Category Archives: Women in Hip-Hop

Celebrate International Women’s Day With WIHH6

WIHH 6 FB Header

International Women’s Day is Tuesday March 8th.

We are marking this special occasion with 7 hours of radio content focusing on the Women in Hip-Hop. It gets underway starting at midnight tonight on 94.9 CHRW.

It’s our 6th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular and we have an exciting line-up of artist interviews, guest DJs, a round table panel discussion, a spotlight on female rap history, and much more.

We will also be podcasting a different segment of the show every day this week.

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Follow The Word is Bond on Facebook and Twitter and myself on Instagram.

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Hashtag #WIBRapRadio , #WIHH6 , and IWD2016

Thanks for listening and interacting with us!

 

Record Collecting for EVERYONE!

Record Collecting for Girls

Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney E. Smith

Why would I read a book entitled, Record Collecting for Girls?

Because Record Collecting is for Everybody!

Just like feminism.

feminism_is_for_everybody_bell_hooks

Both of these are great books and while the former isn’t necessarily about feminism, it does touch on some major issues. Courtney E. Smith explains . . .

“I felt it was important to make each week’s show a 50/50 split of male and female artists, and I was amazed by how difficult it was to achieve gender balance.”

I know that struggle all too well. I want Word is Bond Rap Radio to feature female voices on it regularly. I do my best to play at least one female track an episode, and every International Women’s Day is dedicated to the Women in Hip-Hop. But maybe, that’s not enough.

Smith talks about how many of the female popular musicians seem to fall into the same category. For some reason, they all take the same lane. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. She sums it up like this . . .

“I don’t want another Rihanna. I want to know this: Where’s the female equivalent of the Foo Fighters?”

Great question. And there is no easy answer to it. We’ve had only had a handful of female rap groups that have many any sort of noise. There is one group on the horizon now, Heresy. I hope they bring back a resurgence of female rap groups. We need this voice in hip-hop.

I enjoyed reading Record Collecting for Girls and will be writing more posts about it soon. I want to look at how Smith explores soundtracks, Top 5 lists, guilty pleasures, and break-up songs.

Keep it locked to this blog for more.

My List of 2015 Reads – 40 books and counting

Women in Hip-Hop 5 (Complete Broadcast)

Welcome to our 5th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular.

5 hours of radio shining a spotlight on hip-hop’s better half.

We do this every single year on International Women’s Day to celebrate the female voices we have in hip-hop music and culture.

This year’s show featured some mixsets by yours truly, a radio panel discussion featuring Haviah Mighty, Skulastic, and Tiff the Gift, a Know Your History segment on the very first year rap music was recorded, interviews with Skulastic and Miss.She.Ill, and a special mixset by DJ Syductive.

Each segment is available as a free download or you can stream it with the player above.

Thanks for listening!

WIHH 4 – Complete Broadcast Download

WIHH4 logoDOPEfm celebrates International Women’s Day every year by dedicating our entire overnight’s programming to the Women in Hip-Hop.

Here is the easiest way to download DOPEfm’s Fourth Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special.

These zipped files will give you all 8 parts of the show as they aired on 93.3 CFMU.

WIHH 4 – Part 1 of 3
WIHH 4 – Part 2 of 3
WIHH 4 – Part 3 of 3

You can click on each part below to read the description of the segment and download the individual files as well.

1) Celebrating International Women’s Day – Hip-Hop Style
2) Roundtable Discussion (with Dessa, E-Turn, Lodo, and Reverie)
3) Miss DJ (interview and guest mix-set)
4) Shay D (in-depth interview)
5) Mixset (Chase March spins female-fronted hip-hop tunes)
6) Dessa (a spotlight with music and talk)
7) Know Your History Special (an exploration of motherhood in hip-hop)
8) Rapsody (a spotlight with music and talk)

Thanks for listening!

WIHH4: Rapsody Spotlight

WIHH4 RapsodyWe are continuing our coverage of Women in Hip-Hip 4, DOPEfm’s annual radio special to celebrate International Women’s Day.

This is the last segment of the show and is a spotlight on one of the biggest talents in hip-hop music and culture.

LoDo, who was on Our Roundtable Panel, had the chance to interview Rapsody. I have taken highlights from that interview and interlaced them with some of her amazing songs.

This is WIHH 4 – Rapsody Spotlight and features these songs . . .

80s and 90s Babies
Special Way
Jedi Code ft. Phonte and Jay Electronica
The Women’s Work
Pace Myself
Never Fail

Download the podcast for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: Hip-Hop and Motherhood

WIHH4 logo KYHWelcome to Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge.

Today’s show is part of our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special. We celebrated International Women’s Day this year with over 7 hours of content dedicated to hip-hop’s better half.

In this hour of radio, we look closely at motherhood.

We talk to some emcees who are mothers. We discuss the sacrifices mothers sometimes have to make, the difficulties in touring with a young family, and we even talk about abortion. It’s an in-depth exploration of motherhood in hip-hop music and culture.

Featured on the show are Amy Kickz, Dessa, Eternia, Michie Mee, Money Stax, and music from Shad, 2Pac, and Kanye West.

Download the podcast for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: Dessa Spotlight

Dessa WIHH4We continue to celebrate International Women’s Day with our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular.

Dessa was part of our roundtable discussion and it was quite the lively conversation.

We have her back for this hour of radio, to get more in-depth with her and her and amazing tunes . . .

Call Off Your Ghost
Dixon’s Girl
Team the Best Team
Mineshaft II
Warsaw
Fighting Fish
Dots and Dashes
String Theory
Beacon

Download this podcast for free or stream it with the player below.

WIHH4: All Female Hip-Hop Mixset

WIHH4 logoHere is an hour-long mix focusing completely on hip-hop’s better half as we continue celebrating International Women’s Day with our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular. 

Press play and enjoy the tunes!

Dynasty – Magnificent
E-Turn – Manifest
Tre-L – Broken
Lasy ASG – Hip-Heart-Hop
Shay D – A Year in My Thoughts
Marco Polo / Rah Digga – Earings Off
EVG Rebel – S.H.E. (Strongest Human Ever)
Eternia – Final Offering
Muma Doesa – What the Guys Do
PG and Talent Major – You Can Do It Too
Marco Polo / Invincible – Drunken Sleuth
Miss.She.Ill – Don’t Play
Reverie – 1 is the Loneliness Number
Intelligenz – Running
Sonaya – Damaged Goods
Kadyelle / Ozi Battla – Ten Steps
Wyz Kit – Tres Manifique (instrumental)

Share this on Twitter with the Hashtag #WIHH4

Download this podcast for free or stream it with the player below

WIHH4: Women in Hip-Hop Roundtable Discussion

WIHH RoundtableWelcome back to the 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Radio Spectacular.

Make sure you tune in to Silent Cacophony every day this week to catch all of the different segments from #WIHH4. Right now, we have an incredible discussion with a panel of hip-hop experts.

Our Panel Today

E-Turn is an emcee from Orlando, Florida.

Dessa is a emcee / singer / producer from Minneapolis and is part of Doomtree.

Reverie is an emcee from Los Angeles, California.

Lo-Do is a hip-hop journalist, CEO of Ashy to Jazzy Productions, and a drummer.

Highlights of our discussion

Here are some of the highlights of our discussion

00:00 – Introductions

02:30 – Do you identify yourself as a feminist?

05:30 – Roadblocks of being a female in a male-dominated art-form

11:00 – Gender roles in society

13:55 – Systematic degradation

16:50 – “Hip-Hop is not a positive environment for a young woman”

18:50 – Songwriting

20:00 – The term “Femcee”

30:00 – Music from E-turn “Come Close”

35:00 – Images of women

42:00 – How we got into hip-hop

49:10 – Paying dues

54:42 – Counting Bars

60:00 – Music from Reverie “Locks Without Keys”

63:00 – Top 20 Rappers (Lists are often devoid of female artists)

72:00 – Homophobic lyrics

74:38 – Lyrically Challenged Collective

77:25 – Women in other elements of hip-hop

80:00 – Final thoughts from the panelists

86:26 – Music from Dessa “Fighting Fish”

Download WIHH4 Roundtable Discussion or stream it with the player below.

 

Thanks for tuning in!

See you tomorrow for another installment on #WIHH4

WIHH4: Celebrating International Women’s Day – Hip-Hop Style

WIHH4 podcastWelcome to a very special edition of DOPEfm. For our seven hours of programming tonight we are shining a spotlight on the Women in Hip-Hop.

We are celebrating International Women’s Day like we do every single year. This is our 4th annual show and we have a lot of great content coming your way.

We have a roundtable discussion with Reverie, LoDo, E-Turn, and Dessa. It was an incredible discussion. You won’t want to miss it.

We have a spotlight with Rapsody. We talk to her and play some of her amazing music. We are going to have Dessa back on the program a little but later to do a spotlight on her as well.

We sit down with Shay D, all the way from the UK, for an in-depth interview. We play her music and talk about her work with Lyrically Challenged.

We have a guest DJ who will be dropping some old school classic hip-hop. It’s absolutely incredible what she does on the wheels of steel. Her name is Miss DJ and she is all the way from Sweden.

We have a Know Your History episode focusing on motherhood in hip-hop. We talk to some mothers who are also emcees about how they balance a rap career and a family. We will discuss some of the issues around touring and how difficult that can be when you have a family. It’s a thought-provoking hour of radio, that’s for sure.

I drop an hour-long mix of female-only hip-hop as well.

This is our 4th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular. It grew out of a little seed of an idea about five years ago when I talked to Shad. I talked to him a few months back and this is what went down on that interview.

Chase: “You inspired me in a way that you probably wouldn’t even believe. Your track ‘Keep Shining’ and then talking to Eternia. Those two things gelled in my mind and set me on the path to feminism, believe it or not. That’s how our International Women’s Day show started and it’s become a yearly tradition now.”

Shad: “That’s awesome!”

Chase: “Keep Shining is an amazing track because quite often in rap we don’t see or hear women portrayed in such a positive light. It really is a shame too. We have some great talent and we have some great female talent. And sometimes that doesn’t get heard.”

That’s what this show is all about – exposing the talent in hip-hop’s better half.

Press play or Download WIHH 4 – Part A

This is the first of 8 parts. Remember to come back tomorrow to get the next installment of this groundbreaking radio program.

Thanks for listening!

Share this on Twitter with the hashtag #WIHH4

Women in Hip-Hop 4 Radio Special

Today is International Women’s Day!

Women in Hip-Hop 4

Help us celebrate by joining us on the radio.

We have over 7 hours of excellent programming for you starting at 12:00 midnight. And all of it, is dedicated to the Women in Hip-Hop.

This is our 4th annual show celebrating International Women’s Day and we have a lot of great female talent that we will be featuring, including . . .

Amy Kickz, Dessa, Dynasty, Eternia, E-turn, EVG Rebel, Intelligenz, Invincible, Kadyelle, Lady ASG, LoDo, Madd Mary, Miss DJ, Miss.She.Ill, Money Stax, Muma Doesa, Nilla, PG and Talent Major, Paulette and Tanya Winley, Purly Wyte, Rah Digga, Rapsody, Reverie, Shay D, Sonyae, Tre-L, and Vicious Cycle

Here is the line-up for tonight’s show . . .

1) Celebrating International Women’s Day – Hip-Hop Style
2) Roundtable Discussion (with Dessa, E-Turn, Lodo, and Reverie)
3) Miss DJ (interview and guest mix-set)
4) Shay D (in-depth interview)
5) Mixset (Chase March spins female-fronted hip-hop tunes)
6) Dessa (a spotlight with music and talk)
7) Know Your History Special (an exploration of motherhood in hip-hop)
8) Rapsody (a spotlight with music and talk)

Tune in live starting at 12:00 midnight on 93.3 CFMU on your radio dial if you live in the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada area. If not, don’t fret, you can stream the show live from the CFMU website. 

You can also tune is in on your phone via AudioNow. Simply dial 1-716-274-2507 (Niagara Falls / New York) and you will hear us live. You can also hear past shows with this number.

I hope you will join us to celebrate International Women’s Day on the radio with over seven hours of great hop-hop music and talk!

I will be live in the studio and would love to hear from you. Give us a call from midnight to 2:00 a.m. at (905) 528-9888.

Jean Grae Live TODAY

This week, just ahead of International Women’s Day, we have one of the most talented rappers in the game joining us for the radio program.

Jean Grae will be our special guest and we will talk to her about her music, her books, her television series, and all things hip-hop. We will also be spinning some of her great music.

You can catch the show live in the Orlando, Florida area on your radio dial at WPRK 91.5. If you don’t live in the area, you can watch the behind the scenes footage from the Our Show website.

You can ask questions via the chat box as well. This is live and interactive radio at its finest.

Don’t miss it!

We get started at 5:30 p.m. EST on Saturday!

The History of Women in Hip-Hop

Women have been involved in rap music before hip-hop even had a name, before it was a recorded music phenomenon, and before we had superstars such as Queen Latifah crossover from musician to actor to author to model. She is one of hip-hop’s biggest success stories and she’s a woman.

Welcome back to DOPEfm’s 3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular. We are taking a close look at the history of women in hip-hop today. Yesterday, we covered the years from 1912 all the way up to 1985. Today, we will continue right where we left off.

You can download this hip-hop history podcast for free, stream it with the player at the bottom of the post, continue reading, or do all three. However you take in the program, we are happy to have you here.

So far, the artists that we have looked at are not quite household names. Those outside of hip-hop culture might not be able to call up these names when talking about the important milestones of the music. But nonetheless, they are important names. We looked at The Mercedes Ladies, Lady B, Sha Rock, and Roxanne Shante,

This brings us up to 1985. The year we first heard of the trio Salt N Pepa. Their debut album dropped in 1986 and was called Hot, Cool, and Vicious. They were the female rap group of their time and they had quite the string of success. They received four Grammy nominations and finally won one in 1995.

This was one of their most popular songs that year and it’s notable because they flip the script on what’s become a popular trope in commercial rap music.

successful female rap group

That was Salt N Pepa “Whatta Man” and those three ladies took the hip-hop world by storm when they hit the scene in 1985. Rap music was just starting to get popular and their single “Push It” literally helped push it to new heights. They released five albums, went on very successful tours, and received quite a few awards.

Two years ago, Salt N Pepa received the I Am Hip-Hop Award from BET. They were also part of the Legends of Hip-Hop tour with such artists as Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie, Naughty By Nature, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, Slick Rick and Chubb Rock.

There was another famous lady on that bill, MC Lyte. It’s hard to believe that her album “Lyte as a Rock” was the first full length album released by a female MC. Why did it take nearly ten years for a female rapper to head up her own album? I don’t know.

All I know is that it is a classic. The album is called “Lyte as a Rock” by MC Lyte. And just in case you didn’t know, light is spelled “Lyte.” This is her song “Paper Thin” that came out in 1988. And this is Chase March celebrated the Women in Hip-Hop as we observe International Women’s Day here on DOPEfm. Stay tuned as we explore the pivotal moments in the history of female hip-hop this hour and all night long as we shine a spotlight on the women in hip-hop with mixsets, artist interviews, and a special roundtable discussion.

female rapper

That was “Paper Thin” by MC Lyte from her classic album “Lyte as a Rock.” It came out in 1988 to a wide range of critical appeal and underground success. She continued to make great music and her fourth album was certified gold. That record also gave us “Ruffneck,” a Top 40 hit.

All in all, she has released seven studio albums and shows no signs of slowing down. She just released new material with her group Almost September. And like many other rappers, she ventured out into acting. I really liked seeing her on Ice T’s Rap School, a television show that had her mentoring young girls in the art of emceeing.

MC Lyte is even featured in Smithsonian Institute. Her turntables, diary, and records are part of a collection entitled “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: The Beat, the Rhymes, the Life.” That exhibit highlights how important hip-hop is and shows that it is a valid part of our history.

It’s really cool to see that women in hip-hop are represented at the Smithsonian. I am a hip-hop historian and love to see our history being recognized by those outside of the culture. Of course MC Lyte deserves to be there. She was the first successful female rapper to go solo and her lengthy career is a testament to her skills on the mic.

She also inspired a whole new generation of women to get started in hip-hop. Up until this point, men had been ruling the show. Women didn’t take over by any means but we finally heard a voice that had been lacking for many years.

The next important female voice in hip-hop we need to look at emerged from Canada in the mid 1980s. Her debut album came out in 1991 and was entitled “Jamaican Funk – Canadian Style.” This was the first Canadian hip-hop release. She was the first rapper from the country to get signed by a major label. Her name is Michie Mee and here is the title track from her debut album.

Canada's First Rapper

That record proved that Canada had talent and it paved the way for artists such as Maestro Fresh Wes, Drake, Classified, and everyone else who came after her. That was Michie Mee and LA Luv ‘Jamaican Funk – Canadian Style.”

Welcome back to Hip-Hop’s Better Half. This is Chase March and we’re focusing on the important moments in the history of female hip-hop in this special edition of Know Your History.

Ya know, Michie Mee really had to hustle to be heard in an industry that was pretty much dominated by men. She got started well before MC Lyte showed that a solo female rap artist could be marketable. Starting in 1984, she regularly visited the hottest hip-hop spots in New York to make herself seen and heard. And it worked.

She caught the ear of DJ Scott La Rock of BDP. Her reggae style was something that impressed Krs-One and you can hear her influence in his records. Of course, BDP did more that just borrow her style. They supported her, put out her music on a compilation album in 1987, and even came up on Canada to share the bill with her. This was a cosign that helped spark her career and get her signed to a major American label.

Many people falsely think Maestro was Canada’s first rapper but it in fact was a woman. Michie Mee wasn’t merely the first lady of Canadian rap. She was the first Canadian rapper. Period.

Very cool history here as we celebrate International Women’s Day on DOPEfm. All seven hours of our programming tonight are dedicated to the women in hip-hop. This is our third annual radio special and we’re so glad that you’ve tuned in. That’s right, we’re putting ladies first.

Ladies First rap

That was “Ladies First” by Queen Latifah from her album “All Hail the Queen” It came out in 1989 and that song features fellow emcee Monie Love.

That is an important record to talk about when looking at the history of women in hip-hop. Queen Latifah showed us a strong, intelligent woman with a no nonsense attitude.

Here are some of her lyrics from that song . . .

“I break into a lyrical freestyle
Grab the mic, look into the crowd and see smiles
Cause they see a woman standing up on her own two
Sloppy slouching is something I won’t do
Some think that we can’t flow
Stereotypes, they got to go
I’m a mess around and flip the scene into reverse
(With what?) With a little touch of ‘Ladies First’”

Great lyrics from a great emcee.

Queen Latifah has achieved more than any other female artist in the history of this hip-hop. She has starred in movies, a few television series, has written books, earned a Golden Globe, two SAG awards, a Grammy award, and several other nominations for a variety of award shows. She continues to act, sing, and rap as well. Very few rappers ever achieve the level of fame and list of accomplishments that Queen Latifah has.

As popular as Queen Latifah was, she wasn’t the first female rapper to earn a platinum record. Can you guess who that was?

I’ll give you a hint. The record came out in 1994. It was entitled Funkdafied and this is the title track.

This is Chase March and we’ll be back to celebrate more of the achievements of women in hip-hop right after we hear from Da Brat. Stay tuned!

Funkdafied

That was the title track from Da Brat’s debut album, “Funkdafied.” She was the first solo female rap artist to earn a platinum record. It’s hard to believe that that hadn’t happened sooner. I can’t understand why hip-hop became a male dominated art form. Some of my favourite emcees are woman and I must admit that I had this album on cassette and I bumped it like crazy back in the day. Her next album was good too but it didn’t manage to pull in such impressive numbers.

Although another female rapper who would smash even more records made her debut that very same year. I was immediately drawn to her vocals and really liked “Blunted on Reality,” the debut album from a group called The Fugees.

That was one of my favourite records from 1994 but it didn’t bring them immediate success. It was their sophomore album that made people sit up and take notice. The female emcee of the group started to receive a lot of attention. She could sing, she could rap circles around the best rappers at the time, and she was quite the looker as well.

There was no doubt that Lauryn Hill would become a huge star. She released her solo record in 1998 and it is one of the most popular rap albums ever released. It has sold close to 20 million copies and won five Grammy Awards. Lauryn Hill took home Album of the Year and Best New Artist, the latter I didn’t quite understand because I’d already been jamming to her music for close to five years.

She is still celebrated as one of the best voices hip-hop has ever been graced with. Many people name her as top female rap artist of all time. And with good reason. There is just something magical about her music. There is no denying it.

So, let’s listen to one of her songs right now from that record breaking album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Stay tuned as we continue to look at the history of women in hip-hop as we celebrate International Women’s Day all night long here on DOPEfm

Hip-Hop royalty

That was “Lost Ones” by Lauryn Hill from her debut solo record “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” That album smashed so many records. She was the first female act in the history of the Grammy Awards to be nominated for 10 awards. She took home five trophies in the 1999 Grammies. A pretty impressive feat for a rapper.

Her debut album stands as a classic. It blended genres and forms. She rapped and she sang and her talent just couldn’t be ignored or denied.

But then she disappeared from the music scene. We were left with this incredible debut record and two albums from her rap group The Fugees. And that was it.

There was a void in mainstream hip-hop when Lauryn Hill decided to focus on family instead of her music career.

But we didn’t have to wait long for another innovative artist to come to the forefront and represent the ladies on the mic.

This is Chase March and if you are just joining us, make sure you keep that dial on lock. This is our third annual spotlight on the Women in Hip-Hop as we celebrate International Women’s Day. This is a day where we recognize and celebrate the achievements of women across the globe.

We’re gonna be doing that all night long here on the program. This hour we’ve been looking at the important moments for women in the history of hip-hop. Later, we’ll have mixsets where every single track we play will be from female rap artists. We will also have special interviews and a roundtable discussion. Stay tuned for all of that. We have seven hours of programming to celebrate this important day.

It’s International Women’s Day on DOPEfm.

We’ve been working our way through the entire history of hip-hop and the important role women have played throughout. We’ve looked at some of the biggest artists to ever work in this genre and we’ve made out way up to the late 1990s.

The next artist we are going to look at is the only female rap artist to stack up six platinum records. I’m talking about Missy Elliot. Her debut album “Supa Dupa Fly” came out in 1997 and she continued to drop highly successful records every couple of years. In fact, she is even slated to release a new one later this year.

successful female rapper

That was Missy Elliot, one of the most successful female rap artists of all time.

In the late 1990s, female fronted hip-hop was all the rage. Missy Elliot was just one of a handful of popular artists. I’m slowly running out of time though. I couldn’t expect to bring us completely up to date with the accomplishments of the women in hip-hop in a one hour special.

An hour ago, we started with the first women deejay, who began broadcasting a hundred years ago. We then looked at the first rap record most people ever heard and saw how that project and label was masterminded by a woman. We looked at the first rap group to ever appear on national television and how a female rapper was at the forefront of that. We then looked at the success female rappers have had since hip-hop’s very inception all the way up to the 1990s.

Stay tuned later tonight for another spotlight on the history of women in hip-hop. We’ll pick up where we left off here and look at the female artists of the late 1990s all the way up to the present day.

I’ve been focusing on the commercial appeal of hip-hop in this special but it’s important to note that women have been quite active in the hip-hop game. There are countless female rappers who have released albums on independent labels. We’ve played many of them on the show here over the past eight years and will continue to champion great music.

It’s been a lot of fun celebrating the women in hip-hop in this special hour-long edition of Know Your History.

Remember International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. Here on DOPEfm, we dedicate the entire overnight programming to the Women in Hip-Hop every year. This is our third annual special and we have lots more great content to share with you.

We still have some dope mixsets, artist interviews, and a roundtable discussion. Stay tuned for all of that and remember to go to ChaseMarch.com to find out more about me, TheWordisBond.com for some great hip-hop articles and home of my podcast, and DOPEfm.ca to get more content from the radio show right here on 93.3 CFMU.

Download Hip-Hop’s Better Half for free, or stream it with the player below.

Peace.

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Hip-Hop’s Better Half

Welcome to our third annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular on DOPEfm. We’re an overnight hip-hop radio show and every year at this time, we dedicate all seven hours of our programming to the Women in Hip-Hop.

We do this to celebrate International Women’s Day and to shine a spotlight on the achievements of women in this culture that we hold so dear.

Download this hip-hop history show for free, stream it with the player below, continue reading, or do all three.

We have a lot of great content for you tonight including some dope mixsets, a roundtable discussion with some very special guests, artist interviews, an episode of Know Your History, and some special surprises.

But to get it all started, we are going to look at some notable women in hip-hop. Hi, my name is Chase March and welcome to Hip-Hop’s Better Half. For the next hour, we are going to explore the history of women in hip-hop culture.

And what better place to start than with what is genuinely acknowledged as the first event in hip-hop history. The historic concert at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in The Bronx. This was the groundbreaking event that introduced the world to Kool Herc, that brought forth the era of the deejay and the block party. This changed everything and sparked the culture of hip-hop.

But did you know, this was all started by a woman. It was Kool Herc’s sister, Cindy Campbell, that threw this party. She organized everything, including the music. Hip-hop historian and journalist Davey D interviewed her and you can hear what she had to say by pressing play. Just scroll down and find the media player at the bottom of this post.

Women in Hip-Hop

Kool Herc is heralded as the godfather of hip-hop culture. This is undisputed, but it’s really interesting to see that it was indeed his sister, Cindy Campbell who got the whole ball rolling back in 1973. In fact, she even continued to support his career after this historic concert.

They do say that behind every great man is a great woman. It’s a phrase that I’m not particularly fond of, as much as it speaks truth. Women are important and need to be celebrated for their achievements alone. That’s one of the reasons we do this show each and every International Women’s Day.

I like to celebrate the women’s voices that often get over-shadowed in this culture that we call hip-hop. Some of my favourite emcees are women and we’ll be hearing from them very shortly.

Ya know, hip-hop started with the deejay. It didn’t start with rappers. It started with deejays playing records. And we can trace that all the way back to 1912. That was the year that “The Little Hams Radio Program” got its start. It was the first regularly scheduled radio program and it became popular because of the world’s first female deejay, Sybil Herrold.

Radio's first female deejay

That is so cool to see that one of radio’s first on-air personalities was a woman. And this was just over one hundred years ago. Hip-hop, as a culture, is not that old, but like those first radio programs it was not recorded and distributed. Back when this culture got its start in 1973, it wasn’t part of the music business. You had to experience the music live.

A few recordings are available of those early days of hip-hop culture. They were done with portable cassette recorders so the quality isn’t that great, but it does give you an idea of what those live shows were like back in the day. I want to play a portion of one of those recordings for you in a moment by the first all female rap group, The Mercedes Ladies. They formed in 1976 and they were more than a just music group. They were a crew with deejays, breakdancers. emcees, and graffiti artists. They put on shows and played with some of the biggest acts of the day such as Afrika Bambaataa, Red Alert, Kool Herc, Busy B, Kevy Kev, The Cold Crush Brothers, The Furious Five, and more.

Here’s an old school tape from a performance they did in 1979. This is the Mercedes Ladies and we’ll be right back to continue celebrating International Women’s Day right here on DOPEfm.

all female hip-hop crew

That was an all female group called The Mercedes Ladies and pretty typical of what you’d hear at the live venues in the mid to late 1970s.

That was what hip-hop sounded like prior to the first commercial rap recordings. Back then, you had to experience the music live. Although, that would soon be changing. Several people saw that rap could in fact be recorded and distributed on record, just like any genre of music.

One of the most successful records of all time is also what many people consider to be the first rap record ever released. There’s a little bit of debate about that but there is no debating the popularity of this record. I’m talking about “Rapper’s Delight”

first commercially successful rap record

That record wouldn’t have seen the light of day without a woman. It’s true. Sylvia Robinson saw the power that hip-hop could have and took a bit of a gamble in assembling a rap group, recording, and distributing a single.

Here is a rare clip of her talking about it.

female hip-hop mogul

There is a lot of controversy about Sugar Hill Records and what Sylvia Robinson did with that label. Some people criticize her for manufacturing a rap group instead of signing one of the established groups of the time. It would have been nice to see the Mercedes Ladies get a deal. It would have been awesome for The Cold Crush Brothers to have recorded “Rapper’s Delight” instead of the Sugar Hill Gang. After all, some of the rhymes on that record were stolen from one of the pioneers of this culture, Grandmaster Caz. You can find out more about that in an episode of Know Your History. Go to chasemarch.com, click on Hip-Hop History and you can download the podcast and read the transcript of that show.

I don’t want to get into that controversial stuff today. I cover that often enough on the program, because it is important, but so is today.

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day all night long here on DOPEfm, focusing on the achievements of Women in Hip-Hop.

And if we think about it. Sylvia Robinson was the person who brought rap music to the masses. Rapper’s Delight was a huge success. At the peak of its popularity, it was selling 50,000 copies a day. That is an impressive number even in today’s market, thirty years later.

Sylvia Robinson even signed one of the founding fathers of the culture, Grand Master Flash. However, she wasn’t the only woman working behind the scenes in the earliest commercial rap recordings.

Monica Lynch was the president of Tommy Boy Records and she signed Afrika Bambaataa to the label in 1982. It’s great to see that two of the founding fathers of hip-hop were able to land spots on major labels and achieve some success there. And it truly is a crime that Kool Herc did not get a recording contract or reap the benefits of starting this culture of hip-hop.

Def Jam, one of the most successful hip-hop labels ever also had a woman at the helm, Carmen Ashurst-Watson was the president of the company.

