After much delay, this Kanye-approved female MC finally drops her debut LP
Will the next, real Female MC please stand up? Where is Missy Elliot these days? Somebody tell Lauryn Hill to stop pushing out babies in the name of Jah. Why is Lil Kim on Dancing With the Stars and not holed up in a studio? Somebody get Eve off of Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label so she can actually record an album again.
The trials and tribulations of female rappers. Unless they’re being styled by the hottest designer and recording sappy, generic R&B tunes, the female rapper seems destined to end up completely out of the spotlight by album number two or three. Sure, there have been a few exceptions but even the stardom lifespan of these elite few seems to suddenly wane by the big 3-0. So who is the next female MC that will step up with swagger and style to the microphone and attempt to break this curse? There is no doubt that the rap world desperately needs it.
It is with such expectations and hope I approach the highly anticipated, Kid Sister debut Ultraviolet. After dropping the single “Pro Nails” with about as big as a special guest as you can get in Kanye West, Kid Sister seemed destined for the charts as a swaggering female MC star. Then came the delay of the album release. And more and more delays. Then five tracks were dropped and new producers came on. Then the album got a new title. Now, after three years of waiting, we finally get her first LP which leads me to a question that I must emphasize with capital letters: “THREE YEARS FOR THIS???”
No, Kid Sister will not find herself the challis-carrying queen of female rappers anytime soon. Instead, the majority of Ultraviolet finds itself in company of the Sparks-drinking, scenester-approved new genre of “party-rap” that is loosely made up but not limited to the likes of such producers, as A-Trak and Xxxchange. Not surprisingly, these guys are found all over Ultraviolet and as a result, we receive what can be expected: sassy, sex-positive rap over beats sautéed in a blend of old school hip-hop and minimal electro. As usual, this makes for a good time—if you happen to find yourself under the influence in the middle of a sweat-drenched dance floor on a Saturday night. If you aren’t in this situation, then your affection for this genre of rap might be the line between whether you are hip or taking one-step closer to becoming like your parents.
That being said, Ultraviolet is lacking severely even for that Downtown Records brand of house-party hip-hop. Unlike similar contemporaries Amanda Blank, Spank Rock or even the not so far-off Santigold or Gnarles Barkley, Kid Sister’s debut is utterly lacking in catchy hooks, fun-filled call and responses, or even those unspeakable dirty lyrics that you would never repeat to mother. Instead, the majority of the album plays out like a bunch of throwaway b-side beats over dull, unoriginal rhymes despite Kid Sister’s tight flow. It’s hard to tell if this is a by-product of a limited genre or specific to Ultraviolet. Where an album like Spank Rock’s YoYoYoYoYo once sounded strangely fresh and ridiculously danceable, Kid Sister’s latest contribution to rap for hipsters-who-like-to-dance sounds unimaginative as if all those involved were following a written script on how to make the kids shake their butts and go crazy. Yeah, we get it—give us something new.
Then again, maybe I’m just not giving Kid Sister the chance she deserves. Or maybe I’m just not in the right setting or frame of mind. Music like this works best experienced when there is very little thought involved. And since, Kid Sister and company are going to use all the same tricks as if I am going to fall for them like a mindless consumer, then maybe I should stop writing this and respond like one. Here, let me cease examining this record and just f-e-e-l it. I’m going to go get high and spend some time at the club with it.
Two hours later…
OKAY! What the hell was I thinking?? Kid Sister’s debut is so barf! Oh “barf”? Yeah, that’s what Rihanna says when she really likes something. But yeah, Kid Sister is the most swaggeringly sassy female MC out there. Oh and check this out: right at that moment Kid Sister’s “Let me Bang (2009)” came on at this club, this girl was all getting close to me to the beat and we just started grinding all kinds on the floor. To top it off, this girl knew like all the lyrics! At one point she moved in real close and was totally rapping the words to my face. All I remember was a line or two but it so creative! The line went: “Call me, call me bootleg/I flip on Kool-Aid/I’m pushing that Hoopty but I’m stackin’ that Loucha.”
Genius. Kid Sister is so rad because she is really just like all of us. She wants to party, make money and have fun! Who doesn’t, right? Watch out rap world, there’s a new female MC in town and she’s so barf!
- "Pro Nails" Video
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.
// Sound Affects
"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.READ the article