Lady Saw

Lady Saw claimed she's "too nice fi inna cock fight" and "too rich to argue with bitch" in 2004 on "Man Is the Least," but that was all chat compared to her eighth LP, Walk Out. "Make me introduce you to mi cutlass," she threatens one heifer on "Chat to Mi Back"; on the title track, she tells her man's new so-called friend, "Walk out, let me bust up your mouth/When mi done wit you/You'll wish you never knew mi spouse." Meanwhile she's putting hickies on your boyfriend. If you can't control your man, that's your problem, apparently, and she'll soon have him losing his senses for her special, no-wine-necessary pum-pum grip called cock fi numb.

But "Mama Saw," as she's been recently christened in the dancehall world, will still help a sister out: "Low self-esteem?/You don't need that," she explains during a mini lecture in a song she sings (rather than raps) called "Not World's Prettiest." And on "No Less Than a Woman," which has gotten the biggest buzz, she explains that "not having a child doesn't make me any less of a woman," opening up about her real-life struggles with infertility. (Being a childless woman in the Caribbean has a much bigger stigma than it does in the States.) Stylistically the album lags in production, and Saw actually produced many of Walk Out's tracks herself. Although that may sound impressive, it's a shame that the first dancehall female to win a Grammy has to maneuver through unsophisticated music arrangements when more accomplished producers should have been hired.

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Makkada Selah