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

Northern State 

Dying in Stereo (Interscope)

Northern State is three suburban white girls doin' hip-hop like the Beastie Boys, only better. With feminist shout-outs, self-esteem-drivin' rhymes, and mad knowledge of rhythmic displacement, the delightfully named Hesta Prynn, Guinea Love, and DJ Sprout spit out rhymes that stick up for the First Amendment and extol the virtues of havin' a good time. They have especially choice words for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on "Signal Flow": "There's art on the billboard/ Yes in this big city/And yeah that shit is big/But it sure ain't pretty/They're busy scrubbin' true art off the walls/Taking the power from the people and the freedom scrawl."

The girls, informed as they are by the old, old school, bounce the monosyllabic word around like a beach ball between the beats, giving the verbal beatdown to the power structure, whatever it may be ("I'm not that girl, you don't wanna fuck with me/I'm-a get more brutal than the NYPD," from "The Man's Dollar"). Not only are their messages more accessible to the ears than those of the latter-day Beasties; their beats just rock harder.

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 Jessica Nelson

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