By Jacob Katel
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A white girl raps over electro beats about drinking and partying. Sound familiar? If you're thinking faux-bad-girl-turned-pop-star Ke$ha, you're wrong. Years before the Nashville native topped the Billboard charts, Florida-via-Paris native Anna-Catherine Hartley, AKA Uffie, introduced the world to "Pop the Glock." It was a bratty electro-rap number that borrowed heavily from Audio Two's "Top Billin'" and featured awkwardly sung-spoken vocals.
The 2006 single instantly launched Uffie to the top of the dance music world, and with her follow-up songs such as "Hot Chick" and "Ready to Uff" and cameos on tracks by Justice and Mr. Oizo, fans eagerly clamored for more. But then a few years went by without the release of a full-length album, which meant that in the blogosphere, Uffie began to look like ancient history. Meanwhile, hipster-hop counterparts such as Kid Sister, Amanda Blank, Rye Rye, and, yes, even Ke$ha seemed to be passing her by.
"I was doing so much touring that I'd be home a couple of days and I'd be too tired to go into the studio," Uffie explains. "Everything kept being pushed back, and I got nervous because of the success of 'Pop the Glock.'"
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However, this spring, all of that will change when Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, her first album, is released on French powerhouse label Ed Banger. "I'm really excited because the album shows me much more so as an artist. All the stuff I've made so far has been for the clubs. The album is stuff you can listen to at home because I was allowed to experiment a lot more." She insists collaborations with producers such as Pharrell Williams and Mirwais are some of her favorites because they don't sound like anything we've heard from her before.
But what about Ke$ha? A New York Times profile on the pop tart mentioned Uffie by name when describing the former performer's sound. Ke$ha even told the Times: "I understand why people need to make that association, but it's not like, 'Yeah, let me just listen to Uffie and rip that off.'"
If Ke$ha's success angers Uffie, she doesn't show it. "Honestly, there are similarities in the style, no doubt," she says, taking a moment to choose her words carefully. "I'm not going to comment on her 15 minutes of fame. I'm not going to start a war with anyone."