Queen Latifah

While doing research on female rappers, I ran across a very interesting article in the archives of the New York Times. The article is entitled
“RECORDINGS; Female Rappers Strut Their Stuff In a Male Domain by Jon Pareles.”
(Make sure you also read the second page of this article.)

This article commemorates the efforts of rappers like Queen Latifah and MC Lyte for excelling in a male dominated culture such as rap. I was attracted to this article because of its title. After reading the title I told myself that whoever wrote this had made a mistake. They could not be talking about present day female rappers. Then I noticed the date that the article was published. It was published on November 5, 1989! So that’s why the writer was so optimistic about women in rap.

The date makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately female rappers like Queen Latifah and MC Lyte are no where to be found in rap today. And if they are out there, we don’t hear their music or know much about them. This article made me realize (more…)


I thought that it would only be right if we examined females’ participation in rap music early on in rap’s history. Starting with the 1980’s, female rappers have taken the mic with something to say in response to how they are viewed and talked about by men. The most prominent female rappers from this era are Sha Rock, The Real Roxanne, and Roxanne Shante. These rappers came before the well-respected and memorable MC Lyte and Queen Latifah.

I found this clip that gives the history of one of the pioneers of female rappers, Roxanne Shante, from Queensbridge Projects in Queens, New York. The clip takes about 20 seconds to start so please be patient.

After hearing this story, it seems like Shante may be partially responsible for igniting the rap battles that are so popular in hip hop. Even if she isn’t, (more…)