Lady Sovereign 

Vertically Challenged

This eight-song EP provides the first real indication that UK grime may be more than just a passing fad. South London MC Lady Sovereign, already a battle-scarred veteran at eighteen, has all the confidence of a sassy 28-year-old, plus the charm and cheekiness of an eight-year-old. Against a backdrop of electro synths, bassy 808 drums, and ominous sound effects -- a style that holds its own against ATL crunk or Puerto Rican reggaetón for sheer danceability -- Lady Sov fuckin' represents, inventing her own phrases (Everybody get random) and siring her own club anthems ("Cha Ching"), while flowing so hard as to make her race (Caucasian) and height (a mighty five foot one) completely irrelevant. Lines like Feminem, nah, it's Miss Sovereign prove there's life after Dizzee Rascal and MIA; she completely eviscerates her masculine counterparts on the posse cut "The Battle," effortlessly adapts Southern US and Jamaican patois into cockney colloquialisms on "Random," and heightens anticipation for her expected 2006 full-length beyond a reasonable measure of sanity. Cha ching!

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