Public Warning

With the release of her first full-length, Lady Sovereign proves she reigns the super-fast lyric delivery (“spitting”) that’s come to define grime, a British offshoot of rap combined with garage, electronica and a bit of punk. At 5-foot-1, Lady Sov is an atypical female rapper who is at times unapologetically irreverent and at others charmingly self-deprecating, often within the same song: “It’s officially the biggest midget in the game.” You can’t accuse the diminutive Lady Sov of fronting; she refuses to conform to female rapper stereotypes and admits she’s not the typical MC on “Love Me or Hate Me”: “If you love me, then thank you/ If you hate me, then fuck you … Love me or hate me, I can only do one thing and that’s be Lady Sovereign.” There are some repeats from her debut EP Vertically Challenged, but the LP is missing the epic gender sound-off between up-and-coming grimesters, aptly named “The Battle.” You’ll find yourself putting certain songs on repeat, notably “9 to 5” and the “Love Me or Hate Me” remix featuring Missy Elliot. Public Warning is a welcome and upbeat addition to any hip-hop collection.