Friday, January 22, 2010
Friday Thought: Where are all of the female MC's?
So, I was driving down the expressway the other day when Nicki Minaj’s track, “I Get Crazy” came on. It was an instant reminder of a thought that had previously run through my mind: What happened to all of the female MC’s? Although hip hop is generally in a bit of a decline since its heyday, the female MC has become virtually extinct. I remember the good ole days when boom boxes blasted out with old school rappers like Roxanne Shante, Salt and Pepa and one of my faves, MC Lyte. You can go to any party right now, and put on Lyte’s “Paper Thin” or “Lyte as a Rock”, and the party will still get hyped. The crowd could sing every word. As time went on, a new crop of more conscious rapstresses blessed the mic like Bahamadia and our girl Queen Latifah. And what can say about the ladies who were at one point, some of the hottest names in the rap game, male or female? Of course, I am speaking of none other than Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim. Were they positive or enlightening? Absolutely not. Were they oversexualized and raunchy as all get out? Absolutely! And yes, I was mad at Lil’ Kim for all of the outrageous plastic surgery she accumulated over the years. But for all of their faults, THEY COULD RAP. I mean for real. There was so much buzz when these chicks hit the scene: Foxy rhyming with Jay-Z, and Kim debuting with Junior Mafia. There was something about a Foxy Brown or Lil’ Kim record that made you stick your chest out and think you were the baddest chick alive. I remember vividly when Lil’ Kim’s solo debut Hard Core was released. I hate to admit it was my guilty pleasure. It was contrary to everything I stood for. I knew I shouldn’t like it… but I LOVED it. Riding on the El train downtown to work, it was heavy in my rotation. Those ladies brought crazy delivery, creativity and pure talent. Eve also made her mark, particularly bringing the crossover appeal, and a bit of positivity. I really dug her track “Love is Blind.” Very real and poignant. Of course, there have been many other females in the game : too many to name here. But I look at the state of the rap game right now and I think wow: Nicki Minaj. Don’t get me wrong, I am not hating on the girl, at least not completely. The fact that someone as skilled as Lil’ Wayne vouches for her is certainly worth a few points. But, I think I will need to see, ( or should I say, hear) a lot more of her before I am sold. Maybe it’s just me, but she feels a bit gimmicky. It’s been said that she does have skills, and is not just another fake boobed Lil’ Kim imitator. (“Barbie” is actually what Minaj likes to call herself). Time will tell.
Maybe I’m just getting old. The truth is, I really don’t listen to rap as much as I used to anyway. I’m just glad I’m old enough to remember the classics. On that note, here’s one for you. Enjoy!
Do you miss females in the rap game? Who are/were your favorites?