tv The Real Queens of Hip- Hop The Women Who Changed the Game -- An ABC News... ABC October 18, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
changed the game" starts right now on abc. the game" starts right now on abc. ♪ ♪ snap crackle flame of a fire rising higher smoke bellows from ♪ ♪ ten story high-risers kids play mother may i ♪ ♪ red light green light one two three hopscotch over crack vials ♪ ♪ stockpiled more than some eyes have ever seen on this sidewalk ♪ ♪ kids side step & mind their feet step on a crack break ♪ ♪ your mama's back so they steer clear of cracks in the concrete ♪ ♪ amidst the crying crows of woes out of the same ♪ ♪ concrete grows a rose pedals made of metal prepared for the ♪ ♪ insidious wind that blows escaping with verbs words allow the ♪ ♪ wingless to fly and eventually soar a young woman's ♪ vhaock is hea
the funky four ♪ ♪ with pebbly poo mercedes ladies they open doors ♪ ♪ in spite of the naysayers and haters and perpetrators and traitors and fakers and takers we persevered becoming greater creators ♪ ♪ without favors showing up, showing out proving we could be braver ♪ ♪ exceeding all expectations claiming our rightful spot in this culture called hip-hop ♪ ♪ if there wasn't women in rap, i couldn't even imagine the culture of hip-hop. female mc's were always on the front line, always on the front line. >> from the inception of hip-hop in the 1970s, mc sha rock was a
pioneer. known as the mother of the mic, here is one of the earliest recordings of a female mc performing live with the funky four plus one, their first single "rappin and rockin the house." ♪ to the people out there we want y'all to know we are the ones ♪ ♪ with the magical show we're two dj's and five mc's four other fellas ♪ ♪ plus one is me ♪ >> i was the blueprint of female mcs on the microphone. >> talented from a young age, she started rhyming as a child. >> my mom had enrolled me in a poetry slam. she said, "this what you do. you rhyme it, you recite, and your cadence will make people be able to feel it when you say it." and so that was my beginning. at about the age of 8, i moved to the bronx. >> when you look around the
bronx, you see the burning buildings, you know, the environment. >> in 1973 in many parts of the south bronx such basic services such as adequate services such as adequate light, heat and plumbing are the exception rather than the norm. >> the politicians wasn't taking care of new york city. there was no hope. you had to be tough. to help us get away from all the negativity, no matter what was going on around us in new york city at the time, we looked forward to the park jams. kids with little or no resources created something out of nothing. >> 1935 e.d. >> hip-hop wasn't called hip-hop back then in '70s. it was going to the jams. >> rap music began in the south bronx on playgrounds like this one, where people would gather to spin records and recite their own lyrics, their raps, over the
instrumental section. >> the only form of communication that we had was fliers. we had cassette tapes and word of mouth. >> back then you wouldn't hear that music on the radio. people with a cassette tape literally tape the dj while it was happening, and then those tapes would get copied and then there's ten people huddled around a radio listening to that one tape. that's literally how it spread. in 1977, they wanted mcs to audition for this new crew so i got on the number 41 bus and started writing my rhymes, writing and reciting, writing and reciting. the rhyme that put me in the crew was -- ♪ i'm sha-rock and i can't be stopped for all the fly guys ♪ ♪ gonna hit the top i can do it for the ones that are ♪ ♪ weak or strong ♪ ♪ ♪ i can do it for the ones that are right and wrong ♪ ♪ well, i'm listed on the column as classified ♪ ♪ i can be a nurse and
i'm qualified ♪ >> that rhyme became "that's the joint." >> sha rock earned a spot in this new rap crew, at the age of 17. and as the only female to audition, she became one of hip-hop's first females. ♪ i'm the plus one more and i'm throwing down she's the best female ♪ ♪ in this here town and everybody knows that i'm golden brown ♪ >> in 1981 we get this call, and debbie harry's manager's like, "look, we want the funky four plus one on 'saturday night live.'" >> please welcome my friends from the bronx, the funky four plus one more. >> it's the first time that hip-hop is being televised. >> it was a monumental moment, rap music was introduced to mainstream america with a young black female at the vanguard. >> however, i wasn't able to really enjoy being on that stage. i was pregnant. my stomach is hurting. it's like, "oh, man. how is this going to stop me from doing what i wanted to do?" and my group was terrified. they were mad at me.
