Most of us have heard all the hype and chatter about Lady Sovereign: how Jay-Z signed her to Def Jam, how she became number one on TRL, how she had an onstage tantrum at a show in L.A. It all makes for a great spectacle and has created tons of buzz for the pint-sized Brit, who has been hailed as the female Eminem. But the truth is that Public Warning is a fun album with some good production and clever lyrics that doesn’t live up to the excessive hype.
Still, the Eminem comparisons are not completely unfounded: Sovereign is a feisty white chick armed with some comical rhymes and biting verses. But her decidedly British demeanor sets her apart. On “My England” she raps, “It ain’t about tea and biscuits/ I’m one of those English misfits/ I don’t drink tea, I drink spirits/ and I talk a lot of slang in my lyrics.” There’s no shortage of lyrical inventiveness throughout the album, and it’s the perfect complement to the musical adventurousness found in the production.
Hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, crunk and grime are all stuffed into a blender on Public Warning. Highlights “Love Me or Hate Me,” “A Little Bit of Shhh” and “Fiddle With the Volume” have enough bottom end to satisfy hardcore hip-hop fans but lyrically will appeal to hipsters and those with more varied tastes. But the album rests mostly on the charms of Lady Sovereign, and after a while she becomes a bit grating (see the silly and annoying choruses on “Tango” and “Blah Blah”).
Even if Sov doesn’t live up to the hype, there is enough quality material on Public Warning to warrant more music from the self-proclaimed “biggest midget in the game.”
Label: http://www.defjam.com/Audio: http://www.myspace.com/ladysovereign