I've been wanting to do a post about some of the female MCs in Grime for a long time. For a while, back in the beginning of this millenium, it almost seemed like Grime was going to be the first genre with a 1:1 ratio of the sexes. Not that I really care what sex the person I'm listening to is, but it was a bit interesting back then, that there were so many women all of a sudden, that were actually really good!
Anyway, there was a whole bunch of women popping up back then and coming real hard on the lyrical front. I've picked out a few of the more interesting ones.
First of all there was Ms. Dynamite. I've mentioned her in a post before, but she deserves another mention. She's still one of my favourites and has made a bit of a comeback recently on the UK Funky scene. Haven't heard anything yet that equals her old stuff, though. Here's one of her slightly harder old tracks.
Ms. Dynamite: Ramp
Next up is the other one that crossed over to the mainstream: Lady Sovereign.
Before she got wrung through Jay-Zs Roc-A-Fella media hype machine and we all constantly got reminded about her age and sex, she was just a really dope MC who could easily compete with the best. A prime example is this track here, which I found on the first Channel U compilation. She merks man dem.
Madasyn f/t Frost P & Zoz Rock, MC Shystie and Lady Sovereign: The Battle
...which rather conveniently brings us to Shystie. Don't really know too much about her, apart from the fact that she was another young female who just ripped things. Here's a little freestyle from Tim Westwoods show:
I always used to confuse Shystie with Lady Stush, but I promise I won't ever do that again. "Dollar Sign" was BIG, yo!
Lady Stush: Dollar Sign
Here's a newer freestyle from Logan Samas show on BBC Radio:
I obviously saved the best for last: No Lay. She's also the main reason I wanted to do this post in the first place. The amount of energy, emotion and aggression she puts in some of her tracks is just off the charts. One of the few MCs that can give me goosebumps. It's a real shame she didn't do more tracks back then, but i found some newer mixtapes by her here. I also found som choice clips of her on youtube, starting of with a more hiphop track where she just never stops.
No Lay: Bars of Truth
Some thing she did for the BBC. Straight shivers.
And finally the track that introduced me to her. This is just all-out war. Right from the first line: "How these boys gonna chat 'bout Berettas, when you neva had a metal tucked unda your sweata?", she never let's up on her no-holds-barred assault on every other MC out there, and walks away victorious. Every bar is quote worthy, her pronunciation is crystal clear despite the tempo and heavy accent, and the aggression just cannot be stopped. For years I only had the 12", but the video actually makes the whole thing even better.
No Lay: Unorthodox Daughter
That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
Next up: a whole bunch of mixes. Yay!