As you all can see I’ve been doing a lot of research lately, one area in hip hop history; particularly old school. Here are a few I’ll call (a little) lesser known femcees from the late 1980s early 1990s that I’ve become familiar with a few years ago. When they made their public debut I was a little girl; if you were a teen or a young adult then I know you remember these great sistas.
Born Antoinette in 1970, Queens, New York is best known for her breakout single “I Got An Attitude” on producer Hurby Azor’s compilation album, Hurby’s Machine (1987). The self-proclaimed Gangstress of Rap released two albums, “Who’s The Boss?” (1989) and “Burnin’ at 20 Below” (1990). She’s also been in a a rap battle with fellow femcee MC Lyte. Where is she now? Well, It is rumored that Antoinette is a NYPD officer. *shrugs*
Born Toi Jackson, Sweet Tee from Queens, New York made her debut with her 1988 album “It’s Tee Time.” She’s best known for her singles “I Got The Feelin” “On The Smooth Tip” “Why Did It Have To Be Me” and “It’s Like That Y’All.” She released a single “What’s Up, Star (1995) under the moniker Suga and has reported that she’s currently back in the studio and with a single available online, Queen of QNZ.
Born Heather B. Gardner in 1971 in Jersey City, New Jersey, Heather B. is best known as a member of the original MTV Real World cast, rapper Heather B. began as a part-time performer with KRS-One‘s Boogie Down Productions when she added vocals to the group’s Sex and Violence album. After appearing on Real World, Heather recorded a single for Elektra Records, “I Get Wreck,” and pressed her own copies of another single, “All Glocks Down,” that was eventually released by Pendulum Records.In 1996, she released her first album, Takin’ Mine. The single “All Glocks Down”, an anti-gun violence anthem, received radio play, as did the follow-up single “If Headz Only Knew.” In 1997, Gardner signed with MCA Records and in 1998 she released the single, “Do You,” which had a considerable amount of television and radio airplay. In 2002 Gardner produced her second album, Eternal Affairs, with production from Pete Rock and DJ Premier. The album met with positive reviews despite not charting on Billboard. As of 2012, she is the co-host of Sirius Satellite Radio Show, Sway In the Morning with former MTV reporter Sway Calloway.
Nikki D. born Nichelle Strong is the first female rapper to be signed to Def Jam Recordings.
She signed with Def Jam in 1989, and released her debut single “Lettin’ Off Steam” the same year. It was produced by Sam Sever. The single’s video featured Flavor Flav. Later Nikki D released the more commercially acceptable song, “Daddy’s Little Girl” some two years later, which reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart.
Prior to releasing “Daddy’s Little Girl”, Nikki D was on tour in Europe for a year with fellow R&B artist Alyson Williams. Nikki D has recorded songs with Moby, Queen Latifah on the Set It Off soundtrack, with Redman for his Muddy Waters album, EPMD, Naughty By Nature, Flavor Unit and Suzanne Vega.
In 1998, Nikki D became the vice president of A&R at Flavor Unit Records, a position she held for two years. Today she is the marketing manager at “Phat Fashions”, the apparel company that houses Phat Farm, Baby Phat, and Atman.
MC Trouble (July 30, 1970-June 4, 1992) born Latasha Sheron Rogers was the first female rapper signed to Motown Records.
MC Trouble had a minor hit with the song “(I Wanna) Make You Mine“ featuring The Good Girls, released May 25, 1990. “Make You Mine” peaked at #15 on the Billboard Magazine’s Hot Rap Songs charts. The title track of her debut album Gotta Get a Grip was released as a second single on September 14, 1990. Gotta Get a Grip showed promise as a mix of hardcore rap and more
Rogers was born with epilepsy and received daily treatment to prevent seizures; In 1992, she was in production for her second album when she died in her sleep on June 4, 1992, while at the home of a friend in Los Angeles shortly after suffering an epileptic seizure which resulted in heart failure.
The posthumous single “Big Ole Jazz” was released in 1992 and appeared on the House Party 2 soundtrack resulted in a second & final hit on Billboard’s rap singles chart. The song ‘Vibes and Stuff’ by rap group A Tribe Called Quest off their album The Low End Theory was dedicated to MC Trouble. Her dedication is mentioned several times throughout the track.