After being signed to Def Jam Records, Foxy Brown released her debut album “Ill Na Na” in 1996, followed by “Chyna Doll” in 1999 and the Grammy-nominated album “Broken Silence” in 2001.
Before her debut album “Ill Na Na” was released, Foxy Brown had already made several guest appearances on “I Shot Ya” (LL Cool J) and “Ain’t No…” (Jay-Z), among others. The album sold 1.5 million copies. From it also comes her biggest hit “I’ll Be“, which she recorded with Jay-Z.
Despite its commercial success, the record is one of the most controversial music albums in US music history. Critics accused the then only 18-year-old of endangering youth through her harsh and sometimes obscene lyrics. But it was especially her rough, unyielding nature and brash disregard for the role of the average teenager that made Foxy a beloved figure in ’90s hip-hop.
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Amethyst Amelia Kelly was born in Sydney in 1990. Still in her Australian home of Mullumbimby, the then 12-year-old discovers her love of rap. She plasters her room with Tupac photos and becomes his fanatical fan after hearing a recording of “Baby Don’t Cry” at a friend’s house. When her father, through a teacher at school, slipped her a note letting her know that he was going to disappear for a few years, she withdrew, often sad, depressed and dreaming of emigrating to the United States. Which she eventually did.
At 16, she pretends to go on vacation, drops out of school and flies to Miami. From there, she makes her way via Atlanta to Los Angeles. The clips for “Pu$$y” and “My World” spread via YouTube. With a broad Southern accent, which she acquired after entering the country, she tells her own story of the American dream in singles like “Work“.
In 2011 she releases the first mixtape “Ignorant Art“. Then in 2014 the first album “The New Classic” is released on the label Grand Hustle Records. The re-release Reclassified, extended by five tracks, appears seven months later. With 13.8 million followers on Instagram, Iggy is clearly one of the most popular female rappers.
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The group Salt-N-Pepa was formed in 1985, and it was one of the first female Rap groups ever.
“Let’s Talk About Sex”, their 1990 superhit, makes a clear statement in this regard.
A remix, released in 1987 as “Push It“, then becomes the breakthrough. Push It earns Salt-N-Pepa a Grammy nomination and gives the album Platinum.
They won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance By a Duo/Group in 1995.
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Queen Latifah (born Dana Owens) is one of the first rap artists, male or female, to turn her musical career into a permanent position in Hollywood.
“All Hail the Queen“, her debut album in 1989, was a massive success. It also received a Grammy nomination as Best Rap Performance. The single “Fly Girl” hit the British charts during the summer 1991. It was her most popular title, even though it was not placed in the top regions.
Her second album “Nature of Sista” was released 1991, and her third album “Black Reign” 1993. It featured the single ” U.N.I.T.Y.“, which won her a Grammy Award. It was also a hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1993 she founded her own record company: Flavor Unit Records. On her record “Dana Owens Album” (2004) she turns to jazz. This album contains largely sixties-style arrangements, including an arrangement of the folk classic California Dreaming by The Mamas and the Papas.
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Her real name Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam is not necessarily memorable. But as M.I.A., an abbreviation for “Missing in Action,” the British rapper of Tamil descent will surely be remembered for a long time to come. In the early 1980s, M.I.A. and her parents were forced to leave their home country of Sri Lanka. The activities of her father, who founded a militant liberation organization during the civil war raging there, forced the rest of the family to return to London via India. Here Mathangi attends Central Saint Martins Art School, where her artistic talent is quickly recognized. She is commissioned to design the album cover of the band Elastica and to document their subsequent tour on film.
The tight network of the British artist scene then gets M.I.A. a deal with the label XL Recordings. The singles “Sunshowers” and “Galang” already herald the success of the later albums through their high chart positions. In 2005 and 2007 the first two albums named after Mathangi’s parents, Arular and Kala, are released. “Paper Planes” becomes an international superhit, selling over 3 million copies. The song sparks controversy. Only after the removal of shots and the revision of individual passages of the lyrics, the song was played by MTV.
But as M.I.A. already announces in Paper Planes: “I have more records than the KGB”. M.I.A. remains rebellious. She can’t even be stopped in her political activism by entry bans.
After the birth of her son Ikhyd in 2009, she releases her third album “Maya” in 2010 and tours the world several times as a headliner. 2013 sees the release of the fourth album “Matangi“, 2016 “AIM“. Thematically, M.I.A. is always on the cutting edge of political events and clearly sends socially critical and political messages.
“Borders” (2016) is a video about people fleeing across the Mediterranean, “Bad Girls” (2013) an explosive tour de force by the rapper through a desert in the Middle East, which was read as M.I.A.’s plea against the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.
Not everyone is pleased with her clear messages. M.I.A. polarizes, but has 969,000 loyal Instagram followers.
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