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Friday, April 3, 2009

The Return of the Conscious Daughters

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Sweet Nutcrackers: The Conscious Daughters - EKAPHOTOGRAPHY
  • EKAphotography
  • Sweet Nutcrackers: The Conscious Daughters

It's been a minute since we last heard from the Conscious Daughters. For those whose memory banks are a little foggy, the Daughters came to prominence in the Bay Area rap surge of the mid-90s, a golden age which represented the region's high point as far as music industry relevance, commercial radio support, and classic, quality releases. The Daughters' 1993 debut, the Paris-produced Ear to the Street, sold upwards of 300,000 copies, and their single "Funky Expedition (Something To Ride To)" went gold-- establishing Special One and her partner CMG as some of the dopest, most hardcore female rappers out. They followed that up in 1996 with Gamers, another classic Bay area album which was somewhat underpromoted by their then-label, Priority, but still sold over 200,000 units.

Now the Daughters are back with their long-awaited third album, The Nutcracker Suite, which recently came out on Paris' Guerilla Funk label. Older, wiser, but still repping for all the females out there, their return couldn't come at a better time. What's especially cool about the Daughters is their realness and integrity. They never fell into the trap of selling sex a la Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, relying more on their personalities than superficialities, and on The Nutcracker Suite, they don't hesitate to empower themselves, nor tackle controversial and complex topics such as domestic violence.

A few weeks back, I had the chance to hang with Karol (Special 1) and Carla (CMG) during the Hip-Hop Chess Federation's "Mind Over Matter II" event, and I can report that they are excited about returning to the rap game, and quite proud of all the work they put into the new album. These two homegirls are still as cool as ever, and they still have the hunger which propelled them to national recognition almost a decade-and-a-half ago, if Special 1's blistering freestyle in an impromptu HHCF cipher is any indication.

The Conscious Daughters will be among the featured acts this Saturday at "Everlasting Bass," a monthly party at 330 Ritch with a woman-centric theme promoted by B.A.S.S. (Bay Area Sistah Sound). Residents DJ Pam the Funkstress and DJ Zita -- who just collaborated on a super-sick mix CD, "Bass In Yo Face Vol. I"-- will be spinning the blaps, slaps, and knocks, ya heard? For more information, visit or click here.

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Eric Arnold


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