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Ladies Night: Lady MCs Break Through

A steady stream of female MCs are stepping up to the mic these days. With Nicki Minaj breaking the doors down, and Angel Haze, Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea following in her trailblazing footsteps, lady rappers are beginning to have a voice again.  These women bring colorful style, intense lyrics, and topics ranging from religious cults to immigration to just plain swagged-out braggadocio.

Given that female MCs have been a bit silent in the new millennial era (save Minaj), it’s exciting to hear these rhymers bring it!  We can remember in the earlier 2000s rhymers like Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown and Trina leading the pack.  While Elliot brought zaniness and high-level production skills to her raps, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown and Trina specialized in over-the-top sexuality.

A bit earlier in the late 90’s, the gods gifted hip-hop with Lauryn Hill, whose 1998 The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill won eight Grammys and inserted a heavy dose of spirituality, politics and lyrical genius into the mix.  Hill, known as “The Mother of Hip-Hop Invention” dropped one proper album and then bounced.  (Although she also did an MTV Unplugged album).  The question, “Where’s Lauryn?’ has haunted hip-hop ever since.

Prior to Hill, raptress pioneers included the likes of powerhouse Queen Latifah, now a film, TV and talk show mogul.  All Hail The Queen.  Latifah broke ground rapping about gender issues, empowerment, and bustin’-ass feminism. Besides Latifah, we had her protégé British MC Monie Love, along with story-telling MC Lyte, and intelligent feminist Yo-Yo who told the world they couldn’t “play with her yo-yo”.  There was also the first all-female rap crew Salt-N- Pepa, speed-rapping Da Brat, TLC’s tragic Left Eye, and let’s not forget pioneer Angie Martinez, now known as “The Voice Of New York”.

Remember that “Ladies Night” remix “Not Tonight”?


Now we got a new voice in the mix: 23-year-old Nitty Scott, MC, a Brooklyn rapper who recently signed to Boombox Family Entertainment.  She broke through with her freestyle over Kanye West’s “Monster” which went viral, and she has since performed at the BET Hip Hop Awards and the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival.

Scott’s lyrics are raw, inspired, passionate and socially conscious.  Her 2012 EP release The Boombox Diaries, Vol. 1 has already received critical acclaim, and she’s been nominated for XXL’s Freshmen Class.  With a commitment to preserve and progress hip-hop culture, she has been compared to MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill.

Nitty Scott Rips “Monster”.

Scott is set to embark on her tour this June, honoring her album The Art Of Chill dropping May 23. “I am going ahead and opening up with my story about sexual abuse,” Scott said in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “I think [this album is] going to speak to so many women out there that can relate, and that have buried that and carried that with them.”

It looks like hip-hop’s got a new female flower child who is ready to blossom.

 


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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