>> although the funky four never reached commercial success, mc sha rock was cemented into history as the "first lady" of hip-hop, inspiring the next generation of female mcs. >> at the same time, rap music was struggling to be taken seriously as a genre. that was until a female music producer named sylvia robinson, the founder and ceo of sugarhill records, released the single "rapper's delight." >> when i first heard "rapper's delight," it was like, "yo, you see that? i aint never seen nothing like this." ♪ i said a hip-hop the hippie, the hippie to the hip, hip-hop ♪ ♪ and you don't stop the rockin' to the bang-bang boogie ♪ ♪ say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie ♪ ♪ the beat ♪ >> "rapper's delight" was a huge deal. to find out that it was a woman, you know, miss robinson, behind it all, it was wonderful.
>> "rapper's delight" was the first hip-hop single to reach the top 40 charts and a major catalyst for the rap industry. >> by the early 1980s, queens was emerging as a prolific hip-hop hub. it's here where lolita shante gooden learned the rap game and was later known as the legendary roxanne shante. >> i was raised in queensbridge public housing. it was like being in a complete little city. my skills started when i was 9 years old watching nipsey russell on "hollywood squares." he rhymed to every response to everything they asked him. >> there is one sure way to know, kids used to ask where they come from, now they will tell you where you can go. >> i was amazed and i was like, "i can do that." >> by the age of 14, roxanne became known citywide as one of the fiercest mcs. and pretty soon she would be catapulted into the national spotlight. >> on my block was one of the greatest hip-hop producers which
was dj marley marl. i was doing my laundry. dj marley marl happened to call me out my window and he was like come do a freestyle for me. i said okay but i only have a few of minutes. so i went up to his house, he was like, "did you ever hear that song 'roxanne, roxanne?'" and i was like, "yeah." >> it was a song by a group called utfo. ♪ roxanne she's all stuck up why would you say that ♪ ♪ 'cause she wouldn't give a guy like me no rap ♪ >> utfo's "roxanne, roxanne" they were talking about some girl they wanted to talk to and she was stuck up. >> and dj marley marl asked her to do what she did best, diss it. >> he put it on and said all right, just do something about that. and that's when i just did a freestyle. went downstairs, finished my laundry, and i left it alone. ♪ with a twist of my cheek and a twist of my wrist ♪ ♪ i have all the guys up and down like this ♪ ♪ yeah, i am fly but you must admit but everybody knows ♪ ♪ i don't go for it ♪ >> clutch my pearls, this girl is slapping four guys. this is nuts. "roxanne's revenge," i never
heard anything like it and it definitely put the battery in many a female's back, including mine. >> roxanne shante became an overnight sensation. and the next year battled to be named the best rapper in the world, "the battle for world supremacy," at the age of 15 as the only female. >> i remember looking at the board and the board had my name 12 times against 12 different male rappers. i said so everybody is just battling me all day. like "we're going to try to eliminate her." it got down to me and the last person and someone said, "she's been getting nines and tens all day. man, she can't lose." >> roxanne shante! ♪ tellin' you something get it together that hat you wearing ♪ ♪ that -- ain't even leather you wanna play games and you wanna get loose ♪ ♪ but we all know who got the juice ♪ >> okay, that's it. that's it. >> i remember looking at the judges. >> bambaata, we have a ten. whiz kid, we got a ten.
