Lady Leshurr: The female Busta Rhymes
Within the slight frame of Birmingham’s Lady Leshurr lies a lyrical beast that has relentlessly unleashed itself on the grime scene and brought with it a growing fan base as well as comparisons one of hip-hop’s rhyming heavyweights.
What you got you into music?
I grew up around music. My mum used to play a lot of reggae like Sister Nancy and Bob Marley around the house so basically, when I was around six, I was messing about and doing my own little raps and songs. My family are all rappers and singers anyway so I was always involved in it from a young age.
Coming from up north, what was the grime scene like when you were growing up?
It wasn’t even really a grime scene at that time; it was garage and D&B because I started on D&B really. That’s how I got my little fast flow and then after that it was garage but I definitely think the time and the vibe was nice and it was so much friendlier as a scene. There was no beef going on as such and everyone was just having a good time doing music. There were a few crews about in my area doing their own little thing but it wasn’t half as big as London.
How do you reckon it all differed from London?
The sound was very different. The bassline seemed the trend for a lot of people’s flows and a lot of people from Birmingham were following the bassline scene any way and that wasn’t really in London at the time. London, it was more of a four-bar repeat kinda thing.
And what was it like being a female MC from up north too, were there many?
Not really. I grew up in quite a friendly and safe area and there weren’t a lot of people that used to spit in my area. They would come from other areas to come to my area to use the youth club, but there were no female MCs and I was probably the only one. Maybe one other who tried it, but she wasn’t truly into it and I think she was just messing about. They were all in London, the females I used to listen to. I grew up listening to Shiesty, No Lay and Ms. Dynamite and they just opened my eyes to female MCs being recognised because there was no one like that in Birmingham.
At what point did you think that music was the thing that you wanted to pursue?
I was about fourteen when I realised that it was what I wanted to do because at that age, I was recording my own music and mixing it myself. I went out and gave out my own CDs and I was just really, really eager for people to hear me. I’ve always done things off of my own back and set things out that I want to do. I just kept making songs and mixtapes when I was real young. It also gave me a lot of experience up until now.
Do you reckon that it was the SBTV freestyle that really pushed you out there?
Yeah, it was a few things tat actually happened at the same time. I had the Westwood Ladies night and I was obviously so excited to be on that because people like No Lay and Lioness were on that and I was thinking ‘I’m going to be with the people that I grew up listening to’. They probably don’t know, but if you watch the video from that day I actually look a bit star struck. That’s one thing that definitely got me noticed. Another thing was the SBTV F64 because no one really knew who I was when I did that. That got a great response and a lot of male and female MCs commented on it and said that they liked what I did. After that, I started to do more features with people that are known in the scene and it all went from there.
You said earlier how you used to do all the work handing out CDs and producing them all, so how does it feel to have people approaching you for stuff?
I think its crazy, it’s obviously a compliment [being compared to Busta Rhymes] but at the same time, people are a bit oblivious to the fact that we’re completely different people. Its only because I spit fast but you can look at people like Mz Bratt that can also spit fast, so why don’t I get compared to people like her? Maybe it’s also because of the ‘Look At Me Now’ cover but I just think that we’re completely different and have really different styles. Obviously, I’ve known about Busta Rhymes since I was young and watched how unique his videos used to be. I think I’m actually quite flattered by it though actually.
How did the idea for ‘Lego’ come about?
‘Lego’ came about when I was just in the studio one time and when I heard the tune I already knew what I wanted to say on the chorus. I just jumped in the booth, got it recorded and it was a wrap really, it wasn’t ever a thought that it would be my first single, it’s just really about letting go and if you want to do something, just do it. It just happened, but there were a lot of people commenting on it and I’m real happy because it’s still me doing me. I haven’t really done a jam that I’m not comfortable with and I just like the fact that it’s a gritty sound and the radio are still supporting it. It’s one of them tracks that can get you in a good mood.
So any thoughts of an album coming up?
There’s gonna be plenty more singles and videos. There will be an album hopefully some time next year. Also, I’ve got my own merchandise with my label Gutter Strut and so there’s loads of things that are gonna happen next year.
Within the slight frame of Birmingham’s Lady Leshurr lies a lyrical beast that has relentlessly unleashed itself on the grime scene and brought with it a growing fan base as well as comparisons one of hip-hop’s rhyming heavyweights.Tagged in: d&b, female MC, garage, grime, hip hop, Lady Leshurr, music, rap
Recent Posts on Arts
- A shouting economic adviser, a Nobel Laureate and a rock star scientist on stage at the Jaipur lit fest
- Children’s book blog – the last post!
- Children’s books for December: Herman’s Letter, The Yeti Files, Greenglass House and Winter Damage
- Friday Book Design Blog: The Ariel Poems, and other seasonal pamphlets
- Children’s book blog – Ask the illustrator: Rebecca Cobb
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter