At a time when black grime and hip-hop is flourishing with artists such as Tinie Tempah, Nicki Minaj, Labrinth, and Azealia Banks gaining chart success, Birmingham’s answer to the industry is one of the most hotly tipped grime MCs of 2012; 23 year old, Lady Leshurr.
Brought to fame by several SBTV sessions, festival appearances, YouTube videos, free mixtapes and collaborations, Leshurr has been making music for many years. Particularly influenced by reggae artists such as Sister Nancy and Bob Marley from an early age, she started listening to Eminem when she was 12 years old and has stated that this was a turning point in her life.
Critically acclaimed after her performance at Glastonbury 2010 on the Introducing Stage, Leshurr has been picking up lots of friends in the industry including Wiley, Dot Rotten and Lethal Bizzle after supporting him on tour. She also features on one of Tinie Tempah’s early mixtapes ‘Sexy Beast’ which was released in 2009. This isn’t the only impressive notch on this young MC’s belt though. She has gained radio airplay by some of the top hip-hop DJs including Mista Jam and Tim Westwood, and in September 2011 was listed at #7 in MTVs “12 Best New Female MCs Dominating Mics Everywhere”. Roc Nation affiliated website roc4life.com has even said “She boasts some of the most imaginative bars and wittiest flows that you will ever hear”; Impressive praise from a label which is owned by Jay-Z.
Citing Lil Wayne as her biggest influence, she raps over ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’ on her 2011 mixtape ‘Friggin L’. Three mixtapes are available to download free on her website demonstrating an astounding range of rapid fire verses spraying obscenities, to a variety of slow powerful phrases, catchy hooks and pop-style choruses. This is especially evident in Leshurr’s single ‘Lego’ which was released in 2011. A basic beat combined with a chorus mostly consisting of “Lego, Lego” doesn’t really sound like it should be that exciting, but it really is. The lyrical assault that is delivered with this track shows raw talent which will only grow as she continues to make music with other up and coming grime, hip hop and rap artists. This track may not have gained Lady Leshurr much mainstream success so far, but it definitely shows potential. Since performing at SXSW festival in Texas, some have been quick to compare her to Nicki Minaj, and although I don’t really feel this is an appropriate comparison, it can only mean good things for this young artist.
Lady Leshurr is set to release her debut album some time this year, but in the mean time, check out this song she’s done with Orbital (especially good because it includes rapping cats).