Trying to peacock her rise to grime fame, maybe Lady Leshurr should have chosen a different song to show off her feathers.
Lady Leshurr’s breakthrough ‘Queen’s Speech’ series of YouTube freestyles thrust the Brummie into the mainstream limelight. Energetic and engaging live performances, such as at this year’s Common People festival, only raised expectations further. Hearing that she was to team up with grime heavyweight Wiley for her major label debut, in which this rise to fame is quite clearly the motive, could do nothing but set high expectations. Instead, with Leshurr showing off about her status compared to other grime artists who have fallen at the wayside, they fail to deliver.
‘Where Are You Now?’ is a blend of old and new grime, with Wiley coming in two years removed from a solo single release after scrapping tenth album ‘Snakes & Ladders’ in 2013 and starting over again. His middling contribution here proves that, although his skills as a rapper still suffice, his lyrical choices in this lacklustre single are confusing and just downright bizarre, his only intention is to match two rhyming words together – “I’ve got a shop and we sell sports shoes / And I’m in control when man cruise.” It’s pointless.
Furthermore, when Leshurr herself takes the mic, it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the ‘Queen’s Speech’ series, perhaps because freestyle is what she does best and freestyled lyrics give across true emotions rather than some manufactured rubbish. The first verse is salvageable with fast-paced rapping to a simple, repeating beat, and her lyrics still provide some of her trademark sass, yet the pre-chorus bridge, in which she poorly sings the title, suggests she should stick to the spoken word. Alas, we are lumbered with a flat and lifeless result.
‘Where Are You Now?’ is out now via Sony