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The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop

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An illustrated highlight reel of more than 100 women in rap who have helped shape the genre and eschewed gender norms in the process

The Motherlode highlights more than 100 women who have shaped the power, scope, and reach of rap music, including pioneers like Roxanne Shanté, game changers like Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott, and current reigning queens like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Lizzo—as well as everyone who came before, after, and in between. Some of these women were respected but not widely celebrated. Some are impossible not to know. Some of these women have stood on their own; others were forced into templates, compelled to stand beside men in big rap crews. Some have been trapped in a strange critical space between respected MC and object. They are characters, caricatures, lyricists, at times both feminine and explicit. This book profiles each of these women, their musical and career breakthroughs, and the ways in which they each helped change the culture of rap.

ISBN-13: 9781419742965

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Abrams

Publication Date: 02-02-2021

Pages: 272

Product Dimensions: 7.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Clover Hope is a Brooklyn-based writer who has previously worked as an editor at Vibe, XXL, Billboard, and Jezebel. Hope has written for a range of publications far and wide, including Essence, GQ, Wall Street Journal Magazine, the New York Times, Cosmo, Elle, and the Village Voice, among others. She is currently a contributing editor at Pitchfork and an adjunct professor at NYU. She was a cowriter on Beyoncé’s Black Is King film. Her book, The Motherlode: 100+ Women Who Made Hip-Hop, a comprehensive history of female rappers, is in bookstores everywhere.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Nice for a Girl 4

The First Women 8

MC Sha-Rock 13

Wanda Dee 17

First Ladies of Rap Crews 18

Mercedes Ladies 21

Debbie Harry 24

White Rap Family Tree 26

Lisa Lee 29

The Sequence 33

Sweet Tae 38

Roxanne Shanté 41

Lady B 46

Sparky D 47

Salt-N-Pepa 50

MC Lyte 57

Antoinette 61

Queen Latifah 63

J.J. Fad 68

L'Trimm 75

The Women of Miami Bass 78

Oaktown's 357 81

Mia X 84

Women in Duos & Groups 86

Nikki D 88

Bytches with Problems 91

N-Tyce 94

Yo-Yo 95

Bioss 101

Heater B. 107

Lady of Rage 111

The Conscious Daughters 117

Da Brat 119

Left Eye 122

Sylk-E. Fyne 125

Bakamadia 129

Lil' Kim 131

The "Lady" Rappers 140

Foxy Brown 141

Nonckalant 146

Missy Elliott 147

Angie Martinez 155

Charli Baltimore 157

Medusa 162

Eve 167

Solé 171

Lady Luck 173

Lauryn Hill 177

Vita 184

Khia 188

Trina 191

La Chat 201

Amil 203

Shawnna 207

Remy Ma 209

Nicki Minaj 213

Azealia Banks 221

Cardi B 225

The Future 231

Acknowledgements 237

Author Bio 239