Queen’s Speech EP, by Lady Leshurr
Suggested by Paul Wray
Knowing nothing about Lady Leshurr before this review, I gave her a quick Google while I listened.
Apparently, she’s appearing in the next season of Dancing on Ice, joining the ranks of past contestants such as Graham Le Saux, Duncan James of Blue, and Andi Peters. Another alum is Vanilla Ice, presumably chosen because he has part of the show’s title in his name.
We’ll soon see if Lady Lashurr can out-skate the Iceman… but can she out-rap him?
Lady Leshurr has a very distinctive voice. Her raps are lyrical and poetic, and certainly dextrous, but they deal with down-to-earth and working class themes. Her voice is light yet biting, and it’s sheathed in a soft Brummie twang that makes everything slightly less threatening than it actually is.
The threat encased in her raps feels genuine, but not particularly malicious. It’s certainly combative, as if it’s tapped from the Rap Battle well. Being British, and female, this abrasive stance is much more “hey there, your feet stink” than “I’m going to shood you in the neck”, and the dreaded word “Banter” is used on multiple occasions.
If I had to characterise Lady Lashurr’s flow in a single word, it’d be Chav. Or Juvenile. It’s Matt Lucas’s Vicky Pollard facing off against Catherine Tate’s Lauren, where one side is blabbering “yeah but no but yeah” and the other side is claiming she’s not bovvered. It’s handbags and elbows and “your mum’s a slag” and “state of your shoes” and on and on. It’s two schoolkids throwing chips at each other in the precinct outside Matatlan, or going two’s-up on a Berkley Menthol outside Bargain Booze, pleading with customers to help them buy two litres of Diamond White.
Lashurr is overly concerned with her imaginary Rap Target’s personal hygiene, commenting endlessly on the cleanliness of their panties, or the stinkiness of their feet, or rattiness of their wig, or the mottled appearance of their lips. It’s fun, I guess, and there’s wit in the framing, but it’s cheap laughs at the core. There’s nothing really informative or uplifting. It feels grubby, a salt-flecked seaside tourist town off-season, with boarded shop windows and faded graffiti. Apparently, the Queen’s Speech rhetoric is borne out of a freestyle rap approach, which likely explains the issues I’ve highlighted. It’d be nice to see some forethought and creative design behind later releases, rather than an open page and a microphone.
With the topics on discussion melting into an amorphous blob of “bantz”, and with the low-key musical accompaniment playing second fiddle to the wordsmithery, every track on this EP seems to meld into one. There’s no standout, by design, and I believe this would be better just enjoyed as one single scene. I’ll finger the first track for singular phrase, more because you’re hearing it before you realise the rest are much the same.
The Queen’s Speech EP gets a middling 5/10. It’s morbidly entertaining to a degree, but with an undercurrent of being shanked in the leg by a schoolyard chav wielding a bookie’s pen.