Get past Britspeak’s bum-steered air of sophistication and see London’s Lady Sovereign for the mallpunk she is. The 19-year-old MC spits, cusses, crotch-grabs, breaks stuff, worships vomit, and loves to piss. Knowing well her age and gender and cutesy sidepull ‘do grant her jester-like impunity, Sov slings shots at artists bigger (and bigger) than she is: Her New York debut set digged on Gwen Stefani, Chingy, and Jentina, a one-hit U.K. prefab only known stateside because of Sov’s vicious dis on her, “Sad Ass Strippah”: “You was born in a caravan/That don’t make you ghetto/I seen more ghetto in Posh Spice’s stiletto.” Sov fancies herself a Feminem, some nails-hard trailer-park prima donna impervious to her own backdraft, shutting down the heckler crowd with sex talk far creepier than what they’ve heaved at her, throwing tantrums when her beats skip, contorting her face for laughs when she senses the crowd’s bored, announcing, “I have to puke,” then leaving the stage with her hand on her mouth. Finis.
We—the old, the sheepish, the conditioned, and uncool—we love it all, obviously. Here’s a performer teasing us with her youth, making us wish we actually had been the high school rebels we told our college friends we were. Even when doing wrong, Sov can do no wrong. She acknowledges malfunctioning moments seconds before they lack luster, and that only makes us want more of them. It was a good show, I think.
But seriously, folks, seriously: How long till somebody knocks this clown on her ass? What’s the cutoff age for talking jive; when does “beef” become a seven-course slug buffet? The biggest midget in the game, Sov calls herself—but when do we stop thinking midgets are inherently funny? Never? The answer very well may be never.
With that in mind, let’s indulge our nostalgia and relive the fun crush on a 19-year-old girl who’s way, way badder than us. We’re 13, and Sov’s our best friend’s sister drinking malt in the Volvo, dry humping under the bleachers, smoking cloves in the cinema parking lot.