Chupacabra (album)

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This article is about the Imani Coppola album. For the Phideaux Xavier album, see Chupacabras (album). For the Soil EP, see El Chupacabra (EP).
Imani Coppola - Chupacabra.jpg
Studio album by Imani Coppola
Released October 28, 1997
Genre Pop, hip hop, alternative rock
Label Columbia
Producer Michael Mangini
Imani Coppola chronology
Come and Get Me...What?!
Singles from 25
  1. "Legend of a Cowgirl"
    Released: 1997
  2. "I'm a Tree"
    Released: 1998
  3. "It's All About Me, Me, and Me"
    Released: 1998

Chupacabra is the debut album by Imani Coppola, released on October 28, 1997. The title refers to the legendary chupacabra (literally "goat sucker"), a creature believed through some parts of the Americas to drink the blood of livestock.[1]


Among the album's tracks, the song "Legend of a Cowgirl" became a hit on MTV.[2] According to Coppola, the rap song, which includes a sample of Donovan's "Sunshine Superman",[3] started as an idea she had for a movie about women who "love 'em and leave 'em and ride off into the sunset."[1] Part of Coppola's marketing included a music video for "Legend of a Cowgirl" that received heavy rotation on MTV.[4] "I'm a Tree," the follow-up single,[5] sampled "Soul Kitchen" by The Doors,[6] and had a music video featuring Imani as a New York corporate working girl craving something outside of the 9 to 5 dead-end job. Many of the vibrant colored scenes show her on an elevator stopping at every floor and as the door opens it shows Imani's imagination come to life with a singing dog as well as a jam session of Imani with a band.[7] Though the song failed to chart in the US or the UK, it was featured in several movies, including the 1999 films "Superstar" and "Virtual Sexuality" as well as the 2001 film "Someone Like You..."[8] The video mostly found its following on MTV2. The single version was remixed for radio. A third and final single titled "It's All About Me, Me, Me" was released without a video, and failed to enter any national chart.

Ahead of the album's release, Columbia Records released a sampler in Europe, which featured five of Coppola's songs: "Legend of a Cowgirl," "Naked City (Love to See U Shine)", "I'm a Tree", "It's All About Me, Me, and Me", and "Piece".[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly C[11]
The New York Times Positive[12]

The album garnered polarized reviews from music critics, with some praising Coppola's lyrics and delivery, though others felt the album too unfocused. Entertainment Weekly's review, written by Matt Diehl, was negative, commenting that "Coppola's folk-rapping forges the missing link between Missy Elliott and Bob Dylan, which results in a forced eclec- ticism."[11] In contrast, Bradley Torreano's review for AllMusic was highly positive, stating that "The frantic rhythms mesh nicely with her rich voice on tracks like 'I'm a Tree' and 'Soon (I Like It)' while her personality shines through on the pleasantly egotistical 'It's All About Me, Me, and Me' and on the Donovan-sampled 'Legend of a Cowgirl.'" Ann Powers was similarly impressed by the album, writing in The New York Times that Coppola's album was buoyed by "fanciful raps and supple vocals as she establishes her identity as a modern-day flower child with common sense."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Imani Coppola, Mike Mangini except where noted

  1. "I'm a Tree" – 3:33
  2. "Legend of a Cowgirl" (Imani Coppola, Donovan Leitch, Mangini) – 3:47
  3. "Naked City (Love to See U Shine)" – 4:26
  4. "It's All About Me, Me, and Me" – 4:12
  5. "Piece" – 3:48
  6. "Karma and the Blizzard" – 4:37
  7. "One of These Days" – 3:20
  8. "Pigeon Penelope" – 3:19
  9. "Soon (I Like It)" – 4:10
  10. "Forget Myself" – 3:49
  11. "La Da Da" – 20:47 (contains the hidden track "My Day")


  • "Legend of a Cowgirl" (#36 US, #32 UK)
  • "I'm a Tree" (#202 Australia)
  • "It's All About Me, Me, Me" (never charted)


  • Amanda Busto – background vocals
  • Imani Coppola – acoustic guitar, fiddle, guitar, strings, arrangement, keyboards, vocals, background vocals, choir, chorus, Fender Rhodes, illustrations
  • Jeff Coppola – vocals
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Dave Crafa – guitar
  • DJ Nastee – DJ
  • David Drafa – guitar
  • Skoti Alain Elliott – bass, engineering, mixing
  • Sharon Kearney – guitar, ,ixing assistance, assistant
  • Kiku – art direction, design
  • Mike Mangini – acoustic guitar, guitar, percussion, strings, arrangement, electric guitar, keyboards, background vocals, production, mixing
  • Nastee – DJ
  • Carl Rushing – programming, vocals
  • Matthew Scannell – guitar
  • Nina Schultz – photography


Chart (1998) Peak
UK Albums Chart[14] 128


  1. ^ a b Lilith Fair. "Imani Coppola" 1998.
  2. ^ "All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop" By Vladimir Bogdanov. Published 2003 by Backbeat Books
  3. ^ "Loose canon" by Steve Smith. Time Out. November 8, 2007.]
  4. ^ Toronto Sun. "Singer/violinist Imani strikes gold without even trying" by Jane Stevenson. December 11, 1997.
  5. ^ "Imani Coppola". Discogs. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Imani Coppola's "I'm a Tree"". Who Sampled. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Imani Coppola - I'm a Tree (official video)". YouTube. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Imani Coppola at IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 7 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Imani Coppola – 5 Song Sampler". Discogs. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ Allmusic review
  11. ^ a b Diehl, Matt. "Chupacabra Lead Performer: Imani Coppola". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2016. 
  12. ^ Powers, Ann. "CRITIC'S CHOICE/Pop CD's; Take a Little Sass, Add Sunshine". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ New York Times. "Pop CD's; Take a Little Sass, Add Sunshine" by Ann Powers. November 4, 1997.
  14. ^ "Chart Log UK 1994–2010 > Chris C. – CZR". Retrieved 14 October 2016.