What I Miss in Black Radio?: Female MCs

This "What I Miss In Black Radio?" segments are just pretty much my rambling about stuff that I feel isn't really on the air like that anymore in Black Radio (or not like it should).

These posts are going to probably be relatively sporadic, just coming through when something comes to mind.

I miss female MCs.

Now, there have never been a whole LOT of female MCs in Hip-Hop, especially in the mainstream.

I'm not talking about some chick who coos the hook on the chorus, or makes sexy noises (well, if that's all they do) or stuff like that - I'm talking about ladies who kill it via rhymes, hooks and bars on a song.

But lately, doesn't it seem like you would have better luck winning the lottery or Busta Rhymes bringing Leaders of the New School on a reunion tour than seeing a prominent, dope female MC on a MTV, BET VH1, your local video show, etc.?

** NOTE: We're not talking about channels like BET Jazz, VH1 Classic, MTV Jams or VH1 Soul, where you have to pay extra money for those joints, but the regular one folks get bundled on that mid-grade cable package - we all don't have "Gold/Platinum" package loot. **

It seems that most of the time now, when you hear about female MCs either being kicked off/walking out on collectives for various reasons (Rah Digga, Shawnna), becoming a bit off mentally (Lauryn Hill) or being busted by the police for foolishness going to jail or trial (Foxy Brown, Remy Ma) - if you hear about them at all.

Is it a matter of female talent not being exposed and nurtured or just mediocrity being put out there being set up to fail?

Personally, I think its a mix of both.

We're definitely in the age where definition of "Old School" is - to be very kind - flawed (too not be so kind, f***ed up) in general for music. Some of the best female MCs were popular between the mid-1980s and late-1990s - a period of time that for some reason, mainstream radio and television don't seem to want to touch unless its a tribute show or the "old school/throwback" joint or mix of the day. This happens even if an "old school" female MC put out something new that's hot.

So folks have to look at the fact that lack of exposure to female MCs isn't going to help out the overall female MC cause. There is a generation of teenagers (we got to remember, there are 17 year olds that were born in 1990) that simply just won't know what's up unless they have people around them to expose them to such things.

I also feel that some female MCs are just treated like tax write offs for some labels - they serve a purpose, but won't be taken seriously at the end of the day. Think of all of the projects that are never promoted properly, if at all. Ladies with pretty faces but wack flows (or vice versa, depending on someone's definition of beauty for the day/era). That one female in the game who you wondered why and how in the hell did they get on after hearing a single that contributed to audio pollution and later found out via some form of media that they were "f***in' for tracks" with a higher up in the business, as Bossip would say.

And sometimes, just sometimes, there would even be a GREAT project by a female MC that just dropped at the wrong time or simply folks just moving on to other and hopefully greener pastures (Queen Latifah - "Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Cover Girl/Actress/Mogul; Eve doing her acting in the movies and sitcoms; Roxanne Shante becoming Dr. Roxanne Shante - can't hate on that at all, etc.).

There are still plenty of talent that is out there on the female MC end from both the old school and the future - it just really needs to get pushed out there properly and hopefully without getting pushed back on some Dr. Dre Detox status.

Here's just a small sample of videos (viva YouTube) of female MCs who I think are on point with some website links and whatnot that I could fine.

Might do a Part 2 of this with the videos in the future....

Jean Grae & Talib Kweli - Black Girl Pain

Jean Grae Website

Lauryn Hill - Everything Is Everything

Mc Lyte feat. DJ Premier - Wonder Years (2006)

MC Lyte Website

MC Lyte - Cappucino

Queen Latifah feat. Monie Love - Ladies First

Queen Latifah Website
Monie Love MySpace

Rah Digga feat. Busta Rhymes - Imperial

Rah Digga MySpace

Lady of Rage - Afro Puffs

Bahamadia - 3 The Hard Way

Bahamadia MySpace

Salt-N-Pepa - I'll Take Your Man

More Hip-Hop Lady MC Videos later on...