Lady London


The first thing you notice about Lady London is her confidence. 

It’s just as palpable watching freestyles that she recorded from the front seat of her car as it is when she’s rapping next to Funkmaster Flex. London’s answer is surprising when asked about the source of her self-assured demeanor. “I think it comes from suppressing it for so long–having to play small,” she says. “I think now, with my rapping, it has always felt like that alter ego for me. A place where I can really express myself fully.” 

Do superheroes walk from place to place, so they don’t make the rest of us feel bad, or do they leap tall buildings and soar majestically through the sky? Playing small doesn’t serve the world, so after going viral dozens of times freestyling to hip-hop classics and current hits, it’s now Lady London’s time to fly. The newly-signed High Standardz/Def Jam artist will soon release her first full project of original music and prove that her confidence is well-earned. 

Born Zaire Stewart, Lady London grew up in the New York tri-state area, splitting time between The Bronx and East Orange, New Jersey. London’s mother was a huge hip-hop fan whose love of the culture started her musical journey at a young age. “I had to be three years old when I remember my first time having a musical experience. I was listening to ‘Crush On You’ by Lil’ Kim, and I knew the entire verse word for word,” she recalls. “I grew up in that ’90s New York era, so I remember being a big fan of Foxy and a big fan of Kim, because my mom was.” 

In addition to hip-hop, London grew up listening to a ton of R&B, especially from the neo-soul era of the early 2000s, and gospel music, which grounds her emotionally and spiritually even as she spits some of the cockiest and most aggressive bars you’ll ever hear. “Even with lyricism and in the midst of chaos, disrespect, and whatever else I’m popping in my music, I do always try to take a moment to give praise and thanks or acknowledgement to God.” 

As much as she loved music, her path from fan to artist only began in earnest five years ago. The child of Caribbean parents, Lady London had her sights set on becoming a doctor and was very close to reaching that goal, receiving a BS from Howard University and a Masters’s degree from the University of Southern California. She’d started out writing poetry as a child and continued through college. In 2018, a video of her reciting one of her poems garnered nearly nine million organic views, eventually setting her on a different path altogether. She decided to defer medical school and follow her other God-given talent to see where it would take her. 

London began a weekly freestyle series entitled Lady Londays that would draw accolades from Busta Rhymes, Lupe Fiasco, Timbaland, and Nas, among others. She gained momentum with each freestyle and sharpened her pen to a fine point. She made a collection of her viral poem and some of her most beloved freestyles Lady Like: The Boss Tape available on streaming, with her Foxy Brown-inspired song and video “Lisa’s Story” closing the chapter on this era of her career and beginning her entrance into the next level.

Her new era starts with a signing to High Standardz/Def Jam. With a steady stream of viral freestyles drawing the eyeballs of new fans and hip-hop legends alike and her increasingly polished songwriting, she has plenty of momentum leading into a bright future. 

Lady London is poised for greatness, so she no longer needs to play small.

Related Shows