Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Lady Sovereign 

Vertically Challenged (Chocolate Industries)

Like Iggy Pop, Lady Sovereign's five foot one, and she's almost as cocky. She may be the lone white chick in the black-male-dominated U.K. grime scene, but there's nothing token about Sov's status among the nascent genre's elite; the girl's got mic skills that'll tie your cochlea in even tighter coils. A blogosphere phenomenon, Sov came to most Americans' attention through Vice's Run the Road comp, on which her "Cha Ching" (also on this eight-track EP) epitomizes her cheekiness and urgent cadences. Jay-Z has just signed her to Def Jam Left, so expect hype.

Based on this teaser to her 2006 album, Lady Sovereign will earn the shine. She balances requisite rap bravado with charming self-deprecation. Her quicksilver-tongued verbals bubble like gossip from an overamped teenage girl, but they're tempered with East London street hardness. Vertically Challenged features bunker-busting bass plunges and splatterings of antique video-game FX, but otherwise it conforms more to electro-funk's 4/4 than to grime's frantic, awkwardly clipped beats. Despite its brevity, Vertically Challenged is short on neither excitement nor promise.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

More by Dave Segal

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays