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.

The set opens with LA female trio JJ Fad (Just Jammin' Fresh and Def) and their aggressive verbal attack "Ya Goin Down" on their East Coast competition, Roxanne Shante, who, in an ongoing fiery verbal feud, keep the rift alive by taunting and using every put down that pops into their heads and onto the mics. Battle rap at its best! The Queens, NY  emcee Roxanne Shante, who was used to being the center of rhyme battles, is also included on this exciting collection with the song "Bite This."

Other females found here include Sweet Tee, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah with Monie Love (the classic "Ladies First"), Missy Elliot, Bahamadia, Sparky D, Dimples D, Camille Yarborough, and Sarah Webster Fabio. The exact track listing is included below, as are a couple of video versions of two of the compilation tracks by Dimples D and the UK's Cookie Crew.

Check back over this month for more installments in this women in rap series and/or check out the previously posted first part in this series: Recognize: Bay Area Female Rappers Amoeblog.

COOKIE CREW "Secrets of Success"


Fly GIrls Tracks
1.    J Fad — Ya Goin' Down*             
.2.    Princess MC — Pump Up The Funk        
3.    Tanya Winley — Vicious Rap          
4.    Sweet Tee — I Got Da Feelin'*          
5.    Nikki Giovanni — Ego Tripping          
6.    MC Lyte — Cha Cha Cha             
7.    Two Sisters — B-Boys Beware
8.    Cookie Crew — Secrets of Success          
9.    Sequence — Simon Says             
10.    Bahamadia — Paper Thin             
11.    Sparky D — I Can't Stop             
12.    Queen Latifah Featuring Monie Love — Ladies First             
13.    Lady B — To The Beat Y'All             
14.    Camille Yarbrough — Take Yo' Praise             
15.    Missy Elliot — The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)             
16.    Dimples D — Sucker DJ             
17.    She Rockers — Give It A Rest             
18.    Sarah Webster Fabio — Glimpses             
19.    The Kryptic Krew featuring Tina B — Jazzy Sensation
20.    Roxanne Shanté — Bite This

Relevant Tags

Women's History Month (41), Jj Fad (2), Queen Latifah (6)