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Female Emcees Vol. 5: Obscure 90's Edition

by Staff on January 6, 2009

Peace fellow WYDU readers! Travis has graciously allowed me to post my 5th volume of female emcees here for your listening enjoyment. You can download the previous 4 volumes I’ve compiled at Cartwheels On Concrete. My hope is that these will provide a breath of fresh air in an arena very much dominated by male artists and demonstrate that females don’t always have to rely on gimmicks and sex appeal to put out music.

For this volume I’ve selected a good number of obscure/rare tracks from the 90s by female emcees who have little to no info on them during my sessions searching, and two Canadian females I recently discovered given I’m from the US. I’ve provided some background info on the artists featured, but if you could add on to anything, provide me with additional joints not mentioned, or know what some of these ladies are doing these days, please do so in the comment box.

01. PosNeg – No Doubt (Lord Finesse Remix)

02. Kool Kim – Ya Gotta Know (feat. Essence)
03. Triip – Keep It Flowin’
04. Love ‘N’ Props – Nobody Knows My Name
05. 2 Kannon – Keep It Goin’
06. Time Zone – Throw Ya Fuckin’ Hands Up (feat. Queen Asia & Zulu Nation)
07. Chun-Li – Leave Your Guns At Home
08. Kandy Kane – Do My Body Good (feat. Miilkbone)
09. Tara Chase – Autonomy
10. Silouette – Rude Girlz
11. Ayesha – Where U Want It…?
12. Shazzy – Stone Walls
13. Misunderstood – One To One
14. Soul Kid Klik – Mortal Combat (Row Mix)
15. Champain – Corruption Everyday (feat. Louie Rankin)
16. PHD – Set It (feat. Havoc, Reecey And Kamikaze)
17. Sah-B – Some Ol’ Sah-B Shit
18. Shä-Key – Soulsville
19. Michie Mee – Cover Girl

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01. PosNeg was created by Walter Velasquez & Lorenzo Lewis (aka Solex) in ’95. The group featured two Bronx female emcees Walter grew up with, Kema & Sniper. After completing 10 out of the 12 tracks on their album slated for a release on Warlock Records in ’96, Solex was tragically murdered and Walter soon lost interest in the project. PosNeg manage to release two 12″ singles on VMax Records: No Doubt/Death List in ’96 and No Doubt Remix done by Lord Finesse in ’97. They also have an EP under PosNeg/Sistar Act entitled Best of Both Worlds that was recorded in ’96 and features 8 tracks including “Death List” and “No Doubt.” I’m guessing this is the actual release they were working on before Solex’s death.

02. Essence
I heard “Ya Gotta Know” off a compilation entitled Tags of The Times put out in ’98. It was first released as a vinyl single in ’97 under Fly Guy Kool Kim with production from Haas G (known together as The UMC’s). The track features Essence aka Ayana Soyini, hailing from the Lower East Side of NY and former member of Natural Elements. In an Unkut interview A-Butta claims she left the group due to creative differences and an urge to do her own thing. You can hear her on Natural Elements’ “Shine” and the all-female posse cut “Estragen” from Volumes 1 & 3 I’ve compiled. Also check her out @

03. Triip
I grabbed “Keep It Flowin” off the 4th installment (’94) of the Echo/Lyricist Lounge Underground Airplay tapes. Echo released 6 tapes in the 90s before changing their name to Ecko due to legal issues. These were promotional-only with purchases from their clothing line. I have no info on Triip but she was dope as hell.

04. T-Love
Love ‘N’ Props is Taura Taylor-Mendoza aka T-Love’s first group. “Nobody Knows My Name” was featured on The Southpaw EP in ’96. T-Love is an LA-based emcee, singer, journalist, and founder of Pickininny Records. Her record label released Jurassic 5′s ’97 debut and her ’98 Return of The B-Girl EP. She moved to
London and released her full-length album
Long Way Back in ’03. Last year she released an retrospective album entitled Long Way Up (The Basement Tapes) that covered most of her unreleased catalogue.

05. Philly-bred K-Swift is the emcee behind 2 Kannon. They released one 12″ single Keep It Goin’ bw The Sequel on Meca Entertainment in ’92. Bahamadia fans may recognize her from the DJ Premier produced track “3 Tha Hardway” off Kollage.

06. Queen Asia
“Throw Ya Fuckin’ Hands Up” is from the ’96 album Warlocks and Witches, Computer Chips, Microchips and You released by Time Zone, a group led by Afrika Bambaataa. Queen Asia was also credited as a vocalist on “I’m Workin’” from YZ’s Sons of The Father album.

07. Chun-Li is a NY emcee who released one 12″ single called Raspy in the mid-late 90s on Mindstate Records. “Leave Your Guns At Home” is off a compilation released by Freeze Records in ’95 that featured unreleased tracks from artists on Blackmarket Records.