>> one judge turned it over and it was a four. >> we got a four. >> and so i lost that day. the judge said "it's not that you didn't win. we couldn't allow it at that time." the judge said hip-hop was just starting to be recognized as a real genre of music. they were not going to respect us if the best in the world was a 15-year-old girl. there's no way. >> today you need to have thick skin, but back in the '80s, oh, you needed to be a rhino, honey. because for one, you could be as good as any man and you still wasn't getting the level of respect that you deserved as a woman on the mic. >> it was a devastating blow for roxanne but that didn't stop her from becoming a huge influence for women like me and my girl pep.
we took roxanne's battle rap and added some sex appeal. >> first sexually explicit tongue in cheek, everybody today took a page out of salt-n-pepa's book. everyone. >> when we come back. . reason, or fun. daring, or thoughtful. sensitive, or strong. progress isn't either or progress is everything. ♪ ♪ ♪ got an amazing deal on this gourmet pepper mill
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♪ the first rap that i wrote i think i must have been about 8 or 9 years old. my mom, she studied to be a school teacher. so if i wanted to go play handball, if i wanted to go to the beach she would call for an essay. and so i got really great at writing. i actually had my own little composition notebook that i took in with me to my audition for the record label. i had that book with me and they would put on tracks and they
said, "say something to this. now say something to this," you know. so that's pretty much how the first album was put together. >> mc lyte became the first female mc to release a solo album with a major label. an authentic hip-hop purist dedicated to wordplay and storytelling. >> the first solo album, "lyte as a rock," was released in '88. much of that first album resonated with women. "when you say you love me, it doesn't matter, it goes into my head as just chit-chatter." "paper thin" was a pushback for dudes acting silly. it was me clapping back at dudes talking smack and thinking that i was going to go for the rigmarole. >> by the late 1980s, there was a growing awareness of hip hop as a credible musical genre. and that's when my group,
salt-n-pepa, introduced something new into the game. sex appeal. ♪ push it push it good push it push it real good ♪ >> first sexually explicit tongue in cheek, coy, playing, toying with the sexuality aspect of being a woman in hip hop? salt-n-pepa. >> our iconic single "push it" went platinum. >> salt-n-pepa, "push it," is like one of my favorite songs. and me and my friends used to always act like we were salt-n-pepa at the time. >> now we've talked about the image of female rappers in the past. your image is a lot more lady-like. >> ladies are meant to be sexy, pretty and why not a little make-up, a little sexy, you know, as long as you don't get carried away. >> little make-up. >> yeah, and some combat boots. you know, mix it up. >> me and pep's first album,
"hot, cool & vicious," went platinum in 1988. >> they had on leather jackets and they just looked so cool. >> everybody today took a page out of salt-n-pepa's book. everyone. >> by the late 1980s a new kind of rap was emerging on the west coast. in protest against police brutality. >> los angeles in the '80s was considered scandalous los angeles. >> on the ground! on the ground! >> it was in the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. if you were young, you were black, you were being harassed. >> put your hands down! >> you were considered in gangs. >> among these young men's heroes are so-called gangster rappers. >> the title "gangsta rap," the title was given to us. >> no gangster rap! no gangster rap! >> it degrades women. it glorifies violence. creating a culture of drugs. a culture of guns and rape.
>> for those who were just doing music, it was really, like ice cube says all the time, it was the hood's cnn. they were making stories based off of what was going on in their community. >> i really started trying to become a professional in it early '89 after meeting ice cube. 'cause coming in it as a young girl, you really don't have a voice. it was one girl to every clique. so we were the token of the group. my image did start to bother me. i remember reading an article of them labeling my music as gangsta rap, and i'm like, gangsta rap? i'm not a gangster. >> yo-yo famously pushed back on labels, and gave women a voice in the rap game. >> i wanted them to see me for who i was. and started creating my open image for myself. ♪ my name is yo-yo i'm not a i like to flow so swift it's got to be ♪ >> "you can't play with my yo-yo."
