For this week’s Saturday Soundtrack, we’re throwing it back to the debut albums of some of hip hop’s most infamous solo female emcees.
Taking their cue from pioneer lady rap queens like Roxanne Shante, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Moni Love and Yoyo to name a few, the mid-90s to early 2000s time period ushered in a host of women who dominated the hip hop scene with ease. Distinct voices, versatility, authentic talent and unapologetic raw femininity were common characteristics of some of hip hop’s most memorable ladies to date who made their way onto the music scene just before the new millennium.
Take a stroll down memory lane with a listen of some of the hits and hidden gems found on their debut albums.
Lauryn Hill – Lost Ones
Lauryn Hill made a massive impact on music and represented hip hop culture with as much passion as she did pure talent on arguably one of the greatest albums of all time, also known as her debut classic The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, released in 1998.
Da Brat – Give It 2 You
Chitown native Da Brat brought a sound, swag and flow like none other to the rap game when she linked up with super producer Jermaine Dupri and her 1994 debut album Funkdafied was just what hip hop needed.
Lil Kim – No Time
One of the first women in hip hop to be a beast in the booth and overtly embrace her sexuality with no apologies, Lil Kim’s 1996 debut Hard Core introduced hip hop fans to a new kind of female lyricist who was street and sexy all at once.
Rah Digga – Imperial
2000 was a big year in hip hop in general, so it was only right that the Jersey-born first lady of Busta Rhymes’ Flip Mode Squad drop her impressive debut album Dirty Harriet in that same year.
Eve – Let’s Talk About
Philly blonde bombshell Eve’s early buzz in hip hop had all eyes on her and she more than delivered with her debut album Let There Be Eve….Ruff Ryders’ First Lady in 1999.
Foxy Brown – Ill Na Na
Brooklyn-born Trini diva Foxy Brown’s knack for vivid story telling brought a one-of-a-kind sound to every track she graced and her 1996 debut album Ill Na Na was a lyrically intriguing collection of authentic and infectious hip hop from a woman’s perspective.
Hailing from Chicago and holding her own effortlessly among Ludacris’ all-male DTP crew, Shawnna was a force to be reckoned with on her debut album Worth Tha Weight in 2004.
Trina – Off Glass
The new-age southern hip hop movement was just beginning to take off around the year 2000 and Miami firecracker Trina carried the torch well for the ladies in hip hop with the release of her debut album Da Baddest Bitch.
Missy – Beep Me 911
One of music’s most iconic artists to date, Virginia’s own Missy Elliot created a signature sound that influenced generations of music from every genre and the 1997 release of her debut album Supa Dupa Fly was just one of her many brilliant contributions to hip hop culture.
Queen Pen – Party Aint A Party
Queen Pen’s smooth & sultry but oh-so-Brooklyn sound was the key ingredient on her 1997 debut album My Melody that kept us all wanting more.
Remy Ma – Whateva
Proudly representing the Bronx from the moment she surfaced on the hip hop scene, Remy Ma’s 2006 debut There’s Something About Remy was a raw blend of confident lyricism and club-banging beats that solidified her as one to watch.
Lady Of Rage – Big Bad Lady
One of very few female artists to have recorded with hip hop legend Tupac Shakur before his untimely death, Death Row Records lyricist Lady of Rage attacked nearly every track on her 1997 debut album Necessary Roughness with a skillset that was second to none.
Charli Baltimore – Money
From her red hair to her fearless approach in the booth, Philly rapstress Charli Baltimore had a style and no nonsense attitude that saw her carve her own lane in hip hop with the release of her debut album Cold As Ice in 1999.
Mia X – Good Girl Gone Bad
New Orleans rap conglomerate No Limit Records propelled their original sound to the top of the hip hop totem pole just as the millennium approached and the 1995 debut Good Girl Gone Bad from their sole female signee Mia X proved exactly why she was a valuable asset to the team.
Be sure to visit HERSource every weekend for the latest edition of our Saturday Soundtrack!