Who remembers when “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent featuring Olivia dropped in 2005? I turned eleven that year and this was my ultimate jam. Not only mine, just about everyone was passing the song around via some unstable Bluetooth connections on what we call today “dealer phones”.
That moment when the beat drops after an almost religious introduction and a sassy Olivia welcoming Fifty to the Candy Shop, THAT was my personal “organic high”. I couldn’t figure out the lyrics with my poor English and thankfully the video clip was more than enough to understand the philosophy behind this banger.
After re-watching the clip for the 60th time on MTV, my eleven-year self figured it out:
“Oh wait… the WOMEN are the candy…”
“…and the lollipop he’s talking about…”
I grew up looking up to male rappers because there was not much else on MTV’s catalogue and the damned beats were way too good for me to turn it off every time the G-Unit crew was showing off with diamonds and half-naked chicks on a one-million dollar video clip.
There were in fact some good female MCs that are nowadays barely mentioned in contemporary hip hop. When it comes to female rappers there is more than just Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj. This “FEMALE HIP-HOP GUIDE” is about women in the hip-hop scene that you need to listen to if you’re a hip-hop head!
Let’s start with one of my personal favorites: Lana Michelle Moorer aka MC Lyte. This bad-ass rapper was born in Brooklyn and that might explain a lot. MC Lyte is a name that should be remembered especially for one major reason: after dropping her debut album “Lyte as Rock” in 1988 she became the first female rapper to release a full project.
This is a fitting album for those among you that are still not over Eric B.’s and Rakim’s old-school 80’s vibes. “Lyte as Rock” is a classic in female hip hop: MC Lyte is spitting bars powerful enough to put male MC’s in their misogynist place. The rapper endorses her femininity and that earned her some media attention… don’t forget we’re talking about the 1980’s here.
Shawntae Harris, better known by her stage name Da Brat, is not only an American actress but also a rapper… a good money-making MC. Da Brat became the first female rapper to ever sell one million copies courtesy of her highly acclaimed album “Funkdafied” in 1994. Yep… money-moves was a thing before Cardi.
Are there some Snoop-Doggy-Dogg fans over here? If you didn’t listen to “Funkdafied” yet, you need to add this album to your G-Funk collection. The Illinois rapper was without a doubt deeply inspired by the iconic West-Coast duo of Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg and it actually does sound great.
You’re looking for a hardcore gangsta-rap chick, with guns and all types of intimidating accessories? Mia Young aka Mia X has EXACTLY what you need and it’s called “Unlady Like”, released in 1997. Unapologetic, provocative and with a touch of sex appeal, Mia X was the first female rapper to get a contract with no other than Master P on his record label No Limit Records.
On her second album “Unlady Like”, the New-Orleans rapper follows in the footsteps of her mentors Lil Kim and Foxy Brown. I can guarantee you’ll feel like the baddest bitch in your town banging this album through your headphones.
Last one on this list (it’s pt.1 after all), is the Brooklyn legend herself Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand aka Foxy Brown. Sex, fashion and the mafia: that’s what Foxy Brown is all about. But it’s OK because her sexy and assured delivery make her so-called “superficial preoccupations” sound seductive.
“Ill Na Na” is not only the rapper’s most acclaimed album, but it also has some very appealing guests like Jay-Z, Nas and Method Man. Quite a good squad we have there. East-Coast fans, what are you waiting for?
This list is by far not complete and that’s where you can participate: if you have suggestions of female rappers (no matter if US or not and no matter what year) that hip-hop heads need to have in their collection: LET ME KNOW!! DM me on Instagram I’ll gladly give them a listen and continue this series.