We did our thing the other day on All Day Play radio with my show Breakdown FM…There is so much good music out there its unbelievable.. No excuses for those who say its lacking…With all the new technology, good music is there for the embracing..
Hundreds of female emcees are out there.. no excuse to say they are not.. From Dessa Darling to Kellee Maize to Vanessa German to Raw G to Aima the Dreamer to Devynity there’s a lot of sisters catching wreck.. One of the things we in Hip Hop must do is see our music as timeless and without limits..The music industry wants us to retire artists and dope jams from 5 or 10 years ago and act like they never existed.. That’s done so that we can develop the mindset of a consumer vs having the mindset of a cultural preserver..The saying Old is New and New is Old applies here.. As we continue celebrating Women’s History Month, enjoy this mix.. Its a gem among gems and our second offering in a 4 part series..
Special shout out to Aisha the Raptivist who gave me some killer drops in the form of speeches and sayings.. Click the link below to go to ADP and hear the show via our archives or hit the download links
01-Sweet Honey & the Rock ‘I’m a Woman’
02-Shirley Chisolm and Aisha the Raptivist ‘Speaking Truth to Power (Menahan Band remix)
03-Kofy Brown ‘Playing Fields’ (rmx)
04-Roxanne Shante Independent Woman
05-Monie Love ‘Detrimentally Stable”
06-Monie Love ‘Swiney Swiney
07-LA Star ‘Fade to Black’
08-Sonya Blade ‘ Blade is the Name’
11-Lauryn Hill ‘Lost ones’
12-Hurricane G ‘Whateva’
13-Poetess ‘Simply Poetry’
14-Heather B ‘Glocks Down’
15-Conscious Daughters ‘Come Smooth Come Rude’
16-Queen Latifah ‘Wrath of My Madness’
17-Sweet Tee ‘Its My Beat’
18-Lady of Rage‘Sure Shot
19-Medusa ‘Fix is the Fiend’
20-Da Brat ‘Give it 2 You’
21-Queen Latifah ‘Just Around the Way’
22-Queen Mother Rage ‘Slipping Into Darkness’
23-Sista Souljah Speaking Truth
24-Aima the Dreamer ‘All you Need’
25-Dessa ‘The Crow’
26-Godesa ‘Social Ills’
27-Vanesa German ‘Two Wings’ (Zion I remix)
28-Jezzy P Ecatapec ‘La Formula’
29-Melina Jones ‘Rock w/ Fire’
01–Laura ‘Piece’ Kelly‘Sound Awake’
02-Mystic ‘Fatherless Child’
03-Kellee Maize ‘Story of Me’
04-J Ross Parelli ‘Home is Where’
05-Dessa ‘Children’s Work’
06-Desmonda ‘Faulty Fuses’
07-Queen Latifah ‘Nature of a Sister’
08-Devynity ‘Heard em Say’
09-Brigette Gray ‘Shades of Gray’
10-YoYo ‘ Don’t Be No Fool’
11-Medusa ‘Mine to Give’
12-T-Love ‘When You’re Older-Ode to the Picanniny’
13-Kofy Brown ‘Turned Out’
14-Raw G w/ Aima the Dreamer ‘Connexiones Subterraneas’
15-Kemelo ‘Audry Funk
16-Cihualtl Ce ‘Rise Above’
17-Cihualtl Ce ‘Dreamah’
18- Women’s Roundtable’
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 Hill, Felicia Loud, Southern 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‘.
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
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 Leon, Joyo Verlarde, Kofy Brown, Goapele 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.
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.
Eve, Queen LatifahIsis 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’
In honor of Women’s History Month we recently sat down and interviewed one of the industry’s most powerful people-Wendy Day of the Rap Coalition. It was through Wendy Day that acts like Master P and Cash Money got their respective deals. It was through Wendy that artists like Slick Rick were able to get their lopsided contracts broken. A long time artist advocate, she’s the person that major labels love to hate because she’s committed to thoroughly lacing people with the ins and outs of the industry game.
Her website rapcoalition.org is required reading for anyone entering into the business as it contains a wealth of information ranging from the money breakdown when you sign a recording contract, to the politics of getting airplay. There’s information on how to copyright your material, how to start a record label as well as what to look for in a manager. Thousands of people flock to her site or read her columns in publications like Murder Dog where they soak up the information and go out into the world better prepared.
Originally Wendy was based in New York where she attempted to lay down foundation to start an artist union and unite the various factions within New York. She later focused her attention in the south and has been in Memphis and now Atlanta for over 5 years building coalitions and helping the Third Coast maintain their dominance in the rap game.
Back in the days Wendy was and can still tell you how to go about getting signed. Far too often she wound up having to help folks get unsigned because of the unfair contracts the industry puts before hungry artists. Nowadays she’s all about helping folks not get signed, but how to make more money on the independent tip. There are far too many success stories that have come from her camp to name off..
In this two part interview Wendy Day breaks bread on a variety of topics and shows us how to avoid industry pitfalls. We start off talking about the typical recording contract that many up and coming artists find themselves locked into. The most problematic are production deals where the producer is the middle man between the artist and label. In theory the money and resources are supposed to trickle down. In way too many cases they simply don’t and that’s when Wendy gets that frantic phone call from an artist trying to escape a bad situation.
Wendy explained the dynamics of how a street savvy hustler type cat from the hood can get got and ripped off in the music biz. She explained that far too often people enter into the music business not fully understanding or appreciating that many of the big time execs they come across come from gangsta backgrounds themselves. She noted the only difference is that these industry gangstas went and got law and business degrees so they appear legit, but they are definitely about their hustle at the end of the day. many succeed in making artists believe that they are being granted a big favor when they get signed, when in reality they are often times being pimped big time.
On a side note, folks may wanna take a look at the book Ruthless written by former NWA manager Jerry Heller. While the information and juicy stories about Ice Cube and Eazy E may be the thing that immediately captures your attention, the real jewels are when Heller talks about his background and all the power house people he came up with and what they have always been about. That book should be required reading as well.
In our interview Wendy lays out the true meaning and ramifications of RECOUPARATING and how that process keeps artists forever in debt. People need to truly understand what that word means and how it gets applied to ALL artists who sign to these major labels. It amounts to modern day share cropping.
We discussed whether or not industry conditions have improved now that we have high profile artist CEOs like P-Diddy, Jay-Z and others who are signing acts and running labels. Sadly Wendy noted that they have not. The average recording contract even by some of the new artist music moguls have not changed. She talked about the role capitalism plays in this industry and how it gets a lot of people caught up.
We also talked about the need for an artist union and why one doesn’t presently exist. She said lack of unity and ego have prevented this from occurring. In addition some artists are just so desperate to get on that they will literally sell their souls and not heed much of the advice given to them that will in the long run help them benefit.
We concluded our interview by comparing the way the rock industry works vs. the rap industry and the challenge we face in getting local airplay when the major labels are pushing a national agenda.
This is an interview you have to listen to if you’re trying to get into the game. This is our 3 part Wendy Day Interview