8 September 2009

*Drum Roll* And this years mercury prize goes to

As I write this post at 2:33 in the morning, I shall dare to make the prediction that come this morning, once news of this years mercury prize winner has really hit the streets many may be a little astounded to find that this years winner is in fact, not florence and the machine, no not la roux, not the Invisible or friendly fires,
but 26 year old, female South London rapper Speech Debelle, of Big Dada records.

Although this is not the first time a female MC has won the mercury, we saw lady dynamite take away the award in 2002, it's been three years since an MC has touched the award, and with the innovation pop has seen this year, it would have been quite easy for Mercury to make a popular yet still well respected decision by giving the gong away to many of the other nominee's. However they didn't and many may find Speech Debelle difficult to swallow, her mix of hip hop, jazz, soul and her poetic lyrics, may not seem so unusual to the UK's underground hip hop scenes (I see backpackers either hailing her up as a musicial revolutionary or criticising her lyrical ability) however her sound is something that generally remains within those confines.

So what do I think of this years mercury prize decision?
although I think her music is something people may have to listen to in it's entirety if it is not something they are used to, and even then some may still not like or get her sound, (she even talks about the fact she raps with a lisp in one of her songs and sonically some people may just not like that). I think Speech Debelle is most definitely an intriguing artist, who challenges musical perceptions about what is accepted. I really respect this years decision for once again drawing attention to the innovations that are taking place in music today and bring it towards the mainstream media spot light.

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