Was born in 1974 and is a native of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. She grew up on the streets after being thrown out of her house at a young age. Kim started spitting rhymes during her teenage years and was deeply influenced by Diana Ross, MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. It was when she met Notorious B.I.G. in 1994 and joined the Junior M.A.F.I.A. clan when her career took off. The group released their 1995 debut album, Conspiracy, which produced three hit singles, including “Player’s Anthem,” “I Need You Tonight” and “Get Money.” A year later Kim released her debut solo album, Hardcore, which produced the hit, “No Time,” a track released with Diddy. Other albums she has dropped over the years include The Notorious K.I.M. (2000), La Bella Mafia (2003) and The Naked Truth (2005). Kim is also known for her feuds she’s had over the years with other female rappers, like Foxy Brown and most recently Nicki Minaj.
Was born in 1978 and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her father left her family when she was a child to pursue his career at ERAC Records. Brown first became noticed after winning a talent contest in Park Slope where affiliates of the production team Trackmasters were present. After this she was featured on several tracks from other artists, such as “Touch Me Tease Me” by Case and “Ain’t No Nigga” by Jay-Z. Def Jam Records signed her at 17-years-old and from there she released her debut album, Ill Na Na, in 1996, which produced the two hit singles “Get Me Home” (featuring Blackstreet) and “I’ll Be” (featuring Jay-Z). One year later she joined the supergroup, The Firm, which also included New-York rappers Nas, AZ and Nature. Following this stint, she released Chyna Doll (1999) and Broken Silence (2001). She built her reputation on wearing racy outfits and using vulgar language in her music. Brown was also known for having beef with other female rappers, most famously with Lil’ Kim, Queen Latifah, Queen Pen and Jacki-O.
Was born in Harlem in 1989, but was then raised in Brooklyn. Growing up she was the eldest out of eight siblings and to stand out she would express herself through poetry and dance. In 2006, Lil Mama signed a recording contract with Jive Records and released her debut album, VYP (Voice of the Young People) in 2008. This album produced four singles, including “Lip Gloss,” “G-Slide (Tour Bus),” “Shawty Get Loose” and “What It Is (Strike a Pose).” Lil Mama also served as a judge for seven seasons on “America’s Best Dance Crew” and played the role of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in VH1’s biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” which aired in October 2013.
Is one of the first all-female rap groups that formed in 1985. The trio is comprised of Cheryl James (“Salt” is from Brooklyn), Sandra Denton (“Pepa” is from Queens) and Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella is Brooklyn). James and Denton first edged in on the rap scene when they released “The Showstopper,” an answer record to Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show,” under the moniker Super Nature. This was the song that the duo were asked to do by co-worker Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor (Salt’s boyfriend at the time) for his audio production class at New York City’s Center for Media Arts while they all were working at a Sears store in Queens. After this success they changed their name to Salt-N-Pepa and added Roper as DJ when they signed to Next Plateau Records. They released their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious in 1986, with albums A Salt with a Deadly Pepa (1998), Blacks’ Magic (1990), Very Necessary (1993) and Brand New (1997) to follow. Some of their most popular hits are “Push It,” “Shoop,” “Whatta Man,” “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “None Of Your Business.”
Who was born in Queens in 1971 and raised in the East Flatbush region of Brooklyn, started rapping at age 12. She learned how to rap from her brothers Milk and Gizmo from the rap group Audio Two. Lyte released her first song “I Cram to Understand U (Sam)” in 1986. In 1988 she became the first solo female rapper to release a full album with “Lyte as a Rock,” which spawned the hit song “Paper Thin” and the battle rap “10% Dis,” also a response song to rapper Antoinette. She released many albums after this, including “Eyes On This” (1989), “Act Like You Know” (1991), “Ain’t No Other” (1993), “Bad As I Wanna B” (1996), “Seven & Seven” (1998) and “Da Underground Heat, Vol. 1” (2003).
Born in 1969, grew up in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn and was active in the rap game from 1988 to 1992. She was affiliated with KRS-One’s Boogie Down Productions and was married to him until their divorce in 1992. Melodie was also the older sister of former BDP member Harmony. She was featured on the 1989 “Self Destruction” single, which was part of the Stop the Violence Movement started by KRS-One. Melodie was known for her aggressive style and was able to rap amongst the men while holding her own. Her only album ever released was “Diva” in 1989 with her single “Wake Up, Wake Up” reaching the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart. Melodie died on July 17, 2012. The cause of death was not released to the public.
Born in 1972, was raised in some of the roughest areas in Brooklyn. Growing up she always aspired to be a rapper, but at the age of 15 she became pregnant. She wasn’t able to fulfill that dream of performing for the next ten years, until she approached Teddy Riley from Blackstreet. In 1996 she was added as a guest artist on their hit song “No Diggity,” which also featured Dr. Dre. After this she was signed to Riley’s Lil’ Man record label and released her debut album, “My Melody,” in 1997 which spawned singles “All My Love,” “Man Behind the Music” and “Party Ain’t a Party.” Her song “Girlfriend” featuring Me’Shell NdegeOcello also became popular due to its subject matter of same-sex affairs. She is known for having been in feud with Foxy Brown over this song. Her next album “Conversations With Queen” was released in 2001 after her three-year hiatus from rapping.
Is one of the newest up and coming rappers from Brooklyn. Born in Michigan in 1990, she later moved and was raised in Orlando, Florida. When she was attending art school with a major in creative writing at 14, she also began to pursue rapping. When she was 17 she moved to Brooklyn in hopes of becoming a musician. She was first noticed after her freestyle over the Kanye West song “Monster” went viral. She was later signed to Boombox Family Entertainment and released her first EP, “The Boombox Diaries, Vol. 1,” in 2012. In 2011 she released two mixtapes, “The Cassette Chronicles” and “Doobies x Popsicle Sticks,” as well. Her style of rapping has been compared to the likes of MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill.