Blade Cuts Solo Debut

After appearing on songs by Eve, Q-Tip, Rah Digga, Canibus, Monifah, Keith Murray, Kobe Bryant, Funkmaster Flex, Shaquille O'Neal, and Tracie Spencer, singer Blade appears to be putting the finishing touches on her solo debut album.

Blade's upcoming record features collaborations with such producers as DJ Premier, DJ Clue, DJ Scratch, and Clark Kent, as well as guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Nate Dogg, Black Rob, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and Carl Thomas.

Blade, a Brooklyn, New York, native who was born Sonya Holder, recently told MTV Radio that she was inspired by such female rappers as MC Lyte and Salt-N-Pepa, and decided to adopt the "Blade" moniker in reference to her own sharp delivery style.

"I've had that name for a while," Blade said, "and then I discovered there was also a game out ['Mortal Kombat,' which has a character named Sonya Blade], so I was like,

'Wow.'"

"But 'Blade,' to me, just means lyrically sharp, 'cause a blade is a sharp instrument. So, lyrically, I'm sure, I'm on point. The name's kind of catchy." [RealAudio]

Blade's as-yet-untitled solo album is due out via Virgin Records in February 2001.