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Music Review

Ms Dynamite - A Little Deeper

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Polydor – 2002 – 68 minutes

According to her biography, Niomi McLean-Daley excelled in exams at school but passed up a place to read social anthropology at Sussex University in order to concentrate on music and so Ms Dynamite was born. It's a Marvel comic book story of an intelligent girl who becomes an aggressive rhyme-spitting lyricist and performer – except in real life this Dynamite is verbally explosive.

An underground star and TV presenter, Dynamite is no stranger to the industry, but the refreshing change is that it's not just the industry she attacks with her illicit lyrics. The real Dynamite actuates on opening interlude 'Natural High' and wastes no time in outlining her agenda: "F**k coke, f**k ecstasy/My music get me as high as I need". This is no US rap. It's not about drugs. It's about opinion.

Clichés aside (and there are few), 'A Little Deeper' is an album of dominant lyrics set to a combination of two-step, ragga, soul and hip-hop. The UK is awash with wannabe MC's and garage-stars, but Dynamite has the ambition and diversity to cross-over to mainstream success with ease. 'It Takes More' is the radio-friendly first single that has brought public attention with biting lyrics: "If it's not too complex/Tell me how many Africans died, for the baguettes on your Rolex?". There's shades of Nelly Furtado in 'Too Experienced' and the soul of Alicia Keys in 'Now You Want My Love' but her individuality shines in 'Dy-na-mi-tee', 'Anyway You Want It' and the beautifully acoustic 'A Little Deeper'.

The hype surrounding Ms Dynamite illustrates the UK's yearning for proper talent on the over-crowded garage scene. She fails to disappoint.

David Byrne

Tracklisting: Natural High (Interlude) - Dy-na-mi-tee - Anyway U Want It (Feat. Keon Bryce) - Put Him Out - Brother - It Takes More (Bloodshy Main Mix) - Sick 'n' Tired - Afraid 2 Fly - Watch Over Them - Seed Will Grow (Feat. Kymani Marley) - Krazy Krush - Now U Want My Love - Too Experienced (Feat. Barrington Levy) - Gotta Let U Know - All I Ever - A Little Deeper

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