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British Rapper Seeks Success On Own Terms

Of the Oakland Press

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As a new artist, Lady Sovereign is trying to win friends and influence people — but, as she notes in her single “Love Me or Hate Me,” strictly on her own terms.

“People have heard the media talk about me too much,” declares the fastrhyming 20-year-old British rapper, whose real name is Louise Harman. “Now I’ve got the opportunity to grab people’s attention properly. The people that don’t love me can (flip) off. I really don’t care about them.”

There’s been signifi cantly more love than hate for Lady Sovereign, however. Her justreleased debut album, “Public Warning,” is a hot property thanks to a strong buzz in the U.K. that’s made its way overseas. “Bored” of school, she began rapping when she was 15 and built a fan base with her spitfi re fl ow and punky attitude on songs such as “A Little Bit of Shhh!,” “Ch-Ching,” “Hoodie” and “Random.”

Rap icon Jay-Z brought Sovereign to New York in 2005 and — after an audition whose audience also included Usher and L.A. Reid — signed her to Def Jam Recordings, hooking her up with some American producers to embellish her British recordings.

It’s been a fast rise for the rap- per whose diminutive stature inspired her to call her first U.K. album “Vertically Challenged.” But rather than being intimidated, Sovereign — who took her rap handle after stealing a sovereign ring — says she’s taking things in stride. (Sovereign rings bear a coin instead of a stone.)

“It doesn’t really faze me that much,” she says of the notoriety. “I have to think about it more, I guess. I don’t live over there (in the United States), but I know what’s happening, and from what I’m hearing it’s all good.

“So ... cool. Here I come.”

Lady Sovereign and Young Love perform Friday (November 3rd) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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