Lady Sovereign Likes the Ladies

1.21.2010

By Jessanne Collins


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A lot has changed since 2005, when a petite white girl rapper with an expressed fondness for hoodies and side-ponytails burst out of the London grime scene and became the soundtrack to my life -- or at least to my MySpace page. Since then Lady Sovereign’s had her ups and downs: she became the first non-American female to be signed to Def Jam, toured with Gwen Stefani, and hit number 1 on TRL. Then she had a few on-stage breakdowns, collected a couple misdemeanors, and saw her 2009 record aborted by her label.

Which isn’t to say that she went away. She just went back to London, where she released the album, Jigsaw -- featuring the super-catchy Cure-sampling “So Human” -- on her own label last April and then signed up for the U.K.’s Celebrity Big Brother. Where, before she got eliminated last week, she had a frank on-camera conversation in which she casually recounted her struggle to get over her last girlfriend ("I haven't had a boyfriend for, like, ages") and how she came out to her family: "I just admitted ...whatever... when I was like 17."

There’s well-founded speculation that publicist pressure kept her from discussing sexuality prior to this, though the "bisexual" rumors have been floated for some time (or maybe it was just the desire to avoid being headlined with things like "Asbo lesbo aggro ago-go"). So here’s hoping that her departure from reality TV makes way for something beyond more tabloid trash-talking -- a return to her roots, of sorts. Lady Sov has learned some hard lessons about the fickleness of fame and success, but she seems, perhaps, better equipped than many to learn from them. The scrappy image she's built for herself isn't just posturing, in other words -- she put herself on the internet map in the first place and dusted herself off more than once after a tumble. Maybe this revelation means she’s committed to doing things the way she does them best -- on her own terms.

--JESSANNE COLLINS

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Tags: Popnography
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