TRACE Investigates…

It has been a while since true female rappers have enlightened the world of hip hop by their relevant presence. Although it seemed at time that hope may have lied in the hands of Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown and Remy Ma, we came to realize that female rappers are almost non existent in a game that featured mostly male dominance.
So the question is… are female MC’s on the verge of extinction?

Lil’Kim, a former B.I.G‘s protégée and member of the Junior M.A.F.I.A. crew, gained fame and recognition in 1996 with her solo debut album “Hard Core” which became an instant success and spawned the chart-topping hits “No Time” and “Crush On You.” The diva’s following two albums; “The Notorious K.I.M” and “La Bella Mafia” released respectively in 2000 and 2003 reached platinum success. But since serving a yearlong prison sentence for lying to a jury about her friends’ involvement in a shooting in 2005, the rapper’s career has been stone cold.

In 1996, Foxy Brown released her debut album “Ill Na Na.” It launched two hit singles “Get Me Home” (feat Blackstreet) and “I’ll Be” (feat Jay-Z). Her next two albums “Chyna Doll” and “Broken Silence,” released respectively in 1999 and 2001 achieved platinum and gold status. But with an extensive rap sheet and many legal troubles, Brown was forced to put her music on hold after she was sentenced in 2007; to a year in prison for violating her probation stemming from a 2004 fight with two manicurists in a New York City nail salon. A year later she was freed for good behavior, but has been struggling to gain attention ever since.

Remy Ma, a former member of Fat Joe’s rap crew Terror Squad who gained fame with her smash verse on the hit track “Lean Back,” released her critically acclaimed debut album, “There’s Something about Remy” in 2006. However, two years later she was sentenced to eight years in prison for the shooting of a friend outside a NYC nightclub.

Some of us still remember the time, when female MC’s such as Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Da Brat, Bahamadia, Yo-Yo and Missy Elliot amongst many were on top of the charts; but after being away from the music that gave them fame, we wonder what will happen next? Will rapper Nicki Minaj who recently signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label and who has been hyped as one of the premiere female rappers in activity able to carry the torch? Or maybe simply be the missing piece that will finally represent the true characteristics of the female MCs with her hard hitting lyrics? Let’s hope so.

As for Latifah, after more than a decade away from the hip hop world since her 1993 hit single “U.N.I.T.Y,” the Grammy Award-winning, Oscar-nominated Latifah recently released “Persona,” her first LP since 1998’s “Order in the Court,” but with a sound more Pop than hardcore we wonder if maybe the rapper has not lost her true identity.

But as violence seems to destroy the career of some of the finest female MCs from past and present, can the new generation become relevant in a game that is all about male dominance?

With an industry looking to bring back its old glory, let’s hope that for the sake of hip hop, that female MCs will be motivated and focused enough to stay true to the game as lyricists, storytellers and entertainers, thus preventing a complete extinction of the genre…

Written By Valerie Varasse

Related video: Women & DJing

Latest news
Trace News, TV, Radios, VOD, Apps