St. Louis emcee Penelope Jones is putting the finishing touches on her debut album. As yet untitled, the album is slated for release on November 7th on Universal Motown Records. Penelope enlisted two high-profile collaborators for the lead singles of the album; Lil Wayne on "Miss Me With That Foolishness" and Mya on the R&B tinged "No Matter What They Say".
Although only 24 years old, Penelope’s debut has been in the works for a long time. Penelope’s love for hip-hop began as an adolescent as she performed gospel raps in her church. By her early teens she found herself recording her first demo with The Crew From The Lou, and later opening for the likes of 2Pac and Ice Cube, whenever they came through her town.
In 2000, as Nelly was reaching superstardom, Penelope recorded "Jang-A-Lang" with the St. Lunatics and began recording for her own solo debut. Penelope’s rising star was put on indefinite hold as she was convicted of conspiracy to commit drug trafficking for relaying a message of an incarcerated family member. She began a 48-month prison sentence and found herself rethinking her plans for the music business.
By the time she was released, she had earned a degree in business and become a certified personal trainer. She began working at Gold’s Gym, but her love for hip-hop persisted, and she soon re-entered the recording studio. The result was a cover version (and ode to her city) of the Kingsmen’s "Louie, Louie".
If anyone had doubted that Penelope’s star-quality would not endure her stint behind bars, their doubts were immediately dashed as the popular song ignited a bidding war for the lyrist’s service.
Universal Records won the war for Penelope and sent her into the studio. The result? St Louis’ best-kept (and most in-shape) secret will be revealed to hip-hop fans nationwide on November 7th.