Ayo Jegede
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February 27, 2006
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Lady Sovereign
Vertically Challenged

An EP review of an Ep

01. Contrary to emphatic blogs you may have read, "Random" is not inveighing U.S. rappers for their style, it's inveighing British rappers for using U.S. rhyming mores and fads. It's a nice statement, but the sentiment is a little lost given that her arrival on the scene--or at least her appropriation here--acts as neither a bookend for Grime (that belongs to Dizzee Rascal and M.I.A. respectively) nor acts as a particularly significant entry into the music's library (Kano, Wiley, Sway, and the Run The Road comps have trumped her there). If there is a group of British rappers fashioning their style after the U.S. model, then such imitation would have simply blended in with the other refuse in the states or not made it here at all.

02. It's an EP. Three of the eight tracks are remixes and "Random" has itself made its rounds on P2P's. Only Ghislain Poirier's reinterpretation of "Fiddle With The Volume" is really noteworthy. "The Battle" is a nice idea--two camps of rappers doing battle in the track--but it's not only is the track bloated at seven minutes in length, it's also a little disingenuous. Maybe it's some subconscious rule of mine, but to battle on a disc is like setting up an appointment for a bar brawl. The track is nice, but it's simply not the same energy.

03. The disagreements iterated above are, in the end, purely minor. Lady Sovereign has chops, an active imagination, and a rather unique style. The problem with the EP isn't her, it's that it's an EP. Vertically Challenged has squandered some of her currency, but no doubt her full-length debut will be worth considering as an entry into the Bibliography of Grime and maybe even hip-hop in general.

Release date:
Label:
Rating: 6.6 / 10

[RMR]