it's powerful to me because i was trying to build this intelligent black woman's image. the guys are saying all you want to get is your nails and your hair done and all of that, and it was really a chance to stand up and be bold and be fearless and to represent women in a different kind of way than music was starting to portray us. >> i remember my mom saying, "i don't want ice cube calling you a bitch." and i'm like, "oh, he's talking about them, not me." but west coast music was really dissing women. i mean, a bitch is a bitch. it was really foul for women. >> we must hear these names time and time again in the songs that we dance to and the songs that we hear on the radio. >> the people must now begin to fight back. the rage, the degradation, the sex exploitation is unacceptable. >> despite the growing trend of misogynistic lyrics in hip hop,
female mcs in the early '90s held their ground by responding with empowering messaging. >> i remember being interviewed and asked, how do you feel about the heavy misogyny within hip-hop or what have you? and i was just like, "i don't own it." me and latifah are over here calling sisters queens. that's what we over here doing. >> rapper queen latifah invited monie love to write an anthem for female mcs, and what they created was an instant classic. "ladies first." ♪ oh, ladies first ladies first oh, ladies first ladies first ♪ >> man, "ladies first" was important. there's the old school notion of that women can't get along and we have to pit them against each other, all those horrible things that we do to women, they didn't allow that. >> the whole opening sequence with all of these magnificent, influential black women on the slideshow at the beginning of the video, that's all latifah and me baby. she just was like, "pride, empowerment. that's what i want it to be,
monie." ♪ a woman can bear you break you take you , ♪ now it's time to rhyme can you relate to ♪ ♪ a sister dope enough to make you holler and scream ♪ >> and i slide in real quick. and i'm like, "let me take it from here, queen." ♪ excuse me but i think i'm about do to get into precisely what i am about to do ♪ ♪ i'm conversating to the folks ♪ >> the thing about queen latifah is she is all about lifting others up with her. >> honestly, i thought queen latifah was like a real queen. you never heard nobody call themselves like the queen. >> if i can bring someone's enlightenment to a higher level listening to my music, i don't have no problem. >> queen latifah absolutely presented a model of what women could do in hip-hop. >> but hip-hop was about to get an entirely different vision of empowerment in an up-and-coming artist, lil' kim. >> that was the first time that i saw that much sexiness in female hip-hop. she created and started that. [s] welcome to allstate. ♪ [band plays] ♪
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shore to shore. we're sure, we're certain removing the curtain. to be felt and not just seen but amongst other things to be seen and recognized and revered and respected. we've come a long way from a lone whisper. we've mustered the power. we're mighty sisters. innovators, sassy sirens, rough, glamorous, storytellers, sexy, soft, engaging, powerful, alluring, appealing, revealing. and even though we're dealing in what they deem "a man's world," it would be nothing without a woman or a girl. >> in 1992 i saw kris kross, "kris kross will make you jump, jump." ♪ kris kross will make ya jump jump ♪ >> their pants were backwards and i was like, "oh my god, that is so me." i want to be in that group.
so kris kross had a concert in october of 1992. somebody got me tickets and they was like, "fifty dollars to the winner. whoever can rap and kill the stage." so i ran to the stage, i think i lost a shoe going up there i ran so fast. and my first rhyme was, "how can you start a rap song off without a first verse? listen close because my rhymes won't slur. fellas, step up to the front of the stage, rub my navel. i'ma hook you up like cable." and the crowd went crazy. so, from there on kris kross called me in the back, we exchanged numbers. and i signed to so so def. and then when "funkdafied" came out -- ♪ from this homie j and his newfound friend i'm hittin switches like eric on the solo creep ♪ ♪ for yo jeep it's the b.r.a.t. ♪ >> it went from being on the radio, to being worldwide. and i went from italy, to milan, to paris, berlin, switzerland, japan and all over. >> while da brat started to tour the world, there was one thing that she kept close to home.
