167. Neneh Cherry – “Raw Like Sushi”

Here’s another CD from my wife’s dowry. And one that gets played more regularly than most.

Neneh Cherry Raw like Sushi Album coverI recall Neneh Cherry bursting onto the scene as a sassy stepchild of a jazz legend. She was one of the earliest female rappers, although her take on the genre was a bit left of centre, embracing elements of world music and displaying punkish tendencies.

Outside of the two singles of this album, I vividly recall her being tied to the train tracks (and singing) in The The‘s brilliant Slow Train to Dawn. Any opportunity to include said vid can’t be passed up… so here it is:

Returning to the album in question, this is a wonderful time capsule. Twenty years have passed since she sang about standing on street corner throwing poses (Buffalo Stance), the travails of immature males (Manchild) and various issues around motherhood. The sounds and chutzpah come across as a little corny now, but they felt fun and confronting way back when.

This aint a brilliant album. There are too many undernourished dishes on here, and that title is the sort of thing you expect some (early) high school “crew” to come up with. But I still enjoy the hits.

File under: Lily Allen if she was born of Swedish and Sierra Leonean parents and raised in NYC and then moved to London in the mid-1980s…

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