Monday, December 05, 2005

Do the Ladies Run This Motherfucker??!! Hell Yeah! Top Female MCs..

**Originally posted on November 19, 2004**

Because of the fact that we can't hop into a 85' Dolorean and go back in time, many of us are stuck with the consequences of our actions. But in the blog world, where you can go back into your archives and go through an opinion you once had, you can see where your ideas and writing style has either progressed or regressed. Anyway, another blogger had linked this old post of mine, comparing it to the female MC's that he considers to be the best of all time. He was in no way dissing me, he had a pretty good list to be honest with you. But his post made me read this archival post again, and it sparked off an idea that I had. Like I said this is an old post, but under each entry I will comment on how my opinion has changed or strengthened over the past year. My new commentary will be in italics.

1. MC Lyte- Hands down, my favorite female rapper of all time. Ever since "Paper Thin" she has been holding it down for not only females, but for any human being that enjoys pure Mic skills. People say that there aren't any great female Mc's nowadays, and I agree, but maybe its because Lyte set the bar so fucking high. Brilliant writer, classic delivery, razor Sharp voice, and she is royalty when it comes to the diss track. She is the first female to let me know that a woman can be as good as or better than a man at anything. She was the first rapper to perform at Madison Square Garden, and she is first on my list.

I still agree with this, she was revolutionary and she had something that not many people have nowadays, good albums. I had a friend of mine blurt out all of these underground Female Mc's as his opinion of the greatest of all time. I openly reject his choices because some of them are overrated for their lyrical prowess because of the horrible shape that Hip Hop is in, and most people don't know they fucking exist. The issue of them having sub-par albums doesn't help matters. Lyte, had solid albums unlike a slew of underground female MC's. So, if you have a "underground MC's that are OK, and you might have never heard of" list, then I will listen to you.

2. Queen Latifah- The first time I heard her was on her first single "Princess of the Posse" and her performance on that track proved that she was a force to be reckoned with. Her album "All Hail the Queen" is a Hip Hop classic with some of my personal favorites like "Queen of Royal Badness", "Ladies First", and her collaboration with De la Soul called "Mama gave birth to the Soul Children". She was the first female rapper to really push Female empowerment in her lyrics. She pushed that agenda on classic albums like "Black Reign" proving her place in Hip Hop history. She has moved on to be successful in television and films, but we all know that she started with a Mic in her hand.

I still agree with this, even though she has gone from the Queen of Rap into a wanna-be Ella Fitzgerald. She held it down, providing the masses with two quality albums, always promoting a positive influence in the world of Hip Hop.

3. Lauryn Hill- Mostly known as a gifted songstress, many fans have seen her grow lyrically throughout her years spent as a member of the Fugees. In my personal opinion she would be my number one choice if rhyming was her priority, and if she had more of a catalog of Hip Hop songs to her credit. Versatile rhyme flow, unmatched vocabulary, dazzling voice, and a delivery that epitomized precision. Looking back, I can see that she carried 90% of the lyrical workload on The Fugees album "The Score". She is a great singer, but if she concentrated more on being a MC she would be the best female rapper by far.

I love Lauryn, I really do, but she can't be ranked higher than # 3 because she doesn't have one solo Hip Hop album under her belt. You can point out her verses on "Fugees" albums, guest appearances on other people's songs, mixtape rhymes, book signings, bar mitzvah's, bake sales, but until she has one CD displaying her rhyming skill where she doesn't mostly sing on it,, she can't be no higher that #3. She is kind of like a basketball player with all the skill in the world, who settles for 3 point shots instead of driving to the hole and dunking on a motherfucker. She is lyrically gifted, but she needs to see a fucking shrink and put out a god-damned Hip Hop record already!!

4. Da Brat- People will question this choice but let me explain. When the Brat's career first started many complained that she was trying too hard to be a female Snoop. But one thing was evident, even early on, that the Chicago native had a flawless delivery and rhyme skills to boot. You can question her song concepts, her image, but you can't question her skills. Out of everyone on my list, she is the only person that I know of that has impeccable freestyle skills, adding to her arsenal. She is the first solo female MC to go platinum which is quite the accomplishment. Her career has suffered, primarily because she fell victim to what many female artists are pressured to do, "sexy up" their image. But at the end of the day her skills are undenyable.

