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On behalf of “Women’s History Month” someone is taking time out to pay homage to women who are very seldom acknowledged. Some of these women have stood in the shadows of all male crews and rap groups without being noticed or properly promoted. On the flip side, some of these women have actually outshined their male counterparts and made it to the top leaving the guys behind. Who are these women? These women are female Emcees sometimes known as “Femcees”.

As many ill female Emcees as there are out here very few make “Best of” lists or get nominated at award shows. In fact in 2005 the Recording Academy removed the “Best Female Rap Solo Performance” category from The Grammys. Also, let’s not forget how last year in October the VH1 Hip Hop Honors and the BET Hip Hop Awards didn’t nominate a single female rapper. What does it take to get female Emcees recognition? Maybe it’s going to take for women to recognize themselves, like radio personality Nanci-O from North Carolina. On March 14th Nanci-O is hosting the “Women of Hip Hop”, honors, concert, and after-party in Raleigh, NC. This event will exclusively illustrate recognition to women involved in Hip Hop, and have female Emcees and DJs perform. Prior to the honors, concert, and after party on March 5th Nanci-O is showcasing female Emcees on her radio show on WXYC 89.3 FM from 9 p.m. to 12 Midnight. The show is broadcasted in Chapel Hill, NC but, there will also be live streaming from www.wxyc.org. Hopefully, this wonderful chain of events will be the start of a new movement, giving female Emcees the respect they deserve.

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  • This is a very sad topic to me as a Hip-Hop fan. I always had a special spot in my heart for for “Femcees” from MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill and so on. But I think women suffer more from Hip-Hop’s hyper-testosterone to the point were you have women rappers who arrange their music, (or rather the labels), around the vagina as a counter balance. Both men and women suffer from this idea were everything comes off “gangsta” and this effect women even more than men who just want to spit something intelligent. At the same time I think that women will benifit from MC’s like Kanye West, B.o.B. K’Naan, Lupe Fiasco, and others who strive against that image an inadvertently open the door for them. It’s a matter of supporting them.

  • Pingback: An Ode to Female Emcees « Glennisha Morgan()

  • Love the article!

    I have always been a fan of Sistas in Hip Hop, probably more than the men because women seem to have a different sensibility than the men and less of a need to display useless aggression, sexism and homophobia.

    The idea of women centering their arrangements and/or labels “around the vagina as a counter balance.” I don’t get that. Some Femcees seem to tap in to the penis by trying to compete with the men by acting masculine, aggressive, and crass like the men. There are other Femcees that maintain balance by presenting their true voices, femininity, strength, vocal ability, and intellect.

    Femcees don’t need men to open the door for them. They just need men to stop standing in front of it.

  • Thanks for this great article.

    Femcee’s never get their due so it’s good to see that we women are going to make sure that they are recognized.