Lioness, Stush, Queenie, Little Simz, Lady Leshurr, grime, remix

Review: Lioness DBT Remix ft Queenie, Stush, Shystie, Lady Leshurr & Little Simz

In Grime, Hip Hop by Cammy Thomas

So few and far between are female all-star Grime remixes and collabos they can probably be counted on one hand. Maybe it was the 2012 track ‘Rock the mic’ where Lioness joined forces with Lady Leshurr; which prompted her to spearhead a 2018 fiercely feminine collaboration. She’s joined forces with other queens of the scene including Queenie, Stush, Shystie and Little Simz on the remix for ‘DBT’ (which stands for ‘Dead Black Ting’ – a slur often used to degrade brown and dark skinned women).

Given the subject matter of the original ‘DBT’ regarding colourism within the grime scene and ethnic minority communities in general; it’s only right that Lioness invited other melanin magnificent females to the remix. They speak their minds over the same bad ass beat complete with wailing sirens, which made the original hit so hard. The first 40 seconds begins in the same way as the original, with Lioness, and when we reach the bar “Any time you bring us down, imma raise up all of dem” her words begin to echo signifying her squad are about to drop in and tun’ up on the track in their signature styles.

Each woman is unapologetic about who they are and display with power and glory in their verses. Queenie begins by stating she’s going to rock her waist trainer and tight jeans despite the opinions of mandem, as she dresses to please herself, not them. Stush celebrates her natural hair, and lets us know she’s proud of the skin she is in. She also comes with the extremely relatable lyric, “Black woman tark, dem always ignore we.” Shystie has the most socially politically aware verse, as she highlights that a number of men, “left black women abandoned with families, now we run the kids on the block ‘til they athletes”. She’s angry about the unfair negative connotations that often come with having black skin. She’s unhappy that police stop and search is still a regular occurrence, especially for our brothers; and ends her truth ferociously by announcing how she refuses to participate in the light skin vs dark skin ‘war’ that we women are often forced into. She also shoots down the insult intended as a ‘compliment’ “Pretty for a black girl.”

Lady Leshurr has the most interchangeable flow on the track. She begins in her cheeky and mischievous style; warning she’s in “No industry mood, I’ll lick down any of these industry dudes”. She then switches up to a sing song patois style as she tells us, she’s a rude gyal and is just as hard as mandem on the mic. Putting Little Simz on the end of a track where Grime MC’s went in before her, makes her measured tone stand out in comparison to her comrades’  delivery. In fact Little Simz’ eerily calm delivery as she threatens to “POP POP” her doubters gives her verse a menacing edge, as you are not quite sure just what she is capable of.

DBT remix is a feat of female celebration, and ownership of self and I can only hope this is the start of more female MC’s joining forces to deliver fire in 2018…