Lady Sovereign
Public Warning
(Island/Def Jam)
Young, small and ferocious Lady Sovereign justifies the hype as much with her ease among the beats as with what rolls out of her mouth. Fashion trash-talk lights up “Tango,” where a fake tan makes you a pumpkin and black hair dye risks comparison to “the Vicar of Dibley, what, on crack.” The most infectious “Hoodie” makes good use of the rhythm in the word “Adidas.” On the title cut she sets a new rap record for syllables per second, in a mercifully brief salvo that nevertheless leaves one awestruck. Most of the disc’s profanity is concentrated in “Love Me or Hate Me,” among her many dismissals of the English stereotype.
—Doug Taylor

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