Yeah, I was bugging when I typed this, I know. I just think that Da Brat has a world of untapped lyrical skill that will never be realized because of the current state of Hip Hop, her misguided attempts to come off as sexy when all I care about are her skills, and having a midget albatross like Jermaine Dupree around her neck contributing to the wackness. A year later, she doesn't belong on this list.

5. Roxanne Shante- She is the Harriet Tubman of females in Hip Hop. Of course she isn't the first female rapper in history, but she is the first female MC that mattered. From her classic battles with UTFO, she has proven that she is fearless and commanded the utmost respect. Part of the legendary Juice Crew which included the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Biz Markie, she wasn't any sort of "female sidekick" but she was a equal part of the crew. She is the model for what every female rapper should aspire to be.

I still agree with this choice, you can't front on Roxanne. I agree with the rest of this list as well.

6. Bahamadia- This Philadelphia bred M.C first made her mark on cameo appearances on tracks with The Roots, but she soon proved that she could rock the Mic all by herself. Like Lauryn, Bahamadia has a enormous vocabulary, excellent delivery, and a hypnotic rhyme flow. Even though she has one noteworthy album, she has proven herself worthy of being on this list because of her lyrical capabilities.

Honorable Mention

*Monie Love- Debuted on Queen Latifah's "Ladies First", this London M.C showed America that England wasn't all tea and crumpets. She displayed a quick delivery, and lyrical prowess that female rappers today would be hard pressed to deal with. The reason she isn't on my favorite list is because she had mediocre albums, and wasn't in the game very long.

*Boss- When she first came out I thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. Her song "Deeper" is still one of my personal favorites, displaying her gritty rhyme flow about street life. She was lyrical, with a aggressive rhyme style, and a take no prisoners persona. Her debut album was her only noteworthy album, after which she virtually disappeared from the hip hop scene.

*Heather B- She should win the "Most improved M.C" Award, because when she was a member of BDP she was garbage. But when she left BPD, did The Real World and waited a few years, she came back a new lyricist and made me a believer. The reason why she isn't on my favorite list because she doesn't really have any noteworthy albums, and possibly because I just didn't hear enough of her.

*Lady of Rage- She was the First Lady of Death Row Records, first showcasing her skills on Dr. Dre's "Chronic" album. She went solo and hit the world with "Afro puffs" which many people that I knew liked. She had a simple rhyme structure, but was lyrical and had a dynamic voice. She suffered from 1)Image issues that many females fall victim to 2) Lackluster production 3) She simply wasn't a priority for Dr. Dre and Death Row.

Glaring omissions? Let me explain.

Salt & Pepper- They were a legendary group, no doubt about that. But the sheer fact that Herbie Lovebug wrote their lyrics disqualifies them from my list. I love you ladies, but Sorry.

Foxy Brown- She is just "ok" to me, but I find her rather boring. Not only that, she doesn't have any songs that I would personally recommend. How many times can you rap about being a female thug who loves money??

LiL Kim-How do I hate thee, let me count the ways..But seriously, she is automatically disqualified because she hardly writes her own lyrics. She doesn't have any songs that stick with me, and she is basically all image. This is going to sound weird coming from me, being that I love porn and other filth more than the next guy, but I feel that her raunchy image hurts females who want to gain respect because of their skills. Again, how many times can you rap about getting money for sex, Versache, and your Vagina??

Eve- I think eve is legitimate, she just bores the piss out of me. That simple.

22 comments:

DM said...

Good post. I'm wondering, what do you think about underground rapper Jean Grae, or that British chick that jay Z just signed (read about it on Vibe.com).

What about LadyBug from Digable Planets, is that a stretch?

DJ Ho said...

Definently agree with your comments about L-Boogie. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed by her first LP as I was expecting more hip hop and her live album. I think if she got back to that original Fugee la rapping style she would be off the heezy. SO waiting for her to drop an LP with her just rapping. Her voice is just magnetizing.

Check this lyric from Jin on Top 5(dead or alive):

"mic skills ain't got nothin to do with ya gender/
Clef 's ill but L Boogie was my favorite member/
out the Fugees the tightest to drop/
Latifahs the Queen other chicks are Lyte as rock/"

Maverick said...

I was just going to comment about Jean Grae also...good catch, Donna. There are some other females that we have forgotten about along the way (i.e. Apani B Fly Emcee, Ladybug from Digable Planets, Yo-Yo, Jane Blaze, Remy Ma)...I am not saying who is good and who is bad, but we have to make sure to include everyone when we are doing the rankings in order to have a good frame of reference as to how you made your decisions...

