sun 22/05/2022

Album: Lady London - Lady Like: The Boss Tape | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Lady London - Lady Like: The Boss Tape

Album: Lady London - Lady Like: The Boss Tape

Multi-talented rising US MC gives a teasing taste of her skills

Nailing it

Virtual “mixtapes” are not proper albums. Their purpose is often to whet the appetite. Nowhere is this more so than in US hip hop and right now Lady London’s new teaser is much-vaunted.

Off the back of a couple of hot tunes that woke her peers to her talents (“Money Over” and “Never”), the new 33-minute, 13-track collection collates and polishes freestyles that have appeared on various platforms, as well as adding a couple of new ones. The content varies in quality, but the delivery and style never does.

Zaire Stewart – AKA Lady London – hits her mid-20s having achieved much. She has self-published two novels (as Zaire Miylaun) and garnered a Masters in Medicine from the University of Southern California. The New York-raised, LA-based Trinidadian-Jamaican-American rapper now swerves into the world of hip hop with similar determination.

Her calm voice is an unforced, crisply enunciated instrument, but she curls it round her word-flow with impressive relentlessness. The tunes are mostly short, ranging from the 1’44” tribute to the late producer Darrol “Shamello” Durant on “Long Live Shamello”, a number based on the Busta Rhymes’ Nineties hit “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”, to the 1”50” bass-bubbled sass of “Welcome to the Party”.

The lyrical fare is not exactly groundbreaking, as she bigs herself up non-stop, takes down the opposition, and puts the unwise of both sexes in their place. The best of this is the more thoughtful “Lemon Pepper Wet” (based on Drake and Rick Ross’s “Lemon Pepper Freestyle”). However, towards the end things slow down and she shows vulnerability on the final four cuts, not the fiercest but perhaps the most interesting, from slowie “You’re Still Mine”, to “Girl Like Me”, based around last year’s US hit of the same name by Jazmine Sullivan. The latter is the mixtape’s rawest cut, with Lady London so fucked up by love she’s actually vomiting.

Happily things close on the witty chat-up narrative of “Lisa’s Story”, featuring Harlem MC Dub Aura (and based on Foxy Brown’s “Get Me Home”), leaving the listener with the impression of a talent sketched but waiting to fly... just as intended.

Below: listen to "Lisa's Story" by Lady London

Towards the end things slow down and she shows vulnerability, not the fiercest cuts but perhaps the most interesting


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters