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Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 03:12:10: Ludacris, U-N-I, Women's History Month, Lil Wayne In Rikers, Rated Z Radio Out of LV

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2010 09:40am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 03:12:10

Ludacris
1) Ludacris Battle Of The Sexes (DTP Recordings)

2) Madlib Medicine Show No. 2, Flight To Brazil (Stones Throw)

3) U-N-I A Love Supreme 2.0 (Traffic)

4) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

5) Strong Arm Steady In Search of Stoney Jackson (Stones Throw)

Ludacris is back and back on top with this week's number one album at Amoeba Music Hollywood. Battle of the Sexes on DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace via Def Jam), which is the ATL based rapper's seventh studio album, tackles the timeless, universal theme of the difference between the two sexes. Taking over a year to record, the album features guests spots from the likes of Flo Rida, Ne-Yo, Nicki Minaj, Trey Songz, Lil' Kim, Eve, Monica, and Trina. A little reminiscent of his fun early work, this album, featuring the already successful club banger single "How Low" (see video below), is likely to be one of Luda's most successful releases to date. Great tracks include "Everybody Drunk" featuring Lil' Scrappy and "Party No Mo" featuring Gucci Mane. The battle of the sexes, the relationship between men and women, and the double standards that sometimes occur, are squarely addressed on such album tracks as "Hey Ho" feat. Lil' Kim, "I Know You Got A Man" feat. Flo Rida, "B.O.T.S. Radio" feat. Shawna and Lil' Fate, and "I Do It All Night" feat. Shawna. And on the 15 track album's entertaining, Neptunes-produced closing track "Sexting," the rapper talks about Tiger Woods' marital woes and the issue of sex addiction.

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Why Is The Ratio Of Female To Male Rappers Still So Uneven? Conscious Daughters + Monica Lynch Weigh in on the Topic: Women in hip-hop Part IV: Women's History Month

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment
queen latifah all hail the queenWhy, after all these years, is the number of female rappers still radically less than that of their male counterparts? Is it really that not as many women want to be rappers? Or rather that they are being shut out and discriminated against, and simply not encouraged to be hip-hop artists? Encouragement ultimately comes down to sales figures, so is that not enough hip-hop fans support women artists? 

"Women can't rap" used to be the common criticism of females heard back in the day. Interestingly, these days the ratio of female rap fans has grown, yet the number of female rap artists has not grown proportionately. 

To answer these questions, which have always puzzled me, I asked a few women who have been in the business for a while: CMG and Special One of the longtime Oakland female duo The Conscious Daughters, and Monica Lynch, the president of Tommy Boy Records during the years 1981 - 1998 where she was instrumental in launching the careers of such artists as Afrika Bambaataa, De La Soul, Digital Underground, House of Pain, Naughty By Nature, and Queen Latifah. She still works closely with Queen Latifah, helping guide the artist, actor, investor, product spokesperson's with her music-related endeavors.

"When you look at rap as a subset of the hip-hop culture at large, you see that a vast vast majority of the DJs were male, a vast majority of the graffiti artists were guys, the vast majority of the breakdance crews were men, and the vast majority of the rappers were male. So it was just an extension of the origins of hip-hop culture being a predominantly male cuture," said the former Tommy Boy president, who firsthand witnessed rap music morph from supposed "fad" into an unstoppable global cultural movement.

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WOMEN IN HIP-HOP PART III: 1990 & 1991

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2009 11:39am | Post a Comment
The years 1990 and 1991 were pivotal for women in hip-hop and are captured in the series of videos below. Despite the uneven ratio between female and male artists, those two years captured a time when many more female emcees were being signed and promoted by major record labels than in previous years, or years since, for that matter.

It was also a time when just about every hip-hop crew or collective had at least one female member whom they gave full support to. Queen Latifah was part of the Flavor Unit. X-Clan's Blackwatch Movement included Isis and Queen Mother Rage, while the extended BDP crew included Ms Melodie and Harmony. Meanwhile, Yo-Yo had the backing support of the post-NWA Ice Cube.

The beginning of the 90's was also a time when sisters in rap looked out for one another and joined forces to throw some memorable all female hip-hop events. There was the 75 minute 1991 Sisters In The Name of Rap concert, with YoYo, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante, Def Dames, Silk Tymes Leather, Nikke? Nicole!, (dancehall artist) Shelly Thunder, Tam Tam & others and hosted by Dee Barnes. This killer show was a Pay-Per-View TV concert taped at the Ritz in NYC in late '91 and released the following year on VHS. (I still have my prized copy.) 

Also in 1991, on Valentine's Day, there was a 5-hour all female rap concert at the Los Angeles Sports Arena that included Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, M.C. Trouble (R.I.P.), Harmony, Nefertiti, Michie Mee, MC Smooth, and Nikki D. While, according to all reviews at the time, this female rap showcase was an off-the-hook event, its attendance figures were far from impressive. Only 3,700 people showed up at the 15,200-seat LA Sports Arena. Perhaps the promoters booked too large a venue for this event, but had it been an all male rap showcase featuring the leading men of rap of the day, it would have undoubtedly sold out.

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WOMEN IN HIP-HOP PT. II: FLY GIRLS! B-BOYS BEWARE

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2009 09:30am | Post a Comment

The history books show, as recently as the early nineteenth century women in the United States were considered second-class citizens, subservient to men, and whose existence was limited to the interior life of caring for the home and children. Not only did women not have the right to vote, but after marriage they did not have the right to own property, maintain their wages, or  even sign a contract.

Of course, things have changed radically since then, especially in this country, and in 2009 we like to think everyone is equal regardless of gender, color, race, age, religion, or sexual orientation. But let's be real: we still have a ways to go for true equality. And you have to look no further than at hip-hop for proof that gender inequality exists-- the ratio of female to male artists is totally uneven, in favor of men. Flip through the CD or vinyl hip-hop aisles at Amoeba Music and odds are the ratio of female to male artists will be 1 to 10 at best or 1 to 20 at worst. Why is that? There are many reasons that I will explore in later installments of this Women In Hip-Hop Amoeblog series for Women's History Month. But for now I just want to celebrate some of the great female hip-hop artists, starting off with this Amoeblog focusing on the female emcees featured on the recent Soul Jazz release Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware: Revenge Of The Super Female Rappers!

A highly recommended tribute to the fly girls of hip hop, this CD and limited vinyl pressing, which has been selling well at Amoeba since its late January release date, is a wonderful historic overview of some of the funkiest female tracks from the 70's through the 80's and into the 90's. Of course, with just twenty tracks this snapshot only scratches the surface of the history of women in hip-hop, but considering that, it still does a hell of a job and unless you have been avidly collecting hip-hop over the years you need this for your collection.

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