Dying In Stereo (Wichita)
By: Cam Lindsay
Recently signed to Columbia in a major deal, all-female hip-hop trio Northern State originally released this self-financed debut mini-album last year via their website. Now re-released on Wichita, Dying In Stereo features Hesta Prynn, DJ Sprout and Guinea Love, three MCs reminiscent of three other white MCs from NYC. Yes, Northern State are the "Beastie Girls", it's hard not to avoid using that label. Seriously hard. Their subject matter is the equivalent of Licensed To Ill in 2003, minus the sexism and slightly more intelligent. Unlike the Beasties now and a lot of notworthy hip-hop today though, Northern State fail in delivering any meaningful message. Partying, living in a man's world but kickin' his ass, NYC and their talent, makes up most of the lyrical content, with a lot of it sounding more like a less perverted Princess Superstar, but not as good. It's easy to see why they've been hailed as a next great thing, considering Luscious Jackson never gave into rhyming and white female rap has never been much of a genre, but this record doesn't have what it takes. The beats are weak, the rhymes are tiring and the image, well, it's appealing, but they've got to give more than lame party tunes to become something worthy in hip-hop's green world. C+
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