Review Summary: Did Mike Skinner get a sex change and develop an attitude? No he did not (as far as we know) seeing that this is Lady Sovereign's debut disc, hard beats and fast vocal licks make this, as well as it being enjoyable and its collection of wealthy club hits3 of 3 thought this review was well written"If you love me then thank you!/If you hate me then fuck you!"
And so after months and months of waiting, the 20 year old British MC Lady Sovereign (real name Louise Harman) releases her Cd after gaining somewhat of a following in both her native England and in the United States. She is defined as a "grime" rapper which means spittin' the shit
quick from the lips (werd). This fast paced lyrical approach is followed up and under with just as quick beats, mostly featuring synthetic drums and the occasional real piano or keyboard lick. Though online sites and music blogs have been reviewing her single songs that have dropped across the Internet for awhile now, her music was only recently made physically able to be purchased, with this being released on Halloween.
Just looking at her, one might not know what to expect,. Carrying a relatively small frame (highlighted by calling herself a "midget") but wearing clothes featuring numerous X's in front of the L, it would seem she doesn't know how big she is (in terms of international fame, and physical size). Reality check for this? How about being flown over to New York by Jay-Z for a private audition. Thanks to this private show, she now boasts of being a member of the Island/Def Jam record label, being the only non-American female MC to hold this honor. With many legitimate credits and expectations being high, how would Harman react, and could she deliver?
The lead song and previous single kicks off this album, 9 to 5
. It features a Streets
like backdrop of tuned up keyboard jabs and quick transition verses (which would make sense since Lady Sovereign appeared on "Fit But You Know It
"). Indeed many of her fellow rapper's traits are seen here, but they appear in a form of artist similarity, and not in the form of being a cheap knockoff. The song itself revolves around the life of a catty outgoing female with a regular job ("9 to 5") who dreams about being "in FHM posing in a bikini/Next to a Lamborghini"
. Of course these dreams are not of the good kind, they are actually nightmares which she is eventually woken from the resume her ho hum life.
Alright so far so good, 9 to 5
is a good rap tune and a cool way to begin this effort, now would the next cut, "Gathering
" continue the trend of radio friendly hip hop served on a light dish? Indeed it would not, as "Gathering
" comes with a steering wheel to hold on to because its deeply felt bass beats rumble and stumble, and this is just the beginning! The tempo of her voice is slowed down as with the delivery, but many things could be considered down when compared to the next track, this isn't a slow song it just isn't as quick, relying more on the beats to get it through and provide a reason to listen. The tune recounts a party gettin' out of control and ending up on her lawn. Average lyrical content and overall sound that comes out sounding sloppy (and irritating) dooms this song, as we see the dark side of Lady Sovereign, when her beats don't hit the result is not pretty, nor is it fun to listen to.
Spilling out her take on songs that have recently been popular with a sampled backdrop and trying to mount her own catchphrase is the story behind Random
, which was most likely called that due to the random spots her lyrics come from and the random artists she takes them from. Take the beginning for example, beginning with the line of "Everybody in the club gettin' tipsy/oh fuck dat, just whine like a gypsy
" which take from the J-Kwon song about the same subject ( minus the part about the gypsy). Eventually what starts to sound like a lack of originality gets made up for with her playful poking lyrics which continue not to borrow from the work of others, but to make fun of it. "Well, I'm right thur, /Na' tell a lie cus I'm Right there, /Right hurr Na' right here, Now get off your churr, I mean Chair
" shows her using words from the Chingy song "Right Thurr
" but using them in a way which makes it sound fresh and not cliche is one quality that Lady Sovereign possesses and chooses to show off.
The best song on the album is reserved for the middle of it, when we are finished with half of the stack we are reminded about the positives and the talent of Lady Sovereign as all of the good things on this release are embodied in this single, Love Me or Hate Me
. Not only does this highlight her at a high point, the chorus becomes a rallying cry for the young MC, as spotlighted in the quote above this review. Indeed this is her putting it all on the line in one 3:31 song, and this bet pays out. Introducing herself in slow fashion as the "biggest midget in the game" and holding true to that statement (seeing as Flava Flav isn't British) throughout; the chorus really says it all as "Love me or hate me I'm still an obsession/Love me or hate me that is the question/If you love me then thank you!/If you hate me then fuck you!"
speaks volumes and remains a memorable line, probably the most so for this piece. Not only are the lyrics at their height ("Come on then, go on report me/I'm English try and deport me!"
) but so are the beats. Existing as a melodic keyboard piece being looped and played at moderate level but consistent tempo, joined by bass beats that are not high tempo, everything swirls around and comes out as a great self promotional single (that you might catch yourself singing along to).
Decent lyrics, fast delivery, and many catchy numbers highlight this debut and only hint at the potential she has at such a young age. Sure in the United States she isn't legally allowed to drink, but that doesn't mean she can't release a collection of her earlier singles brushed over with recently recorded tunes. Her voice and accent can get tiring at times, but when its hitting, its good stuff.