>> i didn't want to come out back then. i was cool keeping everything private. the temperature back then, coming out was a damn no, no. we learned from ellen quick. >> i'm gay. >> i wanted my career. i love the fact that lil kim was comfortable in her own skin, which apparently she was because she did the damn thing, and nobody tried to change me, and if nobody tried to change her then more power to her. >> lil kim was bold. her 1996 poster got everyone in hip-hop talking. >> the first time i saw lil kim's world famous squat, i was like, "wow." >> it's a photo you cannot even not look at. that was the first time for me that i saw that much sexiness in female hip-hop. she created and started that. >> lil kim was associated with bad boy records, an east coast record label that had been in an ongoing dispute with death row
records of the west. >> the negativity in hip-hop with the east and the west coast, it was just the devil that just tainted everything. >> the beef took a deadly turn. >> the notorious b.i.g's car was riddled with bullets, leaving him so badly wounded that he was pronounced dead. >> i'm totally sad that he's gone. for my community, another black brother is gone. >> in las vegas tonight, rap singer tupac shakur is in critical condition. >> tupac shakur of death row, and biggie smalls of bad boy were both murdered within six months of each other. >> i got a call from tupac's sister saying that he had been shot. and once they let me go in and see him, i just started praying over him. and then i got the call. and i just remember pulling over. and i just sat there and i cried. i was just like, "damn, my friend." pac loved so many people. he had a heart of gold. that's what made you fall in love with him. >> biggie was like the big brother i never had, you know? i miss him so much. >> two legends were lost before
their time, leaving many in the hip-hop community searching for a way to heal. thankfully, the wait was not very long. >> there are some moments where someone enters hip-hop and switches it into a whole other direction. >> missy's level of creativity is on another planet, like nothing we'd ever seen. >> all missy elliott videos are iconic. >> the rain. it was just amazing. you had never seen anything like that. ♪ when the rain hits my window i take a-me some ♪ >> i didn't realize we could be like, "hey, i want to wear a big fat trash bag and a diamond helmet and i want to fly from a building." >> it raised the bar for everybody. >> there was a shift happening, and it was moving the woman's position within hip-hop. >> with this album i wasn't looking for perfection, you know what i mean? i was looking for feeling.
>> lauryn hill introduced the multi-functioning female artist. write, produce, rhyme, sing and deliver the artistic vision of it all too. >> her sound shifted the whole game. >> there was a vibe on that particular track that you just couldn't let go. >> here's a woman who was powerful, she was black, she was beautiful, her music sounded great. my favorite track was "doo wop." ♪ you know you better watch out ♪ >> all of the stars are aligned for this big explosion that is lauryn hill. and i think the grammys would have been insane to not recognize that. >> nominated for 10 grammys at the 1999 awards, hill won 5 of them, with "the miseducation of lauryn hill" winning album of the year. >> she made hip-hop proud. i was proud that that's my hip-hop sister. >> but a new generation was coming to hip-hop, spitting raw and raunchy lyrics, pushing the
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yo, yo-yos in the -- >> i believe that i'm an individual, and that's what ms. melodie represents, individuality. >> i'm glad that i'm a female rapper because there's so many male rappers out there. to make your little niche, you have to carve it just a little harder. >> at the end of the '90s, hip-hop was thriving across the country and many prominent female rappers were leading the charge. >> i mean, listen, they never thought that hip-hop would make it this far. right? you dream that maybe this music will just get you out of the projects.
you don't know that it's going to take you actually around the world. when i started rapping, i knew i was good immediately. i definitely was influenced by female rappers like salt-n-pepa, queen latifah, mc lyte. they were all to me, like, beautiful and feminine, but tomboy enough as well. it's just that balance, having that woman's voice in hip-hop is so important. >> the philadelphia native made a name for herself as the first lady of ruff ryders, debuting on "ryde or die." ♪ what what you want cutie starin at me like ♪ ♪ damn where you from you be comin at me like can i get some ♪ >> for me to be signed to "ruff ryders," i had to battle two other rappers. it was like, "rap for your life, honey," like, basically. a lot of times it was me in a room by myself with a bunch of dudes trying to convince them of an idea.
