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?

LaurynHillside

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.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4DA130E1819B4915

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhW_ph0ipp8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8cHxydDb7o

Women Rock the Mic and Hold Up half the Sky..Music Mix for Women’s History Month

Cindy Campbell

In celebration of International Women’s History Month we decided to highlight the voice of many who are often overlooked, taken for granted or forgotten about. Those are our sisters in Hip Hop. Women have always been on point from day one when it comes to architecting this culture called Hip Hop. We can start with Cindy Campbell-the sister of Hip Hop’s father Kool Herc. had it not been for her suggesting and ultimately setting up the now landmark party on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in August of 1973, we might not be on the mic, yes yes y’alling at all today in 2009.

During the pioneering years we had stellar emcees like Zulu Queen Lisa Lee who was down with Afrika Bambaattaa,Pebbly Poo of the Masterdon Committee and Sha Rock who was down with DJ Baron & Breakout-Funky 4 Plus One More.. Of course we have to tip our hats to the one and only Mercedes Ladies-the first all female Hip Hop Crew.. We have an interview with original member Shari-Shar about to drop real soon-so be on the look out..

Over the years lots of women have blessed the mic and left their mark from Salt-n-Pepa to Roxanne Shante to the Real Roxanne to Queen Latifah to MC Lyte.. The list goes on.. Sadly we’ve had a situation within the music industry that had decided that women artists are not marketable. The conventional wisdom has been that the average listener can’t distinguish their voices. Hence its always been situation where you always find maybe one or two females at most on a major label with them being released and marketed at different times.

Of course here at Breakdown FM, we see it differently. There’s a world of difference between MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, just like there’s a world of difference between Chuck D and KRS or 50 Cent and Ice Cube. Different looks, rhyme styles, subject matter etc. So much for industry wisdom

This week we went and dug deep and highlighted some folks you need to check for.. We kick things off with Seattle sensations Canary Sing and their dope new song ‘Heroines‘. We proceed their cut with a short tribute to Shirley Chisolm who kicked down the doors for both Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama-She was the first to run for President back in ’72 around the birth of Hip Hop.

Also out of the Emrald City which has plethora of female emcees. To be honest we could’ve done a 25 Joints just with Seattle women-that’s how deep they’re rolling. Artists like Toni HillFelicia LoudSouthern Komfort, Sis Moni Tep, beyond Reality, Christina Orbe are just a few of the many. On this 25 Joints, we feature DJ B-Girl and her cut ‘Murder She Wrote‘ featuring Julie C and Sister Hailstorm. We also have pioneering emcee Laura ‘Piece’ Kelley and her classic song ‘Soundwave‘.

Queen Nasim

Right next door to Seattle is Portland which has a wealth of talent in the form of groups like Siren’s Echo. We featured Queen Nasim who has been doing her thing for minute with a song called ‘I’m Original’. It has that old school sound and feel. Because of Seattle and the NW’s deepness in talent we’ll probably have to do pt2 on the all female 25 Joints. So stay tuned.

The midwest came hard as we drop gems from artists like Invincible out of Detroit with her song ‘Regonize‘. her album ‘Shape Shifters’ is what Hip Hop should really be about. We have Nefertiti and with her slamming joint ‘Addicted‘ and San Jose transplant to Grand Rapids Brazen who has a wonderful spoken word song called ‘Grand Plight‘. Not to be missed isTMD who we’ll have to highlight next go round.

Also out the midwest and holding down Minneapolis is Maria Isa who we featured last year. Her piano laden Latin flavored joint ‘Die Not Kill‘ is pure butter.

Lastly we have Chicago native Lah Tere from the group Rebel Diaz. She’s currently working on a solo project. She laced us with a head nodding cut called ‘You Are

Mystic blessed us with an exclusive cut that will be a cornerstone to her upcoming album bearing the same title ‘Beautiful Resistance‘. This Grammy nominated artists has serious fire and deep insights to our minds and souls. Don’t sleep on her.

In the same vein is Pittsburgh native Kellee Maize who recently was cited as one of the best in the city that now calls itself ‘Sixburgh’ because of the Steelers 6 Superbowl wins. Last year Kellee hit us over the dome with an album called ‘Age of Feminine‘that centered on Women’s empowerment and spirituality She returns with a new song called ‘Third Eye‘ which takes us deeper.

