In the wake of 50 Cent, Interscope hopes to mine the same mainstream vein with another underground act—courtesy of North London.
In the wake of 50 Cent, Interscope hopes to mine the same mainstream vein with another underground act—courtesy of North London. Having won Britain's prestigious Mercury Music Prize and three Music of Black Origin awards, this 21-year-old now faces off against transatlantic competition. Assisted by a cadre of producers that includes Salaam Remi (Nas, Fugees), Ms. Dynamite creatively and uncompromisingly straddles street and mainstream with a dancehall R&B/hip-hop backdrop and fresh, frank lyrics that eschew braggadocio for issues like female empowerment ("Put Him Out," "Gotta Let U Know") and street violence ("Watch Over Them"). There's also a fun and loving side ("Dy-na-mi-tee" and "Anyway U Want It"). This U.K. garage dynamo—whose soulful rap-and-singing style invites comparisons to Lauryn Hill—stands a strong chance of nabbing that elusive brass ring: an American breakthrough for British rap.—GM