It's too bad that Tanisha from the Bad Girls Club can't rap because she would make one good female rapper. She looks the part--rock solid, instant weave and plastered on mean mug. (Did you catch the Star Jones hosted, bleep-heavy reunion?) Maybe before the industry gives up on female rappers, Tanisha can save the day?
Ironically, no one loves femcees more than Billy J. By the time I got my hands on some cash to buy myself my first record back in 1980 when I was a 10-year-old fifth grader in Inglewood, California, Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" was already old. So I instead elected to buy what I considered to be the female version, Sequence's "Funk You Up." Remember Dr. Dre's "Keep Ya Head Ringin'"'s chorus, "ring ding dong, ring-a-ding-ding-ding-dong"? It was borrowed from these three ladies, one of whom happened to be a 19-year-old Angie Stone, then called Angie B.
While I love female rappers from every era, I am disappointed that there are only a handful around today making headway on the charts. With this week's release of Lil' Kim's Ms. G.O.A.T., I accepted the challenge to talk up some of the baddest women on the m-i-c.
Keeping the list short meant that I didn't get to give props to the likes of Millie Jackson, Deborah Harry, Bahamadia, the Lady Of Rage, Monie Love, Nikki D or even Lauryn Hill, but I had to stick to the theme. I'll give them their due at a later time. You can believe this won't be my last post about our b-girls.
I'm surprised that I haven't blogged about ego trip's Miss Rap Supreme yet...
Sister Souljah - Not every rapper can boast being both the protégé of Public Enemy, one of hip-hop's most significant groups of all time, and the target of former president Bill Clinton during his election campaign. But this is only one reason why this Bronx native, Rutgers University graduate made the bad girls list. Whether on her album, 360 Degrees Of Power, in interviews or her books No Disrespect and The Coldest Winter Ever, Sister Souljah spares no controversy. She caught Clinton's attention with a comment she made in response to the Los Angles uprising following the 1992 non guilty verdict in the Rodney King police beating.
Foxy Brown - Foxy and Lil' Kim's names have been synonymous since their emergence during the mid-90s. They both embraced their roles as take charge women in hip-hop's sexual revolution. Always scantily clad and mad, Foxy, who borrowed her alias from '70s Blaxploitation starlet Pam Grier, met troubles in recent years mainly because of her attitude. But somebody's got to admit serving jail time for assaulting someone with a deadly BlackBerry is hardly the tough talk she dishes in her rhymes.
Left Eye - The late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes' squeaky voice as the rapper in pre-Destiny's Child mega girl group TLC did not win her any hip-hop competitions. But her boisterous personality and sometimes reckless lifestyle clearly branded her a bad girl. Setting on fire the shoes of her former Atlanta Falcon's boyfriend Andre Rison resulted in the burning down of home. She challenged her bandmates T-Boz and Chili to solo album sales competitions and always spoke candidly about her issues with the record company. Her brutal honestly and invaluable creative input for the group made her beloved. Million mourned her loss during a car accident while on vacation in Honduras.
MC Lyte - While Brooklyn's Lana Moorer had her share of hip-hop beefs, her position as one of the most respected hip-hop lyricists, male or female alike, was purely related to her commanding voice and thought-provoking lyrics. "Cram To Understand You," a song about her boyfriend's indiscretions with Miss C, a metaphor for crack cocaine, won her immediate lifetime fans. For 20 years, she has upheld the title of as one of hip-hop's best and she recently coached tabloid item Shar Jackson into winning Celebrity Rap Superstar.
Roxanne Shante - When she was just 14, Lolita Shante Gooden was recruited by the hip hop heavyweights producer Marley Marl, radio DJ Mr. Magic and Tyrone Williams to respond to UTFO's song "Roxanne, Roxanne," which dissed its namesake for being stuck up. Her response "Roxanne's Revenge" solidified her career as one of hip-hop's most fierce. Rick James recruited her to guest on "Loosey's Rap" and her 1992 shockingly explosive track "Big Mama" was a roll call attack on every other female rapper on the scene. She retired from hip-hop at the age of 25 and eventually became a psychologist, earning her PhD from Cornell University.
Lil' Kim - Lil' Kim comes to mind first when thinking of hip-hop's bad girls. Her late mentor and lover The Notorious B.I.G. was the face of Diddy's BAD BOY empire and her career is founded on being B.I.G.'s female counterpart. She's rapped profane lyrics I wouldn't recite in private, fallen victim to excessive plastic surgery, and did time for perjury. But most importantly, Big Momma's sick rhyme flow shames all the gimmicks. Not bad for spitfire under 5 feet tall.
Khia - We all hate to admit that we secretly liked Khia's 2002 hit "My Neck, My Back" that made Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown lower their heads in embarrassment. But who could knock the self proclaimed Thug Misses with the rap sheet to back up her hip hop moniker? The buzz for the record that nearly achieved Khia platinum status prompted a response from Too $hort and helped her secure a feature on Janet's 20 Y.O. album. Thanks to a subsequent forgettable album, mixtapes and numerous online rants trashing everyone, Khia never completely disappeared from the scene. But it was her recent short lived stay on the reality series ego trip's Miss Rap Supreme that delivered a new guilty pleasure. Her performance of her previously released song "Respect Me" not only revealed her bout with dyslexia during her repeated attempts to spell "respect," but got her the boot from the show on episode No. 2. Not bad for the professional in the competition. She ignored the rule about rapping a song that was not pre-written. Guess she's a thug for life.