The Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2016 (So Far)
Lady Sovereign Invades US
DEF JAM DEBUT PUBLIC WARNING; SINGLE HITS RADIO AUGUST 7
“At just nineteen, pint-sized Londoner Lady Sovereign has all the makings of the next hip-hop superstar…She sneaks nursery rhymes into haughty boast-raps and melds hyper, big-bottomed beats with dancehall, drum-and-bass and…her clever, barb-infested flow.” – Rolling Stone
“Britain’s finest MC is a five-foot-one white girl from the wrong side of town. Lady Sovereign hates being compared to Eminem, which is hard to avoid these days if you’re A) white, B) a rapper and C) really, really good.” – Blender
“Her size, color, sex and nationality may set Sov well apart from the herd, but her flow is just as arresting: an electrifying mixture of Jamaican dancehall ‘chat,’ British cultural reference points, and a playful wit all her own.” – Elle
“Besides, [Lady Sovereign]’s good: pithy, clever, and able to use her honking voice to humorous effect…with the hedged courage of a teenager determined to take on the world every time she walks out the door.” – The New Yorker
“Sovereign can cultivate a broader appeal because there aren’t any questions about her authenticity…The phenomenon of Lady Sovereign is not just about the rareness of an unmanufactured pop star…her story, up until now, is the story of a teenager in 2005. And like teenageness itself, there is something terrifying and thrilling about that.” – The Fader
“A leading player of the grime scene, Lady Sovereign is poised to conquer America with her debut LP, courtesy of Def Jam.” – XXL
“The diminutive rapper, who recently threw down a few verses in Jay-Z’s boardroom, has the outsize personality that propels artists out of subcultures…” - New York Magazine
LONDON, UK -- “Lady Sovereign, blah blah blah.” At this point, if you haven’t heard of Lady Sovereign, you’ve been living under an effing rock. The self-proclaimed ‘biggest midget in the game’ has gone from the bloggers’ champ to magazine-cover-vamp on both sides of the pond, having graced the covers of URB, The Fader, and i-D to name a few…and she hasn’t even put out an album.
The plus-sized hype surrounding this pint-sized 20-year-old hailing from Wembley, England is the subject of her new single, “Love Me Or Hate Me,” set to impact radio nationwide on August 7th. All punk-n-grime snot-nosed British attitude over an undeniable 808-fueled electro-pop-n-lock beat courtesy of NYC producer Dr. Luke, Lady Sov snarls on the chorus: “If you love me then, THANK YOU! If you hate me then, F#CK YOU!”
For Sov, it was a quick leap from bloggers’ pet to critic’s darling. The press has been voracious, heaping praise on Lady Sov to the tune of “The Queen of U.K. Grime,” to “Hip-Hop’s great white hope,” even likening her to a female Eminem. Sovereign may respond to such comparisons with a hearty “Eff Off!,” but the hype did earn her a now legendary, if somewhat maligned, audition, and deal, with Def Jam President and CEO, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. “Sovereign is a pure entertainer,” says Carter. Sovereign’s rapid-fire flow and in-your-face attitude may have caught the ear of some major players, but it certainly didn’t happen overnight.
From growing up in Chalkhill Estates – one of North London’s rougher housing developments - to dropping out of school as a teen and working odd jobs to support a growing passion for American rap and the U.K.’s burgeoning grime scene, to battling in underground London clubs and pushing her homemade recordings on the internet, Sovereign’s shown a tenacity for self-promotion as vicious as her mic skills. Taking the internet-age approach to punk rock’s DIY aesthetic, Sov promoted her homemade rhymes through her page on facepix.com, an early version of myspace. The internet helped connect Sov to others in the grime scene around the world, and it was through the blogspace that her tracks like “Random” and “Ch-Ching” first got noticed by tastemakers stateside. Today she remains true to those beginnings: she manages her myspace page - where she’s had some 750,000 music listens - herself, communicating directly with her 38,000-plus friends.
Having just come off a round of successful U.S performances including the Coachella and Intonation festivals and a national tour in support of The Streets, Sov will return this summer to headline NYC’s Central Park Summerstage on July 30, and will appear at the Lollapalooza and Bumbershoot festivals.
Lady Sovereign’s long-awaited worldwide debut album, Public Warning, is now set for an October release. Stay tuned for more foul-mouthed info on the ‘biggest midget in the game’…
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