ideas that were amazing. that was challenging, and i know it was for a lot of other females as well. >> eve was able to find success on her terms, selling more than 7 million albums globally, with hits like "let me blow ya mind." ♪ some of y'all ain't writin well too concerned with fashion ♪ ♪ none of you ain't giselle cat walk and imagine ♪ >> it was important for me to pave my own way. i always want to just be eve. >> for eve that meant branching out from hip-hop to hollywood, landing a starring role in the "barbershop" film series. >> who drank my apple juice? >> by the turn of the millenium, eve was pushing hip-hop to the mainstream, while a fellow rapper from south beach was pushing the game with her rhymes. >> miami was pretty wild. everything was what we called booty music. kind of raw, raunchy. it was just real fun growing up
listening to it. >> trina initially set out to work in real estate when an old school friend asked her to freestyle on his song, "nann." >> i'm not a rapper, i don't know what to say. and he's like, "i just want you to talk the talk, like, just talk trash." and i'm just thinking, i'm going to say whatever he said, but from a girl way, but even better. ♪ you don't know nann [ bleep ] uh-uh ♪ ♪ [ bleep ] [ bleep ] [ bleep ] ♪ >> the mouth on her, it was all almost embarrassing. it was almost like i can't say that. yes, i can. >> following the success of "nann," trina's record label demanded more of the same sound. >> in my mind, i'm thinking i want to talk about so much more stuff. let me do something different. let me put my little swag on it. and you know, they was like, we're going to let you do what you want to do but we're still going to have the final say-so. it was a fight. because you are in this male-dominated industry and you don't want nobody to play with you, and you just got to hold
your own. so you have to be like that bitch. >> but despite all their progress, women in hip-hop struggled to build on that momentum. getting record executives to buy in was an ongoing problem. they signed fewer female mcs as record sales dropped. >> in 2005, i think at some point i did look around and say, where are the women? because even when i came out, you know, there were a few of us. >> hip-hop was yearning for more female talent. and nicki minaj helped fill the void in 2010, bursting onto the scene with "super bass." ♪ can't you hear that boom da boom da boom da boom da bay ♪ you've got that super bass boom da boom da bay ♪ >> nicki inspired a whole new generation of rappers. among them, cardi b, whose appearance on "love and hip-hop" introduced her to the world. >> i'm just a regular degular shmegular girl from the bronx.
>> in 2017 cardi b became the first solo female rapper in 19 years to have a number 1 song, "bodak yellow." ♪ cardi b ♪ ♪ you know where i'm at ♪ ♪ you know where i be ♪ >> over the last decade, the women of hip-hop have proven they can hang with the boys. and there are more new faces and voices coming up, like "city girls," yung miami and jt. >> right now, it's the "twerkulator." it's one of them songs you are ready to start turning up with your crew and dancing. ♪ it's time for the twerklator it's time for ♪ ♪ the twerkulator i'm a shake what my momma gave me ♪ >> when we made the song, we knew the song was going to be a fun song. when it blew up on tik tok, it was just like a good feeling. it's unreal. >> 2020 was a record-breaking year for women in hip-hop. 5 songs reached number 1, including "wap," which caused a media frenzy after cardi b and
megan thee stallion headlined the grammys. ♪ get a bucket and a mop ♪ ♪ that's some wet, wet ♪ ♪ i'm talking wap, wap ♪ >> i've all ways waited for this moment to where there'd be so many women because it's always been men, men, men, 100,000 rappers. now, we have all these women. >> imma be me at the end of the day. you can take it or leave it. you could like it or love it. >> i love them all. i love everything that they stand for. >> times have changed, it's a new generation and now you've got, like, a lot of female artists, so i see it expanding. >> it's a breath of fresh air to see it happen. we're not afraid to see multiple women have their turn. >> the women are winning on top of their game. and if we keep going this way, it's unstoppable. >> coming up next, a rare conversation. the legendary angie martinez sits down with the iconic roxanne shante, rising freshman lakeyah, and award-winning lil mama. >> i had got like big backlash after like the vma situation. >> that time she infamously
crashed jay-z and alicia keys' vma performance and the shade she received. >> it was like people's opinions about my body and stuff like that. >> the hardest thing about being a female rapper. >> yeah, it is. ♪ i (hey) ♪ ♪ (phone snaps) ♪ that's the thing about claims, you see. they don't happen on your schedule. i mean, take a chestnut, it doesn't just say “oh, beg pardon, sir, but is now a good time for a jolly bit of window cracking?” i mean, if they did, you wouldn't need a geico claims team that's available 24/7. but, near as i can tell, chestnuts don't talk.
