About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. Book coming soon!
See my complete profile
Hot Features

The Future of Live Music – Why I Feel There's Reason to be Excited

Indie Artist Roundtable – Coronavirus Cancellations, Live Streams, & A World In Isolation

From Brooklyn to Anchorage – How Half of an NYC Indie Band Ended Up in Alaska

Tales From The Crates
The Story of MC Skat Kat

The Battle For The Hip-Pop Supremacy
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fergie and Lady Sovereign. They’re not quite Hip-Hop and they’re not quite pure pop, they’re something in-between, essentially they’re Hip-Pop, using elements from both genres together to create something that incorporates both rapping and catchy choruses. Both Fergie and Lady Sovereign are releasing albums and singles at around the same time. Fergie jumped out early with “London Bridge,” but Lady Sovereign isn’t far behind with “Love Me Or Hate Me.” Today I’m going to take a look at what these two have to offer versus each other and see how Fergie and Lady Sov, as well as their albums, The Dutchess and Public Warning, stack up against each other.

I’ll start with Fergie’s The Dutchess, which gave us one of the most annoyingly catchy songs of the summer in “London Bridge.” This is the second year in a row Fergie has hit us with something that falls into the stupid but fun category. I’m sure nobody has forgotten last year’s “My Humps.” Unfortunately “London Bridge” is marred on the album by unnecessary cursing. Once one gets over that they’ll hear an album that can be described as, at best, a mixed bag. There are a handful of really bad songs that have incredibly danceable beats that will no doubt turn into huge hits, and if the whole album was like this it would be an easy review, but the fact of the matter is there are some real high points on The Dutchess, most of the time, however, these moments occur when Fergie is singing rather than rapping. This should be a clear indicator to the few people left who feel anyone can rap that no, it’s not that easy.

Fergie and fun seem to be linked fairly strongly at this point and The Dutchess hits listeners with a few fun songs that interpolate classics, “Clumsy” and “Here I Come.” Sadly she raps on the latter. The album’s top tracks are “Velvet,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Losing My Ground,” all of which showcase Fergie’s voice, which is pretty damned good if anyone’s taken the time to notice. We will ignore the fact that she has a song about her shoes on this album (“Mary Jane Shoes”) Yes, that’s right, only 13 tracks and one of them is dedicated to footwear.

Where Fergie fails, i.e. rapping, Lady Sovereign succeeds. The diminutive female MC with the strong British accent has no problems flowing on the mic, which she proves on songs like “Love Me Or Hate Me,” “Gatheration,” “9 To 5” and “Public Warning.” American fans may not be able to handle her style as at times her accent can be pretty thick, but once over that one can hear the album more for what it is. Unfortunately her accent isn’t the only auditory issue with Lady Sov as her voice can also, at times, sound like that of a child, especially during hooks. There are a few songs where you just want to say “aww, isn’t that cute, the kid’s rapping.” It’s not fair to Lady Sov, she can’t control that, but it’s just the way it is. Thankfully she seems to have found ways to make up for this.

The biggest way in which Lady Sov overcomes her kid-ish vocals is by creating songs that are more pop oriented with funky beats, catchy hooks, and easily relatable topic matter. While Fergie’s low point was singing about her shoes, something someone clearly involved with their own looks would love, Lady Sov’s high point is the exact opposite, “Tango,” a song about chicks who tan too much and look orange. Forget about the way she may end up being marketed by Def Jam, Lady Sovereign, though she may love Hip-Hop, has all the makings of being a pop superstar. Her accent may relegate her to being something of a passing fad in the U.S., but I have no doubt that she’ll continue to have a successful career in countries that are more open to music that isn’t necessarily native to their cities and towns.

So it looks like we have two distinctly different women vying for the title of Hip-Pop’s queen. Fergie has the lead in this race, and although she may get a run for her money if Def Jam releases the right singles from Public Warning it’s doubtful she’ll relinquish the title to Lady Sovereign. Now if only we could combine Lady Sov’s MC skills with Fergie’s vocal talents, then we’d have quite the superstar.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:59 AM  
Post a Comment
<< Home

Subscribe to the
Weekly Email

Latest Interviews

Bourbon House

Kat Meoz

The Grahams

Brittany Brave

Magazine Articles

Rocko The Intern

July 2010 - January 2013
    Older Posts                 Newer Posts