Whatever happened to the female emcee? Or more appropriately, whatever happened to the female emcee with mic skills?
It’s kinda sad that the role of the woman in hip-hop has devalued over the years from Queen Latifah and MC Lyte to Nicki fuckin’ Minaj.
There’s no template for a successful female rapper that can not only compete with guy emcees, but can do so while keeping their clothes on. Post-Kim and Foxy, every successful femcee has stressed the power of the cooch over the power of their verses. Even talented emcees like Da Brat, Rah Digga and Eve allowed their images to become more sex-based over time. Not that I’m necessarily complaining, mind you-but you’ve gotta shake your heads at the fact that these talented women sold out a little bit.
Anyway, one femcee who never quite got her proper shine was Heather B. This Jersey girl was one of the highlights of the first season of “The Real World”, back when it was an interesting social experiment and not a forum for pretty drunk people to make asses of themselves. Actually, the folks on that first season cast were not only interesting personalities, but they also went on to be quite successful independently (as evidenced by Heather, Kevin Powell and Eric Nies). Heather was certified rugged, Boogie Down Productions endorsed, and was more than capable of wiping out cats in a freestyle cipher. She never had a big pop hit (I guess MTV can only get you so far), but there were some bangers on her debut album, including “All Glocks Down” (which utilized a sick sample of the bassline from “People Make the World Go Round” by The Stylistics) and “If Headz Only Knew”. Check out the video and remember a point in time when there were actually lyrically proficient female emcees out there who DIDN’T rely on guys to write their rhymes.