Lil’ Kim‘ probably didn’t imagine that, when she rapped “no matter where you from, put your lighters up” in “Lighters Up,” a young troubador from England would eventually take heed. But, here we have it: Ed Sheeran, putting his lighter up, so to speak, during a set last night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. In town to celebrate the stateside release of his debut album +, the 21-year-old You Oughta Know artist who hails from Halifax, England skillfully wove a cover of the Queen Bee’s ode to Brooklyn into his own “Grade 8.” And, of course, the crowd went wild.
In the above video, Keernan sets up with a little beat boxing and then transitions into his half-rapped “Grade 8,” at one point dropping in (at around 2:40) a few lines borrowed from Kim. “It’s the land of trouble / Brooklyn home of the greatest rappers / Big comes first then the queen comes after,” he rhymes, leaving —at least for now— himself out of it.
As PopDust points out, Sheeran has a penchant for hip hop, covering Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge and 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” at the Radio 1 Teen Awards. Maybe next time he’s got Taylor around, we could get some sort of Nicki duet?