So it turns out that Lizzo, almost unknown this side of the pond, has made one of the strongest hip-hop records of 2013. Wait, scratch that - one of the strongest records of 2013, full stop. Her debut LP, LIZZOBANGERS is an eclectic mixture of silver-tongued magnetism and slick, bombastic production, courtesy of Ryan Olson and Lazerbeak.

We slapped a mighty 9/10 on it recently; she's looked at all these hyped rap upstarts - Rocky, Azalea, Bada$$, Azealia, Haze, Sweatshirt et al. - and just taken herself to another level, leaving them in the dust to squabble: "[LIZZOBANGERS] is a deluge of whippet-quick puns and acerbic putdowns, witty repartee and laser-guided spiels. Kendrick Lamar called out many rappers on his Big Sean verse, but he missed out one major threat. He better get used to the feel of 'second-best'."

As with many musicians, home life has been a major influence upon her music. The domestic nest cultivated and nurtured Lizzo's innate ability, with parents who were more than happy to support the fledgling wunderkind. "My mother and father were heavily involved in gospel music when I was a kid, and they encouraged me to be as creative as possible. Beyoncé is a constant inspiration too, and when I saw Destiny's Child in the 5th grade it made me want to become a performing artist" (that's a pretty universal feeling that Beyoncé induces). "I'm also a fan of drummers. I think that to be an advanced technical rapper you should an understanding of drum cadence. I would mimic the drum corps in every marching band I was in." Are there any particular talents to be singled out? "Zach Hill is pretty cool." How about records? "Oh My Sexy Lord by Marijuana Death Squads. It's trippy."

The Minneapolis-based "superhero music" rapper cut her teeth in a wide variety of projects, ranging from prog. rock to electro - perhaps her most famous incarnations are with R&B/hip-pop acts The Chalice and GRRRL PRTY. However, before all that, she had a cosmopolitan upbringing (sort of): "I was born in Detroit, raised in Houston and am now based in Minneapolis," she says, describing her origin story. "I've been writing songs and raps since I was in 5th grade, and a classically trained flautist since the age of 12." She's still a fan of her classical noises too - when asked about a dream collaboration, her answer is simple: "Bach."

Detroit and Houston, more so than Minneapolis, are famed for their rap outputs - the former city is seeing a resurgence somewhat, with Danny Brown and Big Sean leading the pack. However, notable names like Royce Da 5'9'', J Dilla and Eminem (as well as, erm, Kid Rock and ICP) have also made sizeable dents. The latter, Houston, has been crucial in pioneering southern hip-hop with famous faces like Chamillionaire, UGK and Kirko Bangz harking from the city. "There's country music, it's deep in the culture," says Lizzo of the Texan metropolis. "I remember going to the rodeo and seeing Beyoncé though, so it's diverse down there. There's good hip-hop... we like our music slow in Texas. Houston hip-hop, in my opinion, has had a large influence on the mainstream rap/R&B you hear today." It's not just about the music there though; she's got some travel tips if you ever happen to be down that neck of the woods: "Montrose! It's a fun part of town. Nice bars, lots of shows happening, and good food."

Her mission statement is simple, tersely stating her aims for her sounds: "Beauty. It's also a stress reliever for me." So how do we get beauty? Is it a methodical, lengthy process, or a bolt of genius? "When I'm hit with a good streak of inspiration, I write as fast as a freestyle. Then, when I'm done I go back over the lyrics and tweak here and there. I just listen to the beats until I feel a rhythm and rhyme." Some tracks seem to mine a politically charged vein, like 'Bloodlines', as if borne from anger. "Bloodlines is about my lineage. I pay tribute to my family on this record, they are a part of who I am and they influence all of my actions. I think that goes hand in hand with social issues because my family is of colour in America."

'Batches and Cookies' is her (probably) most famous effort. It's a serpentine cut with interweaving lyrical flows from Sophia Eris and her hypeman Cliff Rhymes, backed by tribal-funk beats and a swarm of whistling, buzzing synths. It's crammed with attitude and cocksure swagger - the opening verse is especially phenomenal. "I was walking down the street with Sophia, and it just came out of my mouth, 'I got my batches and cookies and I don't need nothing else.' The rest is what it is. The video was directed by Ryan Kron Thompson, and it was a wild ride of coincidence and right place right time moments captured on film. He's so fun to work with." Other vital personnel include her producers Ryan Olson and Lazerbeak, the architects of her beefy southern timbre and infectious instrumental energy. The album itself was recorded "in Ryan Olson's studio, with 'Beak, and a lot of beer." Sounds fun.

Drawing comparisons to Andre 3000 and Missy Elliot, she's not someone to take lightly. Her vocal skills are unmatched, and stows more wordplay than you'll comprehend on first listen. She cracks wise with the speed and determination of the incomparable Robin Williams, every gag sticking in your mind like a vicious terminal earworm. Her favourite moment on the LP ("probably the 'sucky' people verse on 'Faded'") is perhaps also one of the most flippant: "Sucky people marry suckers and they suck/ then they have sucky kids, they grow up then what?/ they attend the sucky universities..." Brilliant, but not the only moment of glorious badinage. Take 'Hot Dish', where Lizzo deftly flicks the put-down of the decade like it ain't shit: "I see you hungry/ here you go - some steak!/ I guess you are what you eat... I guess you Lizzo taint."

Fortunately for us Brits, Lizzo's embarking on her first UK tour imminently. For those stateside, you'll have to wait a little longer to celebrate the release of LIZZOBANGERS and experience the spectacle of Lizzo in action. "December 28th at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I'm having a release party. I wish that I could have a release party in the UK as well, but the tour [with Har Mar Superstar] is going to be fun. I'll make every night in the UK a release show!" Now with a guarantee like that, there's not really any reason to miss out, is there?

For 2014, Lizzo's plans are simple. She's clearly not one for muddled, intricate blueprints. She states her intentions clearly. Now the record's out, her plans consist of "making more music," and this time next year, she's hoping to do/be/get/have/make "WERK." Whatever that means.