It's My Beat

(Beta Max)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Train of Thought

Sha Rock Can't Be Stopped

*"Funk You Up" MP3*
Bonus: It's My Beat patron saint Jean Greasy with "My Crew"

So I was thinking how I, we, don't want to replicate the gender inequity in hip hop in our blog by centering male artists even in our critique of them. Then I was thinking about what hip hop songs by female hip hop artists resonated with me in the past few months. Then I was thinking barely any female hip hop artists have put out any major label albums in the past year. Then I was like I wonder if Jean Grae's music is on iTunes. Then I saw that The Bootleg of the Bootleg, Attack of the Attacking Things and This Week are on there. Yay! (There was a time Fat Beats and Sandbox Automatic were vitually the only places you could find her stuff.) Then I saw that she also has music featured on an iTunes essential compilation entitled "First Ladies of Hip Hop." Okay! Then I read this rubbish (from the liner notes):
The Basics:

A quarter-century ago, when Debbie Harry slipped some slithery rhymes over the landmark new wave of Blondie's "Rapture" she did more than introduce rap to rock She knocked down the door to the boys club of hip-hop, allowing some of the most revolutionary MC's in the game to have their voices heard.
"Rapture", a single from the 1980 Blondie album Autoamerican, featured an elementary rap by Debbie Harry who along with bandmate and partner Chris Stein, members of the downtown art scene, were introduced to the nascent culture of hip hop courtesy of tourguides Fab Five Freddy and Jean Michel Basquiat. This same year Sugar Hill Presents The Sequence, an album by female rap trio The Sequence, was released and feautured the hip hop classic "Funk You Up" recently revisited by Erykah Badu with help from Queen Latifah, Bahamadia, and original The Sequence member, Angie Stone, on Worldwide Underground's "Love of My Life Worldwide." The Sequence does not appear on the "First Ladies of Hip Hop" iTunes essential compilation. The Sequence are not mentioned in the above cited iTunes liner notes. Neither are Sha Rock of the Funky 4 + 1 or Pebblee Poo (from whom Master P. bit his trademark "Make 'Em Say Unh") artists who had been putting it down prior to 1980. This essential list makes sure to include female hip hop collabs with white pop artists: Eve's "Let Me Blow Your Mind" with Gwen "appropriator" Stefani and Ms. Jade's "Ching Ching" with hip hop's favorite Canadian, Nelly Furtado. Countless female showstoppers; women of color who were steeped in the revolutionary culture and artform of hip hop put it down before Debbie Harry and will be putting it down when Debbie or Gwen and their ilk decide to pilfer equally 'exotic' musical styles. "I could go on and on; the full has never been told." And maybe I should, we should, or else iTunes, with their inaccurate and ludicrous decision to begin the liner note of their essential mix of women in hip hop with Debbie Harry, will tell the story for us.