7-year-old Dejan and 4-year-old Cypress, were born out of it. It helped Solé realize that there are some things you can't control and that there are some people who can't or won't change. The experience took its toll on her. She became a near recluse, skipping meals, staying with different people and dropping weight. "If you can think of a definition for clinical depression, that was me, not caring whether I lived or died. At that point, the only thing that kept me going was my daughters."

   Some of this comes out in "4,5,6," where she warns her man against running around, reminding him that a quick snack can't compare to the "steak and potatoes at home." But most of it, she says, is expressed in "For the Love," a farewell to a toxic relationship with someone you care about, but don't want any part of.

   "I had to learn the hard way," she says. "My staying and fighting and fighting, trying to make him stop doing all the shit he was doing, didn't work. We were both young and he wasn't ready to be in a relationship. Instead of admitting that, he wanted to keep me there and still do all the shit he was doing." Her tone softens as the car slows into park. The night is young, her mom's in town, and Solé's looking forward to a relaxed outing at Chris Tucker's Comedy Club. Still, a little bit of the fighter in her comes through, the one whom she feels didn't get full vent on Skin Deep.

   "There's a lot more I want to explore on my next album," she says. "People who have heard Skin Deep tell me, 'Yo, you came real hard for the sisters.' But I want to let women know that they don't need to let a bad situation keep them down and that they can go through a lot and still come out on top." Although she has put much of herself into her debut release, there's still more to be told, more experiences to reflect on, more sides to show. By digging deep inside herself again and again, Solé is on her way to becoming a great performer and an even better woman.


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Photos: DreamWorks Records
Lyrics: Sorell Body