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License To Ill

Lil Louise returned to the Knitting Factory last night, four months after her NYC debut on the same stage (as detailed here). And, whether you expected it, predicted it, wanted it or not, things done changed.





For the rest of her mini US tour behind the Vertically Challenged EP, Sov will just be rapping while DJ Frampster plays the tracks, as she's always done. But for this NYC date, she was backed by a band. And not just any band, but some full-on rap rockers, replete with dreadlocked 7-string slinger and a bassist with a brimmed watch cap (why do the bassists in these bands always wear them?!)

They stompboxed and drop-D chorded their way through selections from the Ess-Oh-Vee repertoire. As a result, the emphasis was on songs that lent themselves to the band treatment ("Blah Blah", "Public Warning", "9 to 5") as opposed to clubbier fare like "Chi Ching" - which still was performed, but only with the DJ instrumental and some cymbal accents from the live drummer.



Crowd response was mixed... well, not that mixed. "What is this Linkin Park shit?" asked the girl next to us. One heckler shouted "you sound like Korn!" to which Sov merely smiled and said "yeh, their video with Lil Jon is creative, innit?" Then she attempted a Lil Jon impression. Then she burped. And that's why it worked - Lady Sov likes Korn, and Lil Jon, and bodily noises. Seeing the whole thing at once made us realize what Jigga saw when he signed her to "Def Jam Left": rock money, rap money, Top 40 money (he's a business, man!) all wrapped up in one infinitely charismatic white girl who loves spitting over riffed-out versions of her own strange pop confections.

It will be interesting to see how this story actually pans out - whether Sov actually takes over malls and lunchroom halls accross America, or just gets a burp or two on MTV2. But the Knit show certainly points towards the former. "Sellout!" shouted another comedian on the floor. "Yeh," smirked Sov. "And you bought the ticket."

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License To Ill