I am Jack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I am Jack said...

Good list, even if it is a repost. I'm feeling who you did and didn't include, because you would be listing rappers all day if you wanted to post every person with a vagina that ever held a mic.

Jean Grae is alright, but only considered dope because of the lack of credible MC's out there. Didn't Ice Cube write a lot of Yo-Yo's lyrics? Lady Bug was alright, but shouldn't be mentioned amongst the greats. Remy Ma, hells no, respectfully.

Maverick said...

Though I won't put her as one of the greatest yet, she is definitely one of the top MCs out right now and I think she is definitely going to be in the top of all time by the time she is done. She is a live MC by any standard, not just because there are subpar MCs out right now. Her 9th Wonder collab album kinda solidifies her place up there as one of the top right now because even though 9th is getting pretty consistent (meaning monotonous) with some of his beats, her rhymes bring out alot of tracks that would be average otherwise...

I agree with what you said on the rest of them though, Jack...

DM said...

I could never get into Jean Grae, personally. But I can recognize her flow.

What about Left Eye? I think she is often slept on because she was a member of a pop group, and b/c of the politics of TLC, she was never really able to step out as the emcee she was...her flow was undeniable...any thoughts??

DP said...

Am I the ONLY Rah Digga fan left?


maybe it's the crush I have on her. who knows.

Chubby Chocolate said...

I agree with your list.
Mc Lyte is #1....
Paperthin, Shut the Eff up...WHAT?!!!!

My brother and I practiced that break beat in Paperthin on our cheap casio keyboard until we got it right!!

I have her first cd on current rotation in my car right now. Really enjoyed that post.

Belve said...

Dayum I almost didnt read the comments on this post because I didnt see Rah Digga even mentioned. My thought is that if she werent under the Busta Rhymes shadow, she would be a much better MC. Props to DP for saying it 1st though

tristessa said...

Another Rah Digga fan...I think it's a career killer when female MCs don't drop a second album quickly. I don't know why, but it especially seems like a problem for women.

blackcaesar said...

i have every missy album that she's ever done and i am willing to bet there is not a female emcee that really wants it with her. to me she is very talented and exudes hip hop as a culture. in addition, i am not smoking that shizznit. thank you.

Cosmorok said...

I feel Jean Grae is an ill emcee, for either gender but what keeps her out of people's minds is she doesn't drop alot of albums and instead has alot of mixtapes, it seems like she has more guest verses then her own tracks, but I'm glad she has alot of verses on other people's tracks then no verses. It's hard for me to admit when I have alittle crush on her.

LadyLee said...

You're on point with this post, HC... MC Lyte is #1.

Nothing beats Paper Thin, Lyte as a Rock, and I need a Ruffneck.

I hate these damn wanna be female rappers right now... Nobody (especially me, being a female and all) wants to hear how good your coochie is, and how much money and clothes you kickin'... They need to go back and listen to Lyte, Latifah, etc. and take some damn notes on what a REAL female MC is ...

Lene said...

one of the sickest hip hop disses was mc lyte's "10% dis." i feel bad, and she wasn't even talking about me...

toneec42 said...

I'm glad you reposted this because hands down I agree with your list. I'm not extremely familiar with Bahamadia but I will have to check her out more. Thanks for the insight.

glory said...

i'm glad for this post- it points out something that i believe in. ain't nothing really happening right now, today, with lady rappers, worth noting. it hurts, but it's true.

jb said...

a lot of female emcees have ghostwriters. Dude from Audio Two (Lyte's stepbrother) supposedly wrote many of her verses. Juice crew supposedly wrote Shante's stuff. Which isn't to take anything away from them but to acknowledge the gross underestimation of women's talent and the persistence of male privilege

Brother OMi said...

Eve is not wack but overrated.

whats crazy is that there is a alot of underground female MCs taht get no love..

Proactiff said...

Lyte gone Gospel is tighter than tight too. Voice still harder than Ltye in an Old Navy joint. . . . Glad to still get my dose of her on the other side of the "world" I live in.

aegis said...

Ah, how your list brings me back to the pre CD days where cassingles ruled the boombox.

MC Lyte likes swingin'

P.S. I can't believe I slept on your site for so long. I have been known to procrastinate, my bad.

Rose said...

Two of the best female rappers of all times: MC Lyte and Left Eye....smooth and intense....