Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Vertically Challenged EP

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Vertically Challenged is too slim, especially with the remixes excluded. "Cha Ching," for all its loopy ardor, is nearly a year old — a lifetime in this Internet galaxy. But the EP suitably reps Lady Sovereign’s ample cockiness and lyrical zing, at least until her vaunted Def Jam debut drops in 2006. As an emcee, she cracks wise in a fearless and smart aleck way, but slathers her boasts and put-downs in charismatic self-deprecation: "J. Lo’s got a body but you can’t see mine ’cause I wear my trousers baggy."

The beats sputter out of Challenged like the sound from a teenager’s half-crushed iPod — on "Random," rhythms clatter like crushed beer cans, and an air-raid siren whoops over lyrics copped from J Kwon. Sov whispers through "Fiddle With the Volume" like a pug-nosed English femme version of David Banner while referencing Swedish rayon enthusiasts ABBA. Like her occasional partner-in-grime M.I.A., Lady Sovereign’s music has knowledge of the Web’s breathlessness and freedom of assembly. Hip hop, pop, dub, the deification of Missy Elliott — it’s all game. Sov’s so hyper that she falters sometimes, like when her ambition outpaces the craft. But she’s still too spunky to ignore.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, 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

Detroit Metro Times 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 Detroit 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 Detroit's true free press free.

More by Johnny Loftus

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 7, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation