Ladies First

Hip-hop is a culture that everyone can participate in. But where are the ladies? They are severely underrepresented in this genre. Why is that?

XM radio 65 explored this topic all weekend. The extended the Ladies First radio program to celebrate everything female in hip-hop. It was nice to hear all the great songs from female rappers over the entire history of this art form. I had the radio on all weekend long.

There are some historic ladies that have blessed us with their skills on record. But they always had to battle for respect. They still do. Female rappers and DJs are few and far between. Why aren’t there more ladies in hip-hop?

It could have something to do with image. When it comes to guys on the mic, we don’t care what they look like. The Notorious B.I.G. is heralded as being one of these best ever on the mic, but he was a huge dude. Craig Mack had a bunch of hits and he wasn’t even close to being attractive.

However, when it comes to ladies on the mic, I think we expect too much. We expect women to be polite and look good. Rappers generally don’t have to do this. We expect women to behave in certain ways and it’s almost counterintuitive to what hip-hop seems to stand for.

I think we need a total shift of thinking here. Women can rock the mic and they can do it well. I think we should pay more attention to them. Women deserve respect in this culture and there are some truly great and underappreciated artists out there.

Check out Eternia, Remy Ma, Jean Grey.

And the Legends; Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Michie Mee, Salt and Pepper, Motion, Missy Elliot, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte,

And don’t forget; Foxxy Brown, Lil Kim, Da Brat, Angie Martinez, Left Eye Lopez, Nonchalant, Lauryn Hill, Rage, JJ Fad, Eve, Bahamadia, Paula Perry, Rah Digga, Heather B.

And yes I do own some of these records. I should own more though. A lot of the artists I just listed haven’t recorded any new material in a long time either. It’s a shame. And there should be way more ladies on the mic, so much so that my list would be too large to even put in a single blog post. Which leads me back to the question, where the ladies at?