To call yourself Queen of the South before ever releasing an album could easily be a hostage to fortune, ma per Shaybo, che da allora realizza video virali di freestyle 2011, it’s the throne she’s been hand-carving from the age of 15. Ancora, the Nigerian-born Lewisham rapper has matured in recent years, and her new mixtape, featuring the likes of Jorja Smith and Wale, is a collection of songs that has definitely come of age.
The dancehall influence is the biggest thread in the tapestry of this project. From the first track, Real One, Shaybo rides the beat with a flow reminiscent of Jamaican singers Spice and Lady Saw: “Money real long. Shoes Italian… Me a real, real don. I need a real real one,” she sings. Shaybo knows how to make her listeners put two gun fingers in the air. While there are instances here that exhibit the gritty storytelling that Shaybo is best known for, as on My Sister, a song about overcoming a bad relationship, Queen of the South finds her exploring the flipside of her “gangsta” persona. Sensual, sultry and vulnerable ruminations on love are in abundance. “Call me Miss Naive. I’m so silly. Look at how you treat me,” she weeps on Carry & Go.