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Lady Sovereign


TRIBE Member
Profile: Lady Sovereign
Story by Nick Sylvester

"Got kicked out of school due to bunking/ Now look at me, the multi-talented munchkin," she says. I can only hope this bit-- and everything else remotely autobiographical Sov has said on the mic-- is true, because she gave me a shit interview, and now bossPL wants a profile.

So, facts: Google, arguably the least prima donna of search engines, tells me Lady Sovereign is an 18-year-old London emcee. She goes by Sov, and after getting booted from school (for bunking, naturally), she started spitting over 30- and 60-second instrumentals, sending them to friends with websites, who in turn would post them on the internet. Then Sov dropped some rhymes for an indie film, and a producer who saw the flick approached her about doing the rap thing. She was game. Recently she performed as part of London's bid for the 2012 Olympics. Sov's first record was Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy With It", and her biggest fear is the sea. Several people report she "does her own thing."

Truth is Sov's bio is probably the least interesting thing about her. Not to say 18-year-olds can't have compelling storylines-- or that personal revelations are what I'm looking for from an emcee. Sov's just really quick on the mic, nothing more or less. Nobody needs the court jester's a/s/l if the punchlines flow like whatnots-- Sov's effective personal vacuousness, at least for now, is not an issue for me. And especially as extra-musical story lines continually appeal to me more than what happens in the studio, Sov's straight-up jokes/cheekiness are particularly refreshing.


Without getting into the "is she grime, is she not grime, what if she's eski or two-step or just regular hip-hop" debate, I'll just say I like Sov's stuff more than anything else coming out of London. Her latest single "Random" is the best rap track I've heard all year-- maybe even better than the Game's "Hate It Or Love It". Bits like, "My words hurt u jus' like loosin' ya virginity (owww)" kill me if only because they're so cheap, and her "UK all the way" stance comes implicitly with the song's slew of American hip-hop flips, which include: "Well, I'm right thurr/ Na', I'll tell a lie 'cause I'm/ Right there, Right hurr/ Na' right here/ Now get off your churr! I mean chair". Chingy's whatever, but woof when Sov starts going after bigshots-- shit's not fantasyland 'cross the pond is all I'm saying.

For now Sov's most famous diss has been on Jentina, the 19-year-old prefab UK urban pop star whose first big single "Bad Ass Strippah" Sov flipped for "Sad Ass Strippah". "Money Money Money" becomes "Wanna Wanna Wannabe," and in most spots the verse is poison: "You was born in a caravan/ That don't make you ghetto/ I seen more ghetto in Posh Spice's stiletto," and one step further: "Your record label's dumb/ For signing a fitch/ Who can tracks her bum/ Who's still askin her mum, 'What's cum?'".

Sov's full-length Straight Up Cheeky is supposedly coming out early summer, but as for other LS sightings: "Ch-Ching (Cheque 1, 2 Remix)" is on the first major-label grime comp Run The Road, and a 20-minute "FelineMix" has been floating around the p2ps for about a year now. Grime on American radio? Sov has this to say: "Yeah the U.S. is ready for it. We're always ready for their music, so why can't it be the other way round [sic] for once? But on a real I think the Americans will love grime, some of it is similar to crunk...!"

And just so this interview wasn't a complete waste, I'm happy to report Sov said this, too: "I wanna blow up, who doesn't? But I wanna blow up in my way...I'm still the same person I've always been but just a bit more aware, so the way I do things is how it's always gonna be. Expect a lot of crazy stuff from me though!"

The "Random" 12" is out now on Casual. Run the Road is available now via Vice. Straight Up Cheeky will be released later this year in the UK on Island/Universal.


TRIBE Member
Jay-Z Meets with Lady Sovereign

August 29, 2005

The self-proclaimed "white midget" known as Lady Sovereign -- the UK's first white female rapper to bling up Britain -- is reportedly in talks with Jay-Z. According to NME.com, Sovereign met with Jay-Z in New York, and after hearing Lady freestyle a few verses, Jay vowed to get her in the studio ASAP. Sovereign is slated to work with Missy Elliot and the Neptunes, hip-hop's current production powerhouses. Lady Sovereign's first U.S. single is going to come out on Chocolate Industries and was remixed by Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys.


TRIBE Promoter
Hehe Sovy's funny. Hope she has a good show in Toronto. Sad I can't see her as I'll be out in Vancouver =(.

Ah, from forum gyal to full blown superstar, I've known her for a long time. It's nice to see her doing well!


TRIBE Member
like james i'm listening to this guy's 8-track first lp (ep?)

she's like the female dizzee, though more silly

terrawrist III

TRIBE Member
can't get enough of her...flow is nice but the beats keep me coming back...her voice/attitude seem tailor made for that production...she almost looks like a younger Melanie C:D