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♪ hello, everybody. i'm angie martinez and as we celebrate women in hip-hop and the different generations, i am super excited to be here with this amazing group of women. we have roxanne shante who, of course, from the blueprint cloth. we have lil mama who we kind of watched grow up in the game. >> yeah. >> and then we have our
freshman, our little baby girl freshman lakeyah here. >> yes. >> hello everyone. >> hey, angie. >> hey. >> hi. >> when you think about the beginnings of hip-hop there was no understanding of the business. you were just kind of out here just doing what you love and trying to figure out. now it's really inspiring to see what the younger generation has learned from the years of everybody making mistakes. >> there was no one to tell us how important, you know, your writers and your publishing are and, you know, the power that you have now. so i sit back and i watch the ladies now and i feel honored to see the steps that you guys make and the decisions that you make now. i glow with pride. >> well, i'm super appreciative of everybody that came before me so, like, i know it was different when you had to be out on the streets, really selling cds and everything. >> yeah. out of cars. >> cassettes. there was no cds. have you ever seen a cassette? >> i haven't. >> oh, my goodness. >> have you ever even seen a cassette! >> by the time i came around it
was cds, for sure. yeah. >> yeah, you was a cd generation. >> yeah, i'm a cd generation. >> you, i'm sure, somewhere in the middle there, i feel like you probably had to learn some things the hard way. >> yeah. i sure did. >> in a generation before she came. >> right, right. so for me, i would say, i feel more like the conduit because when i started rapping twitter had gave me a blackberry, just so i could tweet. i was one of the first people to use it. and it went from that into me using it for a little while. and then i had got big backlash after the vma situation. but then on top of that, it was people's opinions about my body and stuff like that. >> it's hard as hell being a female rapper. >> yeah, it is. >> what is the hardest thing? >> well, first it's a male-dominated situation. you're always compared to people, you can't, you know, just be yourself. >> i remember when i first came in the industry and i went into this phase where they're preparing me for press and they were sewing the weave, my head was tight, they putting makeup.
they were shifting everything that was so natural about my energy, when you put makeup on the child, you're presenting her to be adult-like for men. right? and so it was kind of weird. >> you were how old? you were a kid still. >> i was a kid. >> what do you think your generation cares most about? especially from a female rapper. >> well, right now it's about looks. it's about how you look. you come in the game, it's rare to look like me right now. >> what do you mean? what is that? >> slim, don't have everything. >> big butt. >> do you ever have pressure to do that? >> definitely. that's the worst part about it. just having to deal with so many cmments from people you don't know. like, "oh, i hope she get a surgery. i hope she get this." >> what? do they tell you that? >> yeah. i mean when you feed into the comments, but i don't give a flying. >> what about you when you came in the game? because women at the beginning of hip-hop i feel like were not
over-sexualized. >> from my generation when you come into it, they say, well, it was all about battle rhymes and battle raps, so i walked in with a certain amount of confidence. that's when i felt the politics of hip-hop. so then what they did was they made the video girl more important than the female rapper. >> oh, let's sexualize the woman in hip-hop. >> wow. >> exactly. >> was that a plan? >> so now -- >> right, it was planned out. >> aha. >> so now what happens is, the talent that the female rapper now possesses is overshadowed by sexualizing the female in hip-hop. so then you have the next generation of female rapper who comes out who says, "okay, now i'm sexy and i'm talented." >> "and i rap." yeah. >> now what? >> exactly. so now what are you going to do? >> and by the way, i just want to say there's nothing wrong if that's you -- >> you. >> if that's you and that's your -- >> you own your sexuality. there's nothing wrong with that. >> but when it became a requirement for all women, that's when it turned left.