So far, we’ve seen that women have been actively involved in hip-hop since its very inception. We might not know all of their names since many of them were working behind the scenes. And some of those early female rappers, breakdancers, deejays, and crews were doing their thing before rap music became part of the record business.

Some of the earliest hip-hop records were by female artists. The first rap releases came out in 1979 and this is one of them. This is Lady B “To the Beat Y’all”

First female solo rapper

Welcome back to Hip-Hop’s Better Half. My name is Chase March and we are exploring the history of women in hip-hop to celebrate International Women’s Day. We just heard the very first solo female rap artist to release a record. That was Lady B ‘To The Beat Y’all”

She is still actively involved in hip-hop. She did a radio show on Power 99 called “The Street Beat” for many years and she can now be heard on Sirrius Satellite Radio and WRNB in Philadelphia.

Do you know who the first rap group to perform on a national television show was? It’s probably not who you’d expect it to be. But it is notable for several reasons. First, it happened back in 1981 on season six of Saturday Night Live. Secondly the group had a female member as its undisputed star. The group was called The Funky Four Plus One More and the one more was Sha Rock.

This is one of their best songs, “That’s the Joint.” Village Voice even rated it as the best song of the 1980s.

That was The Funky Four Plus One. It’s interesting that this group decided to highlight the female member of their group with their name. It was calling attention to something that really didn’t need attention called to it. Women had been rocking mics since hip-hop’s very humble beginnings and they would continue to put out great music for many years.

But for some reason, hip-hop became a male-dominated genre of music over the years. Women have had to fight to be heard in a genre of music that often demeans them through obscene lyrics, and objectification through imagery on album covers and music videos.

That’s never stopped women from being involved in this culture, whether it is behind the scenes at record labels, behind the turntables as deejays, or on the mic as emcees.

We just heard Sha Rock on that last record and she was one of the most talented and respected emcees in the early days of hip-hop culture. She started as a breakdancer in 1976 and one year later she was part of the legendary group The Funky 4 + 1. They got signed in 1979 and were one of the first groups to have a record deal. They were the first group to appear on national television. And Sha Rock was in the classic cult hip-hop film “Beat Street” in 1984.

She’s widely celebrated as the pioneer of female hip-hop, just with the level of attention she was able to command. Her appeal was something else, on camera and on stage. And we have quite a few records in which to play and celebrate this important voice in hip-hop music and culture.

This is Hip-Hop’s Better Half, part of our annual celebration of Women in Hip-Hop here on DOPEfm. We’re celebrating International Women’s Day, which happens every March 8th. We do so by focusing all seven hours of our programming to the women in hip-hop.

In this hour of the show, we are looking at hip-hop brightest moments with women at the helm. We’ve already discussed how women have been actively involved in hip-hop since it’s very humble beginnings, how they’ve helped propel it to the mainstream audience, and how they continue to champion for the culture to this day.

So far, we’ve worked our way from the first female radio deejay ever back in 1912 all the way up to the first rap records being released in 1979.

The next biggest moment in the history of female hip-hop happened almost by accident. It was 1984 and a hip-hop group cancelled a show. This might not seem like an impetus for a huge record that pretty much redefined what hip-hop was all about. A record that birthed the culture of response records. A record that propelled another fierce emcee to stardom. But it was.

Here’s a quick run down of the story. UTFO was a huge group in early 1980s and Marley Marl was one of the promoters bringing them to town. He was talking about how disappointed he was about them canceling the show. A young lady overheard his conversation and being the quick thinker and battle rhymer that she was, she offered to help the promoter get a little revenge.

You see, U.T.F.O’s biggest hit was a song called “Roxanne, Roxanne” and it was about a lady refusing their advances. It really had nothing to do with Roxanne Shante but she adopted the persona and spit fire on the mic. This is a powerful record and it sparked what is known as the Roxanne Wars.

This is Roxanne Shante “Roxanne’s Revenge”

That record made Roxanne Shanté a bonafide hip-hop star and also established the tradition of the answer record. Tons of people tried to follow in her footsteps by releasing their own response songs to the original U.T.F.O record. It got so convoluted that there were over one hundred such songs. I haven’t heard them all, and quite frankly, I don’t have any desire to. Roxanne Shanté did it first and she made a memorable record, and made her mark on the industry.

We started out hip-hop history lesson today in 1912 and have made our way up to 1984.

Please come back on Saturday as we will cover the important moments in the history of hip-hop where women were at the forefront.

Download Hip-Hop’s Better Half for free or stream it with the player below. Celebrating the female voices within hip-hop for our 3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop radio special.

Thanks for listening.

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Women in Hip-Hop 3 Mixset

This weekend, we celebrated International Women’s Day by dedicating our entire night’s worth of programming on DOPEfm to the Women in Hip-Hop.

It was our 3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular and it was a lot of fun delivering great content to you all night long.

This is the mixset that kicked off the show this year and it features a great line-up of female emcees.

You can download this underground hip-hop mix for free or stream it with the player below.

Red Shaydez – Give Me More
L’il London – Pecolating
Signif – Make Moves
The Reminders – Recollect
J-Sass – Whisper
Akua-Naru – Listening
Kelly Maize – 2012
Kadyelle – A Good Life
Apani B Fly ft. Jean Grae – Epidemic
Gavlyn – Survive
Dutch Rebelle – Sunday Morning
Tiff the Gift – Dear You
Harmony Muzik – Raise Hell
Lyric Jones ft. Phene – Reasons Why
Nina B ft. Torae – No Regrets
Tiye Pheonix – 48 Bars of Progression
Bahamadia – Do What I Believe

Enjoy the tunes!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular

women in hip-hop 2013

DOPEfm’s 3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular runs tonight on 93.3 CFMU on your radio dial with live streaming from the radio station’s website.

You can also listen to us on Cogeco Cable Channel 288, on Shaw Cable 93.9 fm, through your phone by dialing 704-702-7627 and inputting station ID 10042, and with the Tune In App by searching “DOPEfm.”

