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The world of Hip Hop suffered a tragic loss today when Sylvia Robinson “The Mother Of Hip Hop” passed away at the age of 75 from congestive heart failure. Sylvia founded the record label Sugar Hill Records and is credited as “the driving force behind two landmark singles in the genre. The first was ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by the Sugarhill Gang, which was the first rap song to be released by a hip hop act. The second was ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five.”

HelloBeautiful would like to celebrate the many women in Hip Hop who are and have been a driving force in the genre! These women have made strides, broke records and set standards for females to abide by, adore and appreciate. They embody the talent like the men, skills of a woman and drive of a star!

Da Brat:

-First female rapper to go platinum.

-Got introduced to Jermaine Dupri by Kris Kross who signed her to So So Def after winning a talent show.

-Her debut album Funkdafied debuted at number one on the Billboard charts.

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MC Lyte

-First solo female rapper to release a full album (Lyte as a Rock).

Lyte began rapping at the age of 12

-Her first acting role was in 1991, an off Broadway theater play entitled Club Twelve, a Hip-hop twist on The Twelfth Night alongside Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Lisa Nicole Carson.

Queen Latifah

-Queen Latifah started beat-boxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh

Dante Ross signed Latifah in 1988 and issued her first single, “Wrath of My Madness.”

-Latifah released her first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen.

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Lady Of Rage

-Described as “one of the most skillful female MCs” with a “mastery of flow” and “hard-core lyrics.”

-She appeared on several tracks from Dr. Dre’s 1992 classic The Chronic album, and on Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle in 1993.

-In 1994, she had a hit single with “Afro Puffs” (from the soundtrack to Above the Rim) which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart.

Lil’ Kim

-Born and raised in Brooklyn, Kim would rap for fun and was heavily influenced by other female MC’S like MC Lyte and Lady of Rage.

-The Notorious B.I.G. made her spit a freestyle for him on the spot.

-She began her music career in 1995 with the group Junior M.A.F.I.A.

Hard CoreThe Notorious K.I.M. and La Bella Mafia, were all certified platinum by the RIAA, making Kim the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott to have at least 3 platinum albums.

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Foxy Brown

-While still a teenager, Brown won a talent contest where members of Trackmasters who were working on LL Cool J’s Mr. Smith album her rap over “I Shot Ya.”

-In 1996, Brown released her debut album Ill Na Na, it sold over 109,000 copies in the first week, and debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 album charts



-Her first three albums have reached a total of over 8 million albums sold worldwide.

-She ranked number 46 on VH1’s “50 Greatest Women Of The Video Era” show list.

-Her 1999 debut, Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady, made her the first female rap artist to enter the Billboard 200 at number one.

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Missy Elliott

The only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum for her 2002 album Under Construction.

-Five-time Grammy Award winner.

-Along with Timberland she wrote and produced nine tracks for Aaliyah’s second album, One in a Million which went double-platinum and made stars out of the production duo.

Nicki Minaj

-Minaj began her music career in 2007 after she released her first mixtape Playtime Is Over.

-Lil Wayne discovered and secured a record deal with her with Young Money Entertainment with distribution from Universal Motown Records In August 2009.

-She released her first debut album, Pink Friday in 2010. It peaking at the top of the U.S.Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum a month later.She became the first artist ever to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time.

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Shout out to all the women in Hip Hop we may or may not know!

-Remy Ma

-Babs Bunny

-Lil Mama

-Lady Luck

-Lauryn Hill

For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.