The last major hip-hop movie in theaters was Notorious, and now Straight Outta Compton is in theaters everywhere on its way to massive opening weekend success. Sure, TLC got a made for TV movie adaptation about the group, but when are more ladies in hip-hop going to get stories told? It has long been about that time! Here are five of our pics for women in hip-hop history who need a biopic like, yesterday.
Queen Latifah is a no-brainer! The rapper, singer and entrepreneur rose from humble beginnings in New Jersey to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world. There were a lot of bumps along the way, though. She is a sexual abuse survivor, her brother died tragically in a motorcycle accident, and she generally had to deal with being a woman who didn’t have the typical looks or body type for what was considered ideal in the entertainment industry. Yet she broke through anyway. At nineteen, she became the first female solo rapper to have a major record deal, she is a Grammy winner, has been nominated for an Academy Award, is the face of Cover Girl, and so much more. Who wouldn’t want to get the tea about her journey of triumph?
MC Lyte became the first female rapper to release a full album with 1988’s critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock. She also repped Brooklyn before it was cool. She is still creating music, doing voice over work, and serving has a mentor to other young women in music with burgeoning careers in hip-hop. She has a candid demeanor that men and women alike have always loved.
Sylvia Robinson handled her business behind the scenes of hip-hop. She was a musician in her own right, but she was most known for her work as co-founder of Sugar Hill Records. In other words, she is the force behind propelling pioneering hip-hop acts like The Sugarhill Gang, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five to success.
Of course we had to throw the Queen Bee in there! We got to see snippets of Kim’s life play out in Notorious from other people’s perspectives, but nothing beats seeing Kim’s full story directly from her perspective. From her tumultuous life growing up with her dad, to being a part of hip-hop history, her life’s story is filled with made for movie drama!
Missy Elliott is one of hip-hop’s most unique talents. She created a new sound, made it cool for women in hip-hop to be quirky amid sex and materialism ad nauseam, and never compromised herself for the sake of attention. Elliott’s talent and steadfast determination has delivered some of the best music and music videos the world has ever seen. Like Latifah, she is a sexual abuse survivor, but didn’t let her childhood trauma define her, and persevered despite the odds against her. And…we’re still fiending for some new music from her!