>> that's a fact. >> could you imagine being a rapper and not having social media? >> i can't imagine it. that would have been a different type of hustle. like, you know, right now it's, like, you get on instagram, it's crazy for me because i get all my endorsements and everything off of there. just being me. >> i recently got monetized and was like, "oh, where did this come from?" >> yeah. >> what is this for? and they was like, oh, that's for that. i was like, so that's what they're doing. >> yeah. >> yeah. >> okay. >> there's honestly a lot you can learn from both of them. even for you and what you're doing now in your career. >> that's a fact. >> and i think about for all of us, especially the different generations of it, like how important is it to learn from the people who came from before us? >> we're all so unique and we all trailblaze in our own way and open doors for the next person to do whatever it is that they're there to do. >> and now it's like a flood of female rappers out right now.
>> i think women are about to take over. it's very important to see that. i know how hard it is to reign. so to sit back now and say, okay, well now, it's your turn. and then you go on and then you're a great queen. and what makes you an even greater queen is when you say, "my reign is done, now it's your turn." because for me, a true queen understands when her reign is over, but she never stops being queen. >> i like that. >> i like that too. >> coming up, the women of hip-hop pay tribute. >> she's bad. not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good.
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who is she, so bold, so free, so courageous when she speaks? >> the women of hip-hop have given our culture a real, true authentic voice. >> fearless with her fight. every word said meant to invoke a real feeling. >> it's just amazing that they can be on the same level or the same playing field as the men where before they wouldn't give us that but we took it. >> an emotion, not an emoji. >> the women who built hip-hop are powerful. >> from newbies to o.g.s, we know she's a cold piece. >> the women of hip-hop have given our culture something to stand on, something to be proud
of, something to say that this is not a man's world. we were on the frontline. we built this culture as well. >> from head wraps to gold teeth, whether she's flaunting her sexy or decides to promote peace, undoubtedly with her words she's precise. sisters working it out from all walks of life. >> the women who built hip-hop are literally responsible for changing the world. >> mothers, wives, nurturers, healers, and queens of the mic. >> for the future, for women of hip-hop, when i open up a magazine and look at these young, successful artists charting and doing so well for themselves i'm like, listen, i love them. it's empowering. >> chart toppers, show stoppers. she's bad. not "bad" meaning bad, but "bad" meaning good. >> what gifts have the women of
hip-hop p given culture? resilience. >> of course you understood and over stand what she means to this culture. which is why she demands. >> know who you are, love who you are, respect who you are. >> as told by the only queen of soul, respect. >> if it wasn't for women in rap music, there wouldn't be any. >> we are the queens of the mic. >> that's the best thing about it. we get to inspire and motivate women to be great. >> to feel empowered, to be the best version of themselves. >> show some respect to those who have paved the way. >> recognize us. >> the women of hip-hop are queens. >> give her all the respect. respect is due. breaking into cars is killed by one. what police are saying tonight
and a weekend rock show and the deadly fall at the chase center (music) ♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪ ♪ colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky ♪ ♪ also on the faces of people going by ♪ ♪ so i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