Just as Nicki Minaj released her debut album last year, BET Networks broadcasted a one-off documentary called, My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women & Hip Hop. In the film, a host of some of Hip Hop’s most respected and accomplished female emcees, such as Jean Gray, Trina, Missy Elliot, MC Lyte, Salt & Pepper, Eve, Roxanne Shante and many other leading figures in the game such as ?uestlove, Chuck D, Jeff Slegde, Jazze Phe and Kevin Liles spoke about the origins, the rise and the continued plight of female emcees in the commercial Hip Hop arena.
Many of the opinions that were shared in the in film were valid, some of which even apply to the community of female emcees in the United Kingdom. However… Unlike the female emcees in America, British female rhymers have never experienced a so-called “Golden Era”. Monie Love, Ms Dynamite, Lady Sovereign and Estelle (yes Estelle!!) are pretty much the only British female emcees that have earned both underground respect and enjoyed mainstream success.
Fast forward to 2011 [or 2010 even] and the underground Grime and British Hip Hop scenes are awash with an abundance of talented female emcees. The burgeoning rise of this new and exciting generation of British female emcees was given another boost through articles by The Guardian and by the release of “Game Over (Female Takeover Remix)”, in which A.Dot, Envy, BabyBlue, RoxXxan, Lioness, Mz Bratt all showed why they should be taken seriously by male emcees, fans and record labels a like.
Another emcee to feature on the track was Lady Leshurr, who arguably spat one of the songs best verses. Over the last two to three years, through the release of mixtapes, features, remixes and Youtube videos of her spitting over some of Hip Hop and Grime’s hottest instrumentals, Leshurr has been slowly but surely building her reputation as a one of the best rhymers from the Midlands, irrespective of gender.
Four days ago Leshurr, who last year signed a nice publishing deal with EMI, released another video of herself spitting over Chris Brown‘s “Look At Me Now” beat. Usually, when I hear that an emcee has copied another emcee’s flow on a remix, I am immediately put off. However… this video isn’t one of those occasions.
To put it bluntly, Leshurr killed it! Not only was her singing on point her rhymes as expected were dope to. Her flow, which as obviously influenced by Busta Rhymes’ original verse, was so sick I had to re-start the video three times. In six minutes and three seconds, Leshurr provided further evidence to why I believe we in the UK are currently experiencing a time that should really be dubbed our “Golden Era” of female rhymers.
Currently, through the release of some quality material, rhymers such as Leshurr, A.Dot, Envy, Baby Blue, RoxXxan, Lioness, Mz Bratt, No Lay, Shystie, Tor, Ms. Darks and Kay Young are starting to put their foot on the necks [figuratively speaking of course] of those that feel that there is no place for the British female emcee.