KRISTEN B. (Queens, NY) 

She’s sexy, stylish and stacking paper on the regular! 

An eighties baby from Queens, NY, Kristen B. was heavily influenced by the music and major movements in Hip Hop born in her city. A natural on the mic, Kristen B. uses her smooth raps to talk about the good life, purveying that perfect mix of penthouse and street emblematic of the NY sound, to stand as good as the best of them at cataloging the essentials of Hip Hop extravagance in  the VIP room at the nightclub and the shops on Madison Avenue. Kristen B. exemplifies the glamourous days of rap’s golden age, ruled by the queens like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown. In 2012, she is more than just high-end, new-millennium, eye-candy. She brings a sleek and sexy lyricism back to Hip Hop that’s still uniquely her own and with the support of her cadre of loyal fans, this delicious sound and glitter are so ready for the video countdown, they’re sure to carry Kristen B. on to major mainstream success. Visit KRISTENBMUSIC.COM.


TRIBES Magazine Spring 2012 – Women in Hip Hop. View Now.


I was seven years old when I met Salt and Pepa. My mom bought me an apple-red My First Sony and a cassette copy of their 1988 album, A Salt with A Deadly Pepa, for the sixteen-hour road trip to Georgia with my Aunt Carolyn and a bucket of cold fried chicken. That car ride with two princess pioneers of the Hip Hop movement and the hours I’ve spent in the years since, chanting their rhymes and living the word of female emcees like our winner, Lauryn Hill, and others like Lil Kim (the baddest b’ on Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm”), Queen Latifah (“Who you callin’ a bitch!?”), and my personal all-time favorite, Rah Digga, gave me something very special that carried me through the insecurities of adolescence, the difficult teenage years and on into the present.

As purposeful as everything my mother did for me then, that gift of audacious role models, speaking boldly from the margins was invaluable. Salt and Pepa and the women that picked up the mantle of Hip Hop and helped carry it onto worldwide popularity were in their very being progressive, political, feminist, and committed to opening doors not only closed for women in the music industry but for women and marginalized people in society-at-large.

We honor these iconic women and the artists that carry on their legacy in the Spring 2012: Women in Hip Hop edition of TRIBES Magazine,  featuring SHELLY B and TRIBES Top 5 FEMALE EMCEES to Watch, because they were groundbreakers that did things never before done (like talking about sex on MTV in frank terms to curb the epic scourge of AIDS on the nineties). They found transcendence over sexism, racism, homophobia, and social disenfranchisement through Hip Hop,  not in spite of it, and, contrary to popular notions about misogyny and rap music, they teach us that Hip Hop was never a boys club and assert that the Hip Hop community has always welcomed them and supported their art. I hope you will too.


Editor, TRIBES Magazine