Tune in tonight starting at 12:00 midnight and keep the dial locked straight through to 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

We have some really exciting programming planned for the evening as we celebrate International Women’s Day by dedicated all seven hours of our overnight radio show to the Women in Hip-Hop.

HOUR 1 – A mixset featuring nothing but female emcees.
HOUR 2 – Part 1 of an extensive Know Your History episode focusing on the important moments in hip-hop history that had women in the forefront (1912 – 2000)
HOUR 3 – A roundtable discussion with Dominque Larue, Miss.She.Ill, K from Class of 93, and Ash Knuckles.
HOUR 4 – Part 2 of Know Your History covering the important moments in female hip-hop from 2000 – 2013.
HOUR 5 – A mixset and interview with female deejay L’oqenz.
HOUR 6 – An interview with Steph Clark of Beatbinjaz and a music mix by Chase March.
HOUR 7 – An interview with graduate student Marquitta Smith and a music mix by Daddy J.

Enjoy the show!

Celebrating International Women’s Day – Women in Hip-Hop 3

Beautiful poster done by one of my students

DOPEfm celebrates International Women’s Day every year by dedicating the entire overnight program to the Women in Hip-Hop. This year marks the third annual special presentation.

For this year’s show I have produced two hours of Know Your History detailing the important moments in female-fronted hip-hop from 1912 all the way up to 2013.

We have a female deejay, L’oqenz, providing us with a dope hour of music and we talk to her about her craft.

I spin an hours worth of music where every single track is by a female emcee.

We also have a roundtable discussion with some very talented artists including Miss.She.Ill, K from Class of 93, Dominique Larue, and Ash Knuckles.

I also talk to a graduate student about the issues surrounding women in hip-hop culture.

We get everything started at 12:00 midnight and run straight through to 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

There are some great voices in hip-hop music and culture. We need to recognize and celebrate them every day, but especially once a year on International Women’s Day.

If you missed the last two years of our special programming, don’t worry. You can download them for free anytime you like.

Women in Hip-Hop I (2011)
Women in Hip-Hop II (2012)

Please tune in live this Saturday night to hear our third annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular.

Celebrating International Women’s Day on DOPEfm and Silent Cacophony.

Kool Krys Autograph

Kool Krys is a talented rap artist. Her album, “Listen to Your Art” even made it on my Top 12 albums of 2012. Even cooler is that I have it autographed now.

It was such a pleasure having her on the first roundtable discussion I ever did for the radio. It was part of our special programming for International Women’s Day and the show was quite the success.

Make sure you stay tuned to the blog and the radio to catch our 3rd Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special that will be airing on Saturday March 9th, 2013.

Women in Hip-Hop (Complete Broadcast Download)

DOPEfm celebrates International Women’s Day every year by dedicating our entire overnight’s programming to the Women in Hip-Hop.

Here is the easiest way to download DOPEfm’s Second Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special.

This zipped file will give you all 7 parts of the show as they aired on 93.3 CFMU. You can click on each part below to read the transcript and download the individual files as well.

1) Introduction and Mini-mix
2) Women in Hip-Hop Roundtable Discussion
3) Mix Set 1
4) Know Your History: Episode 27 – Michie Mee
5) An interview with DJ Betti Forde
6) Mix Set 2
7) An interview with Money Stax

Download the complete on-air broadcast

and just in case you missed it

Download the inaugural Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular from last year.

Michie Mee, Canada’s First Lady of Hip-Hop (Know Your History Podcast)

In 1984, a legendary music club reopened up in Times Square. Under its original name of Latin Quarter, the nightclub became the place to go for live hip-hop music. Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Eric B & Rakim, The Jungle Brothers, and Queen Latifah are just a few of the notable acts you could catch there back in the mid to late 1980s.

Toronto was just starting to develop a hip-hop scene at this time as well. Up and coming rapper, Michie Mee knew she needed to go to the birth place of hip-hop culture to learn more about the music and establish some connections. She was only thirteen at the time.

“I got some fake ID, went to Latin Quarters to learn about hip-hop. That was the big place for everybody who wanted to know about hip-hop. There was KRS-One there. There was Scott La Rock, that’s who I really met and I was trying to prove to him that we were from Canada and there was some hip-hop in Canada. It’s like, ‘Shut up, there’s no hip-hop in Canada. You don’t rap in Canada. And you’re a female, you really gonna?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah!’ and I started spitting in front of Latin Quarters. He was like, ‘Ayo Kris!’ and he called people over and that’s how I met BDP at Latin Quarters. That was when my career really took off.”

And take-off it did. Michie Mee was the first Canadian hip-hop artist to be signed to a major label in the United States. She was a huge influence to the young rappers in Toronto at the time and helped establish the Canadian hip-hop scene that continues to flourish today.

Maestro Fresh Wes, one of Canada’s earliest and biggest hip-hop stars has nothing but praise and admiration for her. He put it this way, “Without Michie, there’d be no me. Understand what I’m saying? That’s Michie Mee.”

Welcome to Know Your History, I’m your host Chase March and, for the next half hour, we are going to celebrate the career and influence of Canada’s first rapper, Michie Mee. Stay tuned to DOPEfm all night long as we bring you exclusive interviews and mixsets from the Women in Hip-Hop as we celebrate International Women’s Day, DOPEfm style.

Download this episode of Know Your History for free, stream it with the player below, or continue reading.

Let’s start off today’s show with Jamaican Funk, Canadian Style. This is the title track of Michie Mee and LA Luv’s debut album from 1991.

That was Jamaican Funk, Canadian Style by Michie Mee and La Luv. It was the first major label release from a Canadian hip-hop artist. It’s interesting to see how she celebrates her heritage with not only her musical style, but also with the title of her album. There aren’t a lot of MCs that are comfortable doing that in this day and age. Some rappers hide their Canadian identity in seeking out international audiences.

