Queen Pen On Surviving The Street Life

Queen Pen, a prot&eamp;g&eamp; of New Jack Swing pioneer Teddy Riley, is making some noise of her own with her debut album, "My Melody," and single "Party Ain't A Party" [800k QuickTime].

But life hasn't been all that easy for Pen, who's been a single mother since she was 16. Now, nine years later, the rapper looks back in wonder at how she managed to overcome the dangers of street life and the friends she lost along the way.

"I just really can't believe it yet," Pen told MTV News. "I went from struggling in the streets as a single mother, from struggling and cashing in food stamps, and hustling to put food on the table, to this [900k QuickTime]. I look back and say, man so many of my friends that was with me down that line are not here no more. It's like, I'm like one of the last ones standing."

On "My Melody," Pen doesn't stand alone, and artists such as Me'Shell

NdegéOcello, the Lost Boys and Phil Collins all make guest appearances on the record, while the unlikely duo of boxer Mike Tyson and comedian Steve Harvey have cameos in the video for "Party."

Queen Pen just finished up a tour with a concert last weekend at North Carolina State University.