Northern State is a trio of female rappers from New York. They are Julie “Hester Prynn” Potash, Correne “Spero” Spero, and Robyn “Sprout” Goodmark. The group released an EP that scored high marks from Rolling Stone and were signed to Columbia/Sony and released their album ‘All City’ in 2003.
They obviously didn’t like they way they were treated at Columbia/Sony since the press on the back of my review copy talks about being “free from the Columbia/Sony machine.” They team up with Ipecac Recordings and producer Chuck Brody (of Shitake Monkey) for ‘Can I Keep this Pen?’
They claim to do more singing on this album and have an “electro-rock” current, but since I’m unfamiliar with their other albums I can’t tell you if that’s the case or not.
They even have Chuck Brody (“Mother May I?”), Mr. Murray Hill (“The Three Amigas”), and Kaki King (“Fall Apart”) appear as guest performers. I suppose a female trio of rappers is a novelty in this male dominated genre so I’ll have to give them props for that.
Otherwise, I did like the electro-rock mixed with rap. I also liked the fact that they dissed their big-time label and went to a smaller house, but I’m ornery that way.