08. Kandy Kane was a member of Miilkbone‘s crew. “Do My Body Good” was produced by Nick Wiz in ’94 while he was working with Miilkbone for Da’ Millkrate album. In the liner notes of Nick Wiz’ Cellar Sounds: Volume 1 released late last year, Nick speculates that she was probably from Newark, NJ.

09. Tara Chase is a female emcee from Toronto, Canada. “Autonomy” was featured on Beat Factory Rap Essentials Volume Two released in ’97 and produced by Saukrates. “Autonomy” was her first commercial success followed by “Northside” in ’01. Considering she’s from Canada, I didn’t discover her until recently.

10. Silouette is the female emcee of the Baltimore duo Annexx Click. Along with K-Mack they released several records in ’95-’96 (quite possibly 5 in total). “Rude Girlz” was released in ’95 on Concrete & Wiz Foundation Inc.11. Ayesha is another emcee from Philly. “Where U Want It…” is a miscellaneous track from ’94 that was given to me with no info (receive a lot of those recently, much to my dismay). I first discovered her on “Million Dollar Bill” off the Funky Vibes EP, a compilation of unknown Philly acts as well as a rare Bahamadia cut. I’m unsure if Ayesha released an actual album or any other twelves besides We’ve Got To Live Together in ’93.

12. Shazzy
Shazzy debuted in 1990 with her album Attitude: A Hip Hop Rhapsody on Elektra. It was the first album produced by the Stimulated Dummies aka the SD50′s (Dante Ross, John Gamble & Geeby Dajani). Her music video for “Giggahoe” got quite a few plays back in the day an
d was remixed on a 12″ by
The Beatnuts the same year. A few years later she developed a much more aggressive, gangsta approach (similar to Bo$$) for Ghettosburg Address, her unreleased and extremely hard-to-find ’94 album also under Elektra. This is where “Stone Walls” is taken from. (If someone could hook me up with the full album it’d be much appreciated. I’m anxious to hear it in its entirety.)

13. Misunderstood hails from Brooklyn, NY. “One To One” was released in ’95.
*Edit: Misunderstood is actually Heather B.‘s moniker. I simply figured this was another random mc from the Bronx that sounded like her. Turns out she released this obscure 12″ The Real Ruff & Rugged/One To One in 1995 on Front Page Entertainment. It was produced by KRS-One.

14. Storm
Soul Kid Klik was a group from NYC created by G-Clef of Ghetto Philharmonic. Members included Infamous, Blakspik, Goodfella Mike G, Storm the Ghetto Mutant, Malik Kahaar Ali, Skinslaya & DJ Spinbad. G-Clef was managed by GZA Entertainment, which was co-owned by GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Due to creative differences with management the group never released an album. This remix was off the Mortal Combat 12″ released in ’96. I’ve read Storm the Ghetto Mutant aka The Black Sonya was to release something in ’97 as a soloist but have yet to find anything by her.

15. Lady Champain
“Corruption Everyday” is the lead single off the Corruption Everyday/Ghetto Tunez 12″ released in ’95. Champain also released an LP in ’97 produced by Mark The 45 King and has 3 tracks on Mark’s Put The Funk Out There bootleg.

16. Reecey
PHD was formed by Blaq Poet (before he joined Screwball) & DJ Hot Day. They released several twelves, an LP and an EP on Tuff City Records during the early-to-mid 90s. Reecey was only featured on “Set It,” the b-side to This Is For My Peeps 12″ single.

17. Sah-B has been featured on all three Lords of the Underground albums released in the 90s and on “Da Underground Sound” by De’1. “Some Ol’ Sah-B Shit” is the b-side to her 12″ put out in ’94 and it was produced by the one and only K-Def. She guest appeared on Blackwatuz’ Da Kitchen/No Boundaries 12″ in ’99.
18. Shä-Key is a Brooklyn-based emcee who had an album out in ’94 called A Head Nädda’s Journey To Adidi Skizm, where “Soulsville” is taken from. She is part of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, a collective of musicians and poets from all different backgrounds who mix jazz, funk and hip-hop into their repertoire. Now she goes by her birth name Hanifah Walidah. Check out her video of “Soulsville” below.

19. Michie Mee is known for being the first Canadian female emcee to ever get signed to a US label (First Priority/Atlantic in ’88). Her first exposure came in ’87 when she was featured on the all-Canadian hip-hop compilation Break’n Out produced by KRS-One and Scott La Rock of Boogie Down Productions. Since then she has released 2 hip-hop albums, is the vocalist for an alternative rock band called Raggadeath, and is currently working on an album call
Rock Rap Reggae Mee set to be released later on this year. “Cover Girl” was featured on the ’97 Beat Factory Rap Essentials Volume Two along with Tara Chase’s “Autonomy.”
Hope you enjoy this installment and suggestions for Volume 6 are always appreciated. – Ho1ogramz

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