Kardinal Offishall is currently signed to an American label and he has a lot in common with Michie Mee.
“I remember her coming to Flemington Park on time and we were all little kids . . . We didn’t even look at her like she was a female MC, she was just dope period. Michie Mee is probably one of the biggest influences in terms of my style of music.”
Canadian urban-music mogul, Ivan Berry had this to say about Kardinal, “He had this thing, like Michie, the perfect blend of what a Caribbean immigrant was living in Canada.”

Toronto celebrates the Carribbean make up of its city every year with a festival known as Caribana. People from all over the world come to this event but most importantly for us, it established a strong connection between the birthplace of hip-hop, New York, and its new home in the north, Toronto.

Michie Mee described it this way on OTA live. . .

“A lot of people in The Bronx, a lot of people in Brooklyn, gravitated to Toronto, mainly because we had Caribana. Caribana was on University Street so a lot of people from Eastern parkway would come here and celebrate the Caribana because ours was just a little bit more interesting than theirs.”

“Following that Caribbean trail came hip-hop. Kool Herc is a West-Indian man and when he formed it in The Bronx, he brought in that dancehall element and of all the sound systems setting up, which became block parties. When he was setting up the block parties, the only thing that would come out and make the difference was, people would come out and rap instead of deejaying. And everything just changed. And those same people gravitated toward Caribana when it was on University Street back in 1984-85.”

Michie Mee was born in St. Andrew, Kingston, Jamaica and her family moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada when she was young. By the age of 13, Michie was crafting her unique style by combining rap with Jamaican Creole or Patois. She quickly gained attention from both American and Canadian audiences. During rap battles, she would switch from rapping to reggae. It was completely fresh and original at the time and it would leave her competitors stunned and the audience in an uproar.

Since Toronto was relatively close to the birthplace of hip-hop culture, Michie Mee would travel to New York frequently. It was there that she would meet legendary Scott La Rock and KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions. They came up to Toronto for a concert and introduced her to the crowd, which was huge for a Canadian artist to have these hip-hop heavyweights in her corner.

“I was actually part of getting them into Canada and introducing them to Ron Nelson. I said, ‘There’s these two guys out there that really do hip-hop. They had a deal with Bill Blast and were Boogie Down Productions. They wanted to come to Canada. So I made the call and Ron was like, ‘Boogie Down Productions! Okay, we’re gonna have Canada versus . . . and they had no idea who they were going to put me against. I just wanted to be a part of it.

At that age, you didn’t know you were promoting or connecting the dots so to speak. You didn’t know that history was going to be written. You didn’t know Boogie Down Productions was gonna be huge and Scott La Rock was gonna pass. All I knew was that I had a dream and they were helping that dream come alive from The Bronx, from Manhattan, right here in Canada. Before hip-hop went down south, to them, they knew they had to come to Canada to really place that foundation. They really came North before they went south.”
That’s pretty amazing right there. The legendary, BDP came to Canada early in their career. They were, in fact, influenced by the first lady of Canadian Hip-hop. Lead rapper, KRS-One regularly blends reggae with his rap style and it’s really interesting to know that he picked up this style from Michie Mee. You can hear the influence in the hit song, “The Bridge is Over.”

A Canadian connection to the classic battle Bridge Wars. How about that?
Boogie Down Productions were an early supporter of the Canadian hip-hop scene. They even produced and released a Canadian compilation album entitled “Break’n Out.” The lead single of this project was Michie Mee and LA Luv’s track “Elements of Style” in which KRS-One introduces the track.
That was “Elements of Style” by Michie Mee and LA Luv. It was their first single ever and was released in 1987 as part of compilation album “Break’n Out.” The entire project was produced by BDP and that song garnered a lot of attention both in the United States and Canada. The Canadian duo then appeared on a few other compilation albums before landing their major label debut album in 1991.
Michie Mee was riding high and it looked like she would rule the Canadian Hip-hop scene for some time. But fate had other plans for her and it would be nine years before we’d see a second album from her. Instead, she took some time away from the microphone to have a family. It must’ve been a tough decision for her.
“Becoming a mother is for real. If you have this baby, is this baby going to ruin your chances from what you started out and left university for? Is this the way to go? You leave university to do music, and then you have a baby, and that interferes with your music, so I just had to get my priorities straight.”
“My first love, and my true love, is the music. And then I had my son. He’s the greatest love of my life, and I’m glad I didn’t take his.”
When she did come back to the music, what she was doing on the microphone didn’t change but the music behind it did.
“My bass player / engineer who did all my hip-hop records, Walter, called me down to Wellesley Studio. They said they had a track for me to go on. When I heard it, that had guitars like crazy. When they heard me on that track, I was in. When we took it on its feet, the audience and the crowd we drew was crazy.”
“It was a whole new ball game across Canada and there was a lot of love. I was still spitting. I was still doing reggae. To me, the music was different, but the fact that they understood me, and when I said certain things, they jumped with me. I was like, ‘It doesn’t matter about the music, it is the writing and it is what I’m saying. And you do relate because you jump the same times I want you to jump. They’d never seen it. They never heard it before. Imagine seeing it for the first time. I did more rock records in terms of albums and toured more with rock than I did with hip-hop.”

Michie Mee also went into show business. She’s starred in movies such as “In Too Deep” alongside LL Cool J and Omar Epps. He was also in “My Baby’s Daddy” with Eddy Griffin, and in “Chicks With Sticks” with Jason Priestly. She’s appeared in several TV shows and had the starring role in the CBC series “Drop the Beat.”

Her first love is the music and she returns to it again and again. In 2004 she joined forces with a group of local artists including Maestro Fresh Wes, Thrust, and several R&B singers to form the Peace Prophets. The group released this single for charity entitled “Drop the Chrome.”

Michie Mee was the first Canadian rapper to get signed. You just heard her on that posse cut for charity. I hope you’ve been with us for this entire episode as we have celebrated the career of the first lady of Canadian hip-hop, Michie Mee.

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day all night here on DOPEfm and we’ll be featuring exclusive interviews, mixsets, and a roundtable discussion focusing on the Women in Hip-Hop.

This is Chase March signing off on another edition of Know Your History. Thanks for tuning in!

Download Know Your History: Episode 27 – A Spotlight on Michie Mee


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