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Oct 27 / Prinza

November 2002: A Little Deeper

On the surface, it’s hard to tell what all the fuss around Ms. Dynamite is about. The 21-year-old won the UK’s Mercury Prize by offering up a British version of Lauryn Hill, complete with the raw balance between hiphop and R&B. For those not familiar with the original, A Little Deeper’s conscious anti-bling and -drug lyrics and smoothed-out beats might seem shockingly original, but you really can’t get by the fact that most of this sounds eerily familiar. Dynamite even teams up with former Fugee producer Salaam Remi for the authentic Refugee Camp stamp, perhaps hoping to slip in now that the real Hill’s lost her wig. It’s at rare moments when Ms. Dynamite abandons the soft-touch hip-pop and returns to the clattering UK garage and unfiltered patois of her roots that she actually sounds fresh. Search those moments out.

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