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Yo Majesty
Futuristically Speaking – Never Be Afraid Emma Edmondson , October 9th, 2008 17:58

Yo Majesty

Right, let’s get this straight. Yo Majesty may be a pair of black rapping religious lesbians (shock, horror) but there’s more to them than their love of ladybits and the Lord. Much more. In fact not since Tatu tip-toed onto the scene coquettishly slurping lollipops and pretending to drink from the furry cup have a pair of clit canoodling female music makers (that’s rapper Shunda K and singer Jwl B), aroused so much hype, attention and argument (even, if rumours are to be believed, between band members). Only this time there’s a reason for it.

That reason being the Florida based twosome’s debut album Futuristically Speaking – Never Be Afraid. A full throttle genre orgy that flits from ghetto-grime to punked up scuzz-rap to sleaze-pop with ease - if the alphabet of beats don’t get your muscles twitching then the lyrics are bound to get those ear drums thinking – they’re sure not for the dicky hearted.

And straight in with the f-word is the record’s opener, ‘Fucked Up’, which sees a rather riled up Shunda K spitting out rhymes about some schizophrenic feelings for a lady friend. “Do you want to fight me / do you want to give me black eyes”, she gnaws mike in mouth before declaring “I can’t stand the way you breathe / but I like the way you fuck.” It’s a face-slapping aural assault on bunny boiler-dom with Jwl’s haunting vocal bawls mellowing out what would otherwise be a full on fuck you of ghetto rap-guffaws. Believe – there’s even space for soul on Yo Majesty’s tough talking planet.

Much the same is ‘Hott’ - a Missy Elliot tinged sewer-mouthed number with those x-rated lyrics again. In between faux grunts of climax Shunda snarls at the speed of sound, “I just be rubbing it in my face / Grabbing at it like I got a penis / The way I fuck a mother fucker…and when I get it wet I just stick it with my fist / have you ever had an orgasm while you’re pissed?” No wondering what ‘it’ is then…

But the twosome make far from just pussy-related pop. ‘Buy Love’ flips the Yo Majesty switch to sensitive. A ventricle twanging track with tear dripping harmonies that would nestle nicely in En Vogue or TLC’s back catalogue, it’s their ‘Waterfalls’. There are also surprisingly un-clichéd nods to the pair’s tough ghetto-life experiences, check the Timberlake tinted melancholia of ‘Night Riders’, but, make no mistake, this is a party album through and through. From the crunk wallop of ‘Party Hardy’ and the Brazilian street-rave infused ‘Grindin’ And Shakin’’ it’s a case of dance not and you’ll be sitting alone. In the corner. With a dunce hat on.

And sure, it’d be easy to write Yo Majesty off as just a pair of foul-mouthed females with attitude, but there’s enough fire breathing ferocity and genuwiiine coccyx kicking attitude in this record to melt the most ice-hard hip-hop cynic into a hip shimmying dancefloor demon. If it doesn’t, well you may well just be deaf.