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A Little Deeper

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Album Review

She didn't get much respect as a member of the chart-running, violence-generating So Solid Crew, but that all changed when Ms. Dynamite released her solo debut, A Little Deeper. And with nary a 2-step beat in sight, it would appear Ms. Dynamite has made a clean break from her garage past to embrace a form of British ragga/R&B that makes her one of the few evoking references to Roots Manuva and Lauryn Hill. She has as much personality and strength of delivery as either of them (high praise, that), and carries the album as much as the tight production. Another name to think of is Craig David; like the only 2-step figure to make any impression on American R&B fans, A Little Deeper has a few concessions to commercial radio (i.e., the musically unadventurous). The Santana guitar lines on "Put Him Out" and the single "It Takes More" would fit perfectly on radio. Sure, the album's a bit more edgy than any of her American contemporaries ("Krazy Krush" is a great head-twisting track), but it's still not too far from Hill and other neo-soul figures. That may make her more palatable to a worldwide audience, but it also makes for a more diluted sound that doesn't impress quite like it could have.


Born: 26 April 1981 in London, England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Ms. Dynamite (aka Niomi McLean-Daley) grew up in North London, listening to reggae and turning to hip-hop at the age of 12. Even when she wanted to become either a primary school teacher or a social worker, her passion for music was stronger. After starting out in a pirate radio station called RAW FM, Ms. Dynamite met Richard Forbes (aka Sticky) in a West End club. The two began working on her debut single, "Boo!," licensed from DJ Jason Kaye's Social Circles label to London Records. Punch, Salaam...
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A Little Deeper, Ms. Dynamite
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