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Ladies First: The Rise of the Black Female Rapper

Azealia

These female stars prove that hip-hop isn’t a boys’ club anymore.  


Hip-hop is no longer male -dominated. With superstars like Nicki Minaj blowing up in hip-hop, it’s inevitable that other female MC’s will start getting their due. These five artists prove that girls run the hip-hop world.

Azealia Banks
The Harlem rapper has created quite a buzz on the music scene. Her first single “212” is a fun and risqué single that has been viewed 17 million times on YouTube.  Her 1991 EP will drop this summer.  Banks’s full-length album, Broke with Expensive Taste will feature songs with Kanye West.  Her hip-hop is influenced by house music and even rock groups like Bloc Party. Though she...

Ledisi: Her Own Woman, Happy In Her Own Skin

ledisi1Talking with Ledisi, it was as if I were on a lunch date with a good girlfriend. Known for fan favorites such as "Alright", "Higher Than This" and "Goin' Thru Changes", now the seven time Grammy nominated vocalist is not only kicking off her headline tour called "Be Good To Yourself", but she penned her first book entitled "Better Than Alright: Finding Peace, Love and Power"—a 176 page masterpiece that was written to give fans a full scope into who she is and the life...

Jill Scott: New Look, New Album, New Woman

Listen-Up-Jill-Scott-Bon-Iver-more-7366LTT-xWith her natural locks now replaced with a relaxed Rihanna-esque short do, a slimmed-down physique (she’s shed more than 60 pounds), and a new album with upbeat tracks featuring hip-hop heavyweights like Doug E. Fresh, fans of the neo-soul songstress Jill Scott may find themselves asking the same question she posed in her 2000 debut album, “Who Is Jill Scott?”    

 

Her brand has undoubtedly evolved from the round-the-way girl from North Philadelphia with the...

Lady Day to Lady Tee: The Leading Ladies of Blue-Eyed Soul

Chris-ClarkGrowing up my mother played a lot of what’s now referred to as “old school” music—Atlantic Starr, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, Prince, and the like. But I recall being particularly enamored by the voice of the woman singing alongside Rick James in the classic R&B song, “Fire and Desire.” As a child, I thought, this lady can really sing, but I was shocked to learn some years later that this big “Black voice” belonged to a 5-foot White woman—Teena Marie.

Also known as...

Interview with El DeBarge: The Music, The Soul, The Legend

El_Debarge_MicI sat quietly waiting for the phone to ring in my home office directly in front of my computer-I was still in shock and had the biggest grin on my face that wouldn’t budge. The moment was surreal and on a scale of 1 to 10, my level of excitement had hit the 20 mark. I looked at the clock and noticed the time approaching—it was five minutes to 3 o’clock. My list of questions was well prepared lying on my keyboard and my digital recorder was set in place. Although I was ready, as with any...