Granted, this was never part of “pop’s” past, but this No Lay song which I originally caught on a 2005 Grime compilation called Run the Road, I thought she would be the breakout superstar of the UK hip hop scene. Of course, that hasn’t happened yet, though a new LP , No Comparisons could put her miles above far more modestly talented imports like Mike Skinner and Lady Sovereign. Her flow is frenetically knifed out, flipping angles so fast that it takes a constant listening sprint to keep apace. Of course, that level of aggression could prove problematic since Americans tend to prefer Fergie to Jean Grae and the image of slicing someone guts for garters is about as darkly evocative as Jean Grae’s line about taking Satan to a baptism in a flooded basement. There’s also Grime’s antsy grooves, more ricochet than head bobbing, though the stuttering success of imports like Justice could soften the market for something a bit more jagged in the hip hop market.
I also can’t help but love her total lack of guile. If you can’t come up with some outrageous Bowie-esque persona why not just be yourself, hanging out with your friends, braiding some hair, and lounging around in your neighborhood. Hip hop would do a far greater service to affirm people’s lives rather than indulge some of their most childish fantasies. All hail No Lay! Get on this bloggers so that she can be as heralded as already forgotten hip hop saviors like Uffie.
// Notes from the Road
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