MY FIRST SONY
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