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VIDEO – 20 pioneer female rappers active before 1990

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Check out our selection of 20 pioneer female rappers active before 1990!

Systematically erased from the history of hip hop, female rappers have nonetheless always been present in this movement since its emergence in the late 1970s. As MCs, songwriters, producers and activists, women have played an active part in making rap what it is today: inclusive, plural, innovative, rooted in its time and constantly evolving.

To visibilize these artists, here’s a non-exhaustive selection of 20 pioneering female rappers active before 1990, and a playlist right here.



The Sequence – Funk You Up (1979)
Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Lady B – To The Beat Y’all (1979)
Philadelphia, USA

Sha-Rock – Rappin and Rockin the House Live with The Funky 4+1 at NYC’s The Kitchen (1980)
The Bronx, New York, USA

Lisa Lee – Wild Style Deletes Scenes (1980)
The Bronx, New York, USA

Debbie D – Us Girls Can Boogie Too ft. Sha-Rock & Lisa Lee (1984)
The Bronx, New York, USA

Classy Crew – Peter King Nitelife CFCF 12 Montreal (1983)
Quebec, Canada

Roxanne Shante – Roxanne’s Revenge (1984)
Queens, New York, USA

Pebblee Poo – A Fly Guy (1985)
The Bronx, New York, USA

Freaky D – Time Is Up / Beep Rap (1986)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

MC Lyte – Paper Thin (1988)
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Real Roxanne – Respect (1988)
Brooklyn, New York, USA

JJ Fad – Supersonic (1988)
Rialto, California, USA

Oaktown 3-5-7 – Juicy Gotcha Krazy (1988)
Oakland, California, USA

Queen Latifah & Movie Love – Ladies First (1989)
Newark, New Jersey, USA/Battersea, London, UK

Ms Melodie – Live On Stage (1989)
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Nikki D – My Love Is So Raw (The Love Mix) ft. Alyson Williams (1989)
Newark, New Jersey, USA

Wanda Dee – To The Bone (1989)
The Bronx, New York, USA

Sony and Mony – Toma y toma (1989)

Antoinette – Who’s The Boss (1989)
The Bronx, New York, USA

Cookie Crew – Born This Way (1989)
Clapham, London, UK

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