Rollingstone Magazine Fails by Having Only 4 Women featured on its 50 Greatest Hip Hop Song List

Missy elliotThis is the time of year a lot of publications put out End of Year and Best of All Time lists. They’re fun to read as they can take you down memory lane or give you some new perspective on things… At this point in time, you understand there will be a certain bias and there may be one or two names tossed in a list to get people talking. You try to take these things with a grain of salt..

The other day Rollingstone Magazine put out a The 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All-Times. It’s a list that was compiled from a panel of 33 artists, journalists and industry experts. You have luminaries like Def jam co-founder Rick Rubin, former Source editor James Bernard and legendary A&R Dante Ross. Also in the mix were artists like Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Nas, Questlove, Boots Riley of the Coup  and Chuck D of Public Enemy just to name a few..You can peep the entire list of judges HERE

You can peep the entire List of 50 songs HERE

When the list came out I went from panel to panel and and what stood out was the glaring omission of women. In fact we don’t have a female artists being ranked for the first 38 entries. That came in the form of Missy Elliot and her song Get Ur Freak On…Personally I thought Missy who definitely deserves a spot has better songs.

The next entries are Lauryn Hill‘s ‘Lost One’s (45) and Salt-N-Pepa‘s ‘Push It’ (46) . The Greatest Hits list list rounds off at entry 47 where have Funky 4 Plus one More. The ‘one more’ of course is pioneering female emcee Sha Rock..

MCLytehat-150Initially I wasn’t gonna weigh in on this, but damn in 2012 and you would think at this point in time folks would know better and do better. Its time to expand our mind and make room for other voices, mainly women in our collective thinking. I don’t know what the process was when RS did the final editing, but no one at that magazine looked at that list and asked ‘Where’s MC Lyte’s ‘Cha Cha Cha‘ or ‘Cappuccino‘? Did anyone at RS bother to check out her site Hip Hop Sisters?

No one at RS or on that panel gave a second thought about Queen Latifah‘s ‘Ladies’ First‘ which featured Monie Love and its impact? No one thought about UNITY…No one? Really? Cmon now..

None of the folks at the panel gave a thought about the 33 songs that were released around the whole Roxanne Roxanne saga? Some of those songs were landmark.  They gave birth to artists like; Sparky D, Roxanne Shante and the Real Roxanne.. None of those women were good enough to be included? There was no room for an artist like YoYo? No Lady of Rage‘s Afro Puffs? No love for Mystic’s ‘The Life’? No choice cuts from Foxy Brown, Eve or Lil Kim made the list?? How is our collective thinking so narrow in 2012?

Luther Campbell of the 2Live Crew was among the panel of experts  that Rollingstone assembled. Did he or anyone mention Anquette‘s Janet Reno? Luke in the past has been very clear to talk about how that song which was done by his cousin helped Reno win an election for DA against a lawyer named Jack Thompson. Luke explained that Thompson became enraged as a result of this and wound up coming after 2Live crew for having obscene material. The case against 2Live crew went all the way to the Supreme Ct.. If one record be the source of all that, should it not be on the RS list?


Lauryn Hill

With respect to Lauryn Hill who won more Grammys than many of the artists featured and the experts assembled should’ve been further up the list, like in the top 15 or 20. I would’ve picked Doo Whop (That Thing) which charted on Billboard as number 1 or Everything is Everything..

Considering Rollingstone’s glaring omissions I guess it would be too much to expect them to have even considered a Jean Grae, Bahamadia, Rah Digga, Conscious Daughters or Medusa?

All I can say at this point is to Rollingstone and its panel of experts which included only 2 or 3 women at the most. that was big miss to only have 3 or 4 females on that list of 50 Greatest songs. It was a big miss and just plain wack.. For those who need more info on women making moves.. Here’s playlist I put together earlier this year.

22 comments on “Rollingstone Magazine Fails by Having Only 4 Women featured on its 50 Greatest Hip Hop Song List

  1. Yeah I agree with you. That list STINKS!! They just totally overlooked the major contribution females have made to the game. But then again,I don’t look to Rolling Stone to represent real hip hop

  2. Riot on,..Mr.Marsh_Allah aRape the femme cees,…the right_wing lottery point of view, that British influencees have a Queen as coin genthaal beAphen twice, The Mum party of GDR Gulash socialism apprehends the pre_1989 pride of 77s BlackOUT ta taxation,..the OpenSourced critical men must relexxx and sprickled the assembled communication lines @new,…riot on the narrations being inna debate of Nofrete aesthetic metalic of saucer the record scratched..YMCA pHuckers.

    Davey D…the GDR software actualisation has its bots attitude with blunts x through the mess. Be pride for radio_Ism and continue the abstract of postfascist Europeans of color,..

    So I’ve made some references to this particular observation in a couple other threads, but heres the official version. Art can be categorized in many ways, but this particular way of categorizing stands out to me. We can seperate art into art that has a sense of ego and involves the ego of the viewer, and art that is without a sense of ego, art that takes the viewer away, leaves the viewer breathless.

    One simple example is the difference between a painting of you(whoever you are) looking out the window in a deep puzzled gaze, and the same painting, except you are now portrayed in a cubist style, or an even more abstract formalist style.

    For the first painting it’d be easy for you the viewer to involve your ego into the painting, perhaps be reminded of a past reflection, perhaps a certain emotion you get while in deep thought, etc. However with the formalist, cubist painting, one could only focus on the contrast of shapes and colors and how they dance together to create a juxtaposition of beauty. There is no ego involved.

    We could also look at music, the easiest example for egoless music is something like Trance, especially with no lyrics. With this type of trippy genre, one could easily be taken away by the music on a wild ride, and one would be very hard pressed to be able to identify with the music. Theres most likely no ego involved here with trance music, since the music is most enjoyable as a rollercoaster that we don’t get to steer.

    On the other hand, theres plenty of music where we absolutely get to steer, or at least feel like we do, namely punk music. In fact most popular music seem to have this steering effect, especially mainstream hiphop, ego steering is essential to a lot of those hiphop songs. Also a lot of rock and roll and other genres that have roots in Romanticism most definitely allows ego steering, since that’s a huge theme with Romanticism.

    I’m not saying one type of art is better than the other, I’m just saying “holy crap these two types of art are really different, check it out”. I’m about to fall asleep, I’ll do a follow up tomorrow. Please tell me what you think, am I full of shit? Do you know what I’m talking about? Am I just stating the obvious?

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  9. This isn’t surprising given the list of judges were mainly men to begin with. With all those male hip hop artists/producers shouldn’t they acknowledge the women as well? The same women that they created songs with and the same women who also helped boost their careers. Sheesh. I’m just saying it not just rolling stone.

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