Straight outta Florida, Hong Kong, Paris and the International Ruling Class in general, rich girl Anna-Catherine Hartley makes for an unlikely gangsta rapper, but that’s a huge part of Uffie’s appeal.
Still not 23, the electro MC first came to our attention in 2006 with “Pop the Glock”, a hiphop track celebrated chiefly for the Uff’s own preposterous vocals. Vocodered to within an inch of its life, “Glock” showcased the teenager’s bizarre Southern-dame diction as she issued scarcely credible threats such as “Pick up the pace with your cracked-out face...” like some trashtalking Tennessee Williams belle. Such a stupidly long time has passed between that breakthrough and this debut album that the uninitiated might actually believe Kesha – who stole Uffie’s style wholesale – is the original, not vice versa. Why the delay?
In addition to collaborating with Crystal Castles and Justice and generally living it large as the fash-mag-friendly princess of the Ed Banger scene, she’s had the distractions of getting married, having a child and getting divorced. Sex Dreams&Denim Jeans is, inevitably given its long gestation, a bit of a mixed bag, with contributions from Madonna collaborator Mirwais, Ed Banger labelmate Mr Oizo (of Flat Eric fame) and her long-time beatsprovider (and ex-boyfriend) Feadz, as well as one superstellar guest spot on “ADD SUV” from Pharrell Williams. Is she just a well-connected chancer? She sends up her wealthy status on “Difficult” (wherein she boasts about writing rhymes and cheques) and she’s open about her shortcomings, offering the disclaimer “I never claimed to be an artist... I can’t even sing, you know?” (“Our Song”), although the meringue-light “Give ItAway” proves that she can. Elsewhere, although there are a couple of misfires, numerous cuts come close to “Pop the Glock”, while the single “MCs Can Kiss” is hilariously in your face (literally – like thePope, she offers her ring for you to kiss, but it ain’tmadeof metal).
The record peaks with a cover of Siouxsie’s “Hong Kong Garden” which raises one eyebrow for existing and the other for actually being pretty damn good, leaving you looking like Paul McCartney by the end.