Conscious Daughters "Something to Ride To (Fonky Expedition)"
Really sad news for Bay Area hip-hop fans has been spreading online all day today that much loved femcee Karryl Smith, aka Special One of longtime East Bay hip-hop duo Conscious Daughters, has died. So far the cause of death is unknown of the artist who first came to fame care of The Conscious Daughters' (TCD) 1993 debut album Ear To The Street (on Paris' Scarface Records label) and its hit single (video above) "Something to Ride To (Fonky Expedition)."
Since then TCD released only two albums, 1996's Gamers and The Nutcracker Suite from two years ago, while CMG recently released a solo album The Jane Of All Trades featuring the lead single/video "All My Life (Let's Do It) featuring Truth Speaks" that was featured just yesterday in the Hip-Hop Rap Up Amoeblog. About an hour ago a still in shock CMG, via her Facebook page, made this statement about the tragic passing of her musical partner and best friend: "Thank you to everyone for your prayers I need them. I am sick over the loss of my sister. The cause of death is still unknown but I will try to share info when I get it. Pray for me and Karryls other sisters Jessica and Tonya. We are all together trying to get through this."
Years before she was a rapper Special One was a hip-hop radio DJ (one of the few female hip-hop DJs) on El Cerrito High School radio station KECG. Always an ambassador for women's rights in the entertainment industry in a 2009 interview with the Amoeblog Special One talked about the role of women in the hip-hop industry and specifically on the discrepancy of the numbers of women vs men. "A lot of women don't own record labels," she said. "So the independent labels that put out independent music are owned by men. You don't have any women that own anything in rap music, so therefore you have to be on somebody's coattails to bring us [women] in and then hopefully it's not just one album or one single or something like that. We don't own nothing to put it [the music] out. Bottom line." Rest in Power Special One. You will not be forgotten.