While many celebrated Hip-Hop's 50th anniversary last year with tributes and showcases, some felt like there were a few pioneers who were left out of the festivities.
MC Debbie D has called out Nas, LL Cool J, and Questlove — who have put together Hip-Hop 50 Tributes throughout 2023— for not incliuding female rap pioneers in their performances. She took to Twitter to share her grievances.
“Brothers and Sisters: The Grammy Awards and Yankee Stadium events were a beautiful celebration of hip hop commemorating 50 years of our existence,” she wrote. “With the recent Grammys show in particular, LL says ‘everyone cannot be in the show,’ to which I understand. However, in conjunction with not being asked to perform at events, surprisingly, the names of female pioneers are not even included in a ticker tape or roll call. With both omissions, many say, female pioneers are being erased from the narrative.”
She continued by saluting the women who she believes were some of Hip-Hop's pioneers.
“At the Grammys, it was admirable to see my sisters, MC Sha Rock and Roxanne Shante on the mic performing, having the earliest careers among the other females rappers present, however, between them is a 7 year time span,” she continued. “As a Hip Hop Historian and Flyerologist, I present below, a progression of names of early women in hip hop who should always be noted whenever there is a discussion of pioneers.”
“As you know, during Hip Hop 50, women in hip hop today are receiving their flowers,” she concluded the letter. “To be on the right side of history is to remember the names of the women who paved their way!”