Chuck D of Public Enemy has been backing an all female crew called Crew Grrrl Order. They came hard with a new song that pays tribute to the First Lady Michele Obama. Longtime producer Johnny Juice does a nice remix which accenuates these sister’s flows and lets us know that they will be around for a minute. he also gets busy cutting in excerpts from Michelle Obama

Mystic

Like Seattle the Bay Area comes deep with female talent. We have Mystic who we highlighted along with Jennifer Johnswho is on fire. The Conscious Daughters of course who we’ll feature on pt 2 are the best known names. But the Bay has a lot of folks like Aya De LeonJoyo VerlardeKofy BrownGoapele are just a few of the other names that are stellar in talent and presence.

On this 25 Joints we bring the spot light to Queen Deelah who comes out of East Oakland the the Silence the Violence Movement. She’s part of a larger collective of artists who have dedicated themselves and Hip Hop to stopping the carnage that plagues the mean streets of Oakland. Deelah’s song ‘Mind Yours‘ is dope and captures that vintage Bay sound.

Another up and coming talent starting to make noise is Kenyanna Bean. Her new song ‘Good Wit Me‘ is also popping. Like Queen Deelah Kenyanna is also out there making noise in the community trying to make a difference. Big shout out toSimone Nia Rae who could’ve also been on this episode if we had more space. She too is also a part of the new school of Bay talent. Her new song ‘Jealousy‘ has been featured on local radio stations in nearby Stockton. We’ll be rocking her in upcoming 25 Joints.

Jean Grae

As we close out we’d be remissed not to acknowledge the Queens from the Big Apple who are seriously on point. If you never heard of Tiye Phoenix you’re slipping. her joint ‘Nicewitis‘ lives up to its name. When her project finally drops, I guarante she’ll be turning Hip Hop upside down. She’s joined by Jean Grae which whom no all female showcase would be complete without her in the building. Grae can do no wrong when she touches the mic. Her song Supa Jean makes you wonder why people have been overlooking her.

EveQueen Latifah Isis aka Lin Que hold us down with some classic joints from their catalogue. We also have a dope joint from Hip Hop MC Lyte produced by DJ Premier called ‘Wonder Years‘. That song which dropped in 07 is vintage on Breakdown FM. Medusa is also a pioneering figure from the west coast who is still snatching heads when she gets on the mic. She’s blesses us with a new song called ‘Cali Fame‘ which proves that assertion.

Zulu Queen Rha Goddess and Sarah Jones show us just how potent spoken word can get. The lyrics to the songs ‘Revolution‘ and ‘Immaculate Conception‘ will make a whole lot of artists step up their lyric game.

Catch this weeks show by clicking the link below:

Press here to listen to pt of our four part series:

01-Canary Sings ‘Heroines’ (Seattle)
02-Kellee Maize ‘Third Eye’ (Pittsburgh)
03-Isis ‘Rebel Song’ (NY)
04-Jean Grae ‘Supa Jean’ (NY)
05-Eve ‘Life Is So Hard’ (NY)
06-Mystic ‘Beautiful Resistant’ (Bay Area/ LA)
07-Laura ‘Piece’ Kelly ‘Soundwave’ (Seattle)
08-Nefertiti ‘Addicted’ (Grand Rapids, Mi)
09-DJ Vadim w/ Sarah Jones ‘Revolution’ (NY)
10-DJ B Girl w/ Sista Hailstorm & Julie C ‘Murder She Wrote’ (Seattle)
11-Queen Latifah ‘Latifah had It Up To Here’ (NY)
12-Rha Goddess ‘Immaculate Conception’ (NY)
13-Rocky Rivera ‘Go There’
14-Cihuatle Ce ‘Dreamaah’15-J Ross Panelle Queendom
16-Invincible ‘Recognize’ (Detroit)
17-Crew Grrrl Order ‘Official First Lady (Johnny Juice Remix)
18-Macy Gray w/ Mos Def “I Committed Murder’ (gang Star rmx)
19-Tiye Phoenix ‘Nicewitis’ (NY)
20-Mala Rodriguez ‘Ajierro’ (Spain)
21-Queen Deelah ‘Mind Yours’ (Oakland)
22-Bernice King & Sister Souljah meet the Rhondo Brothers (interlude)
23-Medusa ‘Cali Fame’ (LA)
24-Jennifer John ‘Painting on Wax’ (Bay Area)
25-Queen Nasim ‘I’m original’ w/ Rosa Clemente (Portland)
26-Maria Isa ‘Die Not Kill’ (Minneapolis)
27-Lah Tere ‘You Are’ (Chicago/NY)
28-Brazen ‘Grand Rapid’ (San Jose/ Grand Rapid)
29-Kenyanna Bean ‘Good Wit Me’ (Oakland)
30-J Ross Panelle ‘Hey There Sister (Reno)
31-Antia Tijoux ‘Crisis un de MC (Chile)
32-Hopispitshard The Trunk’
33-Psalm One ‘Let Me Hear’