Anyone else catch the feature on Joss Stone in this month's XXL? I didn't bother to read it myself, but I did happen to notice that the picture of her was smokin'! They need to put that up in the Eye Candy section here so I can give it the full amount of attention it deserves.

You can get an idea of what I'm talking about at Joss' MySpace profile. I'm digging the whole vaguely tanned skin + purple hair thing - like a real life troll doll with a thick blaccent. She could probably stand to lose 10 pounds, but what are you gonna do? I know I'm not about to do shit!

Well, I did run out and cop Joss' new album, Introducing Joss Stone. I figured it might be alright, since I did sorta kinda like the cover of that White Stripes song she did a few years ago. Plus, this shit's being prominently featured in XXL; how bad can it be?

*rimshot*

As it turns out, it's kinda mediocre. I never actually heard her other two albums, but this one has a pronounced hip-hop element to it that sounds kinda forced and phony. Common rhymes on one track, and Lauryn Hill is featured on another one, which I thought was an interesting touch.

In fact, it's obvious to me Joss Stone is being put forth as a sort of 2K7 Lauryn Hill, along with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Nelly Furtado and so on and so forth.

Granted, hardly any of these bitches could be categorized as MCs, but in an age when Gnarls Barkley outsold pretty much every rap album last year, who gives a shit? Also, lest we forget, Lauryn Hill herself found fame and fortune as a singer more so than as a rapper.

And of course they all happen to be white (albeit in some cases vaguely hispanic).

Here's the thing: I wonder whether this is some conspiracy on behalf of the TIs to make Bol's day force the black woman out of hip-hop, or is it just a matter of all of the best-looking, most talented female hip-hop acts all being young, nubile white bitches.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to think. The former would seem to make sense business-wise, but then I'm not aware anecdotally of any black female hip-hop artists being denied on account of their race. There aren't very many prominent black female hip-hop artists today, but there weren't five years ago either.

What do you 'bags think?