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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

African American Music Appreciation Month 2011

...continues with:
Female Rappers

The impact of female artists on African American music is one that cannot be ignored. Sadly, the role of the female rapper in laying the groundwork of hip-hop is rarely studied or acknowledged. Artists like Queen Latifah, Monie Love and Roxanne Shante worked alongside the male pioneers of hip hop and played a pivotal role in bringing the music to mainstream.  They spoke about female empowerment, being independent and owning your sexuality all while showing the "boys" that women can have successful music careers as well. African American female artists have endured discrimination from their male counterparts and often have to work twice as hard to earn "respect" as an artist. 

Female rappers had a unique struggle because of how they were perceived by industry execs. In short, the industry did not know what to expect from them. Record Execs were unsure of how to market a female artist to music fans and were afraid they would not make a profit. From the affirmative phrases of MC Lyte to the empowering lyrics of the Queen, Miss Latifah to the unique beats and rhyme combos of Missy Elliot female rappers continued to show the world that female rappers were a force to reckoned with.  

Beginning in the early 2000s, a shift occurred and female emcees were more often seen playing second fiddle to their more dominant crew members.  New female emcees were only successful if they attached themselves to a group of male rappers. Think Olivia to 50 Cent and G-Unit or Ashanti to Murda, Inc. Then came the female rapper drought. Lil Wayne and other male dominated the music scene and it seemed like there was no longer a place for new female rappers to break through in the industry.  All of that changed *takes deep breath* with the emergence of Nicki Minaj. I admit when she first came onto the scene, Itty Biggy Piggy was my favorite and then came...the twitches and voices that I COULD NOT get a vibe with. A little time has passed and I have grown to respect her hustle and what she has managed to do for other female rappers. Her Album Pink Friday boasts the most charted singles by any female rapper in BillBoard history. Take a music break, and a journey into the past. Sing with me when you know it. Know it when you sing it with me. Note: The videos are in no particular order and this list is by no means exhaustive. 

1. MC Lyte- "Ruff Neck"

2. Queen Latifah "Unity" 

Who you calling a b!tch?! 

3. Lil Kim "Crush on You"

Yessss for the colorful wigs coordinated with her outfits! "Want a cheap chick? Better go down to Freaknik!" I also LOVED Kim in Lady Marmalade.

4. Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)

5. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes w/ Donnell Jones "You know whats up" 

6. Missy Elliot "Work It" 

7. Trina "Single Again"

Props to Trina for representing my home state of Florida! 

8. Nicki Minaj "Itty Bitty Piggy"

9. Eve "Love is Blind" 

10. Da Brat "Thats What I'm Lookin For" 

Collabo Bonus: Ladies Night

"I be the one to blame as the flames keep rising to the top and they dont stop"

...and one more for the road

Ludacris- My Chick Bad Remix

Gotta love female rappers. Did I miss anyone? 

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