Princess Superstar is one of those artists that can legitimately claim to have been ahead of the curve. Long before we saw Iggy Azalea and Kreayshawn blew up the “white girls who can rap” section of the charts, she was breaking records in the 1990’s trying to get noticed by the Beastie Boys. There were a few attempts before her to be sure – we’d all like to forget Icy Blu and Tairrie B – and most of us are okay with Blondie (Debbie Harry) spitting lyrics about Fab 5 Freddy. Princess Superstar didn’t do it one time as an experiment or a novelty act though – she’s been doing it for 20+ years.
The self-styled Jewish Princess of hip-hop has been around long enough to not owe explanations to anybody, nor to imitate anybody else’s sound to get ahead in a crowded rap field, which is why “I’m a Firecracker” comes as a surprise to the listener. The title track is uncannily undeniably similar to Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott, to the point I expected Concetta Kirschner to put her thang down, flip it and reverse it. The two couldn’t be further apart in upbringing or socioeconomic background, but their vocals and lyrics are entirely interchangeable. Read the lyrics below and listen to the track with the monitor turned off and you will see Missy rapping in your head:
“Got-got-got a short fuse, I’m a troublemaker
N-N-N-ice bubble butt, bubble maker
If you’re hot I’ma see you at the club later
Space Invader, chart dominator, buzzer made vibrator
Some trick chick clique +Kill Your Vibe+ Kendrick
Lamar bitch smash your guitar shit, Hendrix
Give the most head per capita
Just said head twice speak latin motherfucker, vernacular
and I got the best vag-ina, make you happier”
Superstar’s raunchiness has always been part and parcel of her gimmick, but she used to impress me as being cut from her own cloth. I still think she is to a large degree since she is not a Janey-Come-Lately but “I’m a Superstar” perplexes me by trading her unique sound for a bunch of material that while well delivered sounds like covers of other people’s styles. “Chick Habit” will get the Feminem label from the speedy sarcastic delivery to the sing-song chorus. “Humans” finds her delving straight into the Whitey Ford playbook and singing the blues. “Love Light Bliss” might as well be a song by the B-52’s, so bang bang bang on the door baby.
The problem here is that none of these songs are BAD. Princess Superstar has been in the game so long she has no difficulty with constructing rhymes or effortlessly delivering them, and none of the beats she’s supplied to do her raps with are poorly made or unplayable. It’s just that in all respects “I’m a Firecracker” lacks (ironically) the spark that will make it blow. She’s one of the original white female rappers, but for those who don’t know her hip-hop pedigree, they’ll wonder who this new chick is trying to sound like everyone else. Princess Superstar is good enough to do better than this.