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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Before Kreayshawn: 10 Underrated and/or Forgotten Female MCs

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Kreashawn: Oakland's latest female rap sensation.
  • Kreashawn: Oakland's latest female rap sensation.

Last week, around the fifth time someone sent me a link to Kreayshawn's "Gucci Gucci," I started having a feeling toward the diminutive rapper that was not entirely positive. This discomfort grew a few days later, when she reportedly signed a $1 million deal with Sony. (She denies the deal.)

The thing is, I like her: she's funny, she's gross, she's full of it in the best possible way. I am, without question, the target market for this viral video-launched product. So what's my problem?

Part of it is that I have a thing for a lot of serious female MCs, and many of them don't get the respect they deserve. It doesn't take much of a history lesson to notice a pattern of female artists who never receive the level of promotion their male labelmates enjoy, careers that stall because there's very little room in the industry for "older" women (and practically none for those whose image doesn't include a stripper pole). Meanwhile: What's up, Too $hort, how was that 45th birthday?

Yeah, the new girl is fun, weird, and vaguely challenging. But when was the last time you listened to 1988's It Girl, MC Lyte? Here are 10 other neglected and/or underrated female rappers who also have swag, um, pumping out their ovaries -- and deserve an equal chunk of your YouTube time.

1. Antoinette

Salt 'n' Pepa labelmate Antoinette had one of those careers that never made it past 1990 -- her hits weren't quite as easily translatable into karaoke as "Shoop" or "Push It." Still, I'd like to see Nicki Minaj keep us interested for a whole video in this yellow-T-shirt-and-floral-vest combo.

2. Sweet Tee

Another underappreciated hip-hop matriarch from Queens. Sweet Tee's supposedly back in the studio this year; no word yet on whether she still sounds this adorable.

3. Bo$$

Def Jam's finest, circa 1993. Bo$$ saw two singles from her debut, Born Gangstaz, hit No. 1; the label postponed her follow-up indefinitely. Now she suffers from renal disease and is on the hunt for a kidney donor (no, really).

4. Rah Digga

Still goin', bless her heart, in her (gasp!) late 30s. I would rather listen to an entire Rah Digga album with Busta Rhymes featured on a few songs than the other way around. Am available to argue about this.

5. Charli Baltimore

Grammy-nominated, but probably best known for allegedly being Biggie Smalls' girlfriend at the time of his death and the ensuing, obligatory beef with Lil' Kim.

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About The Author

Emma Silvers

Emma Silvers is SF Weekly's former Music Editor.


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