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|Also known as||Miss Blackman, T-lala, Virgo One|
|Born||Pittsburg, California, U.S.|
|Origin||San Francisco Bay Area, California|
|Genres||Hip hop, hip hop soul, global hip hop, spoken word|
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, lyricist, MC, freestyle MC, songwriter, poet, educator, actress, author|
|Associated acts||Freestyle Union, Daughters of the Cipher, Hip Hop Arts Movement (HHAM), Rhyme like a Girl, Earthdriver|
Toni Blackmanis an American rapper (specializing in freestyle hip-hop), actress, and writer who was the first hip-hop ambassador to the U.S. State Department. Additionally, she was selected as a 2006 Rhythm Road touring artist and subsequently served as on the selection committee for American Music Abroad (formerly Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rhythm Road) with American Voices.
The first Hip Hop Cultural Envoy to travel with the State Department, Blackman served in Senegal, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Botswana and Swaziland where she also delivered lectures on hip hop music and culture.Toni has also travelled throughout Europe, Angola, Brazil, Canada and toured Southeast Asia (the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan) as a part of Jazz at Lincoln Center Rhythm Road Abroad program, working in the world's most war-torn countries to promote reconciliation and rehabilitation to those regions.
Blackman was founding director of Freestyle Union, a cypher workshop which uses a freestyling as a tool to promote social responsibility, was awarded, two prestigious fellowships. Blackman served as a fellow with the Echoing Green Foundation and as a fellow with the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) through which she launched Rhyme Like A Girl formerly known as ADI. A hip hop theatre pioneer, she founded the now-defunct Hip Hop Arts Movement (HHAM) while at Howard University in 1992. She has featured in the Hip Hop Theater Festival and she co-authored Hip Hop Nightmares of Jujube Brown with Psalmayene 24 as an ACT-Co presentation at ARENA Stage in Washington, DC. She is also a member of the Spoken Word Committee of the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Blackman has performed alongside Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Guru, The Roots, Wu Tang, the Lilith Fair, Def Poetry.She performed in a host of venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and at Lincoln Center in New York.
In 2009, Blackman spoke at the Pio Manzu International Conference in Rimini, Italy, and in 2010 facilitated a groundbreaking artist residency at Jefferson Arts Center with girls from Liberia, Sudan, Somalia and the U.S., spoke at Harvard University as a part of Bakari Kitwana's Rap Sessions Series collaborated on and performed a song along with Azerbaijani rap group Dayirman, dedicated to victims of Khojaly massacre
An interview with emcee Toni Blackman is featured in a scholarly article about girls and "bad bitches" in hip-hop online video culture written by ethnomusicologist and social media scholar Kyra Gaunt in the Journal of Popular Music Studies (2015).
Christopher Brian Bridges, known professionally as Ludacris, is an American rapper and actor. After forming his own label, Disturbing tha Peace in the late 1990s, Ludacris later signed with Def Jam South and would go on to become one of the first Dirty South rappers to achieve mainstream success with his subsequent releases. For his music, Ludacris has won an MTV Video Music Award and three Grammy Awards.
James Todd Smith, better known by his stage name LL Cool J, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, author, and entrepreneur from Queens, New York. With the breakthrough success of his hit single "I Need a Beat" and the Radio LP, LL Cool J became an early hip-hop act to achieve mainstream success along with Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC.
Lolita Shanté Gooden, better known by her stage name Roxanne Shante, is an American hip hop musician and rapper. Born and raised in the Queensbridge Projects of Queens, New York City, Shante first gained attention through the Roxanne Wars and was part of the Juice Crew. The 2018 film Roxanne Roxanne is a dramatization of Shante's life.
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star is the debut studio album by Black Star, a hip hop duo consisting of emcees Talib Kweli and Mos Def. The album was released on September 29, 1998, to critical acclaim. The title is a reference to the Black Star Line, a shipping line founded by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey. The album deals with modern-day issues, philosophical ideas, and life in Brooklyn, New York City as the two artists know it.
John David Jackson, better known by his stage name Fabolous, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. Jackson's career began when he was a senior in high school and ended up rapping live on American record producer and music executive DJ Clue's radio show, then on Hot 97. Jackson was subsequently signed by DJ Clue to his label Desert Storm, and later secured a distribution deal with Elektra Records. Fabolous' first release, Ghetto Fabolous (2001), spawned the hit singles "Can't Deny It" and "Young'n ", which led Jackson to prominence. His second release was 2003's Street Dreams, which was supported by two Top 10 singles "Can't Let You Go" and "Into You".
Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, better known by her stage name Foxy Brown, is an American rapper. After signing to Def Jam in 1996, she released her debut album, Ill Na Na, that same year, and was also part of the short-lived rap group the Firm.
Beat Street is a 1984 American drama dance film featuring New York City hip hop culture of the early 1980s, breakdancing, DJing, and graffiti.
Leslie Edward Pridgen, better known by his stage name Freeway, is an American rapper from North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is best known as a member of the rap group State Property and its 2000s run at Roc-A-Fella Records alongside Jay-Z. In 2009, Freeway was briefly signed to Cash Money Records, but returned to work again with Jay-Z at the mogul's entertainment organization and record label, Roc Nation, with his 2018 album Think Free.
Katrina Laverne Taylor, known professionally as Trina, is an American rapper, singer and television personality. She first garnered much attention in 1998 with her appearance on the single "Nann Nigga" from Trick Daddy's second studio album www.thug.com.
The Album is the only studio album by American hip hop group The Firm. It was released on October 21, 1997 by Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The project was created by rapper Nas, his manager Steve Stoute and producers Dr. Dre and Trackmasters, who came up with the idea of forming a hip hop supergroup. The original line-up included Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown and Cormega who were all featured on the song "Affirmative Action" from Nas' album It Was Written (1996). However, Cormega later left the group due to artistic differences between him and Nas, as well as contract disagreements with Stoute. He was replaced by Nature prior to recording of the album. The Album is a concept album that revolves around the themes of mafia and "gangsta" lifestyle. The songs on the album were mainly produced by Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor and Trackmasters, and feature guest vocals from Pretty Boy, Wizard, Canibus, Dawn Robinson, Noreaga and Half-a-Mill.
Leshan David Lewis, better known as L.E.S., is a hip hop producer commonly associated with Nas and grew up with Nas in the Queensbridge housing project. His first production credit was for Nas' popular song "Life's a Bitch" from the Illmatic album in 1994. He soon produced a single, "Sugar Hill", for AZ's album Doe Or Die. In the next two years, he produced more songs for Nas as well as songs for Fat Joe, Shyheim, LL Cool J, Royal Flush and The Firm. In 1998, he started working with Poke & Tone and collaboratively produced Will Smith's #1 hit single "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It". From 1998 to 2005, he produced more songs for Nas, Big Punisher, N.O.R.E., Nature, Flipmode Squad, Kool Savas, Azad and others.
"Bitches Ain't Shit" is an American rap song by record producer and rapper Dr. Dre for his debut solo album, The Chronic. It was released in December 1992 as Death Row Records' first album. The song was never issued as a single, but was a huge underground hit. In late 1993, discussing a set of public protests over this song, rap journalist Dream Hampton incidentally called it, artistically, the best song on the year's best rap album. Billboard notes, however, "the misogyny is ugly and thick, even for a rap record." It evokes a set of four male running mates who rap sagas and lessons altogether teaching that "bitches," being women, are ripe for sexual indulgence, and sometimes offer easy money, but, being traitorous, are just "hos and tricks." Soon notorious, this song helped establish the persona of its guest rapper Snoop Dogg.
Dayirman was the first Azerbaijani hip hop group, based in Baku and was founded in 1996 by four friends. The word Dayirman means windmill in Azerbaijani language. The group was very popular in Azerbaijan for their nationalist lyrics, fusing hip-hop with elements of traditional Meykhana poetry.
Kyle Alfonso Myricks, better known by his stage name Stalley, is an American rapper from Massillon, Ohio.
"Rack City" is a hip hop song by Tyga. First released on December 2, 2011, the song served as the third single from his second studio album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King (2012). Mustard produced and co-wrote the song. It reached a peak of number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100,and number 53 on the Canadian Hot 100.
Danielle McLean, better known by her stage name Lega-C, is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is known for her viral YouTube video "White Girl Raps Fast" (2011) and her remixes of "She Will" by Lil Wayne and Drake and "Worldwide Choppers" by Tech N9ne from her mixtape Who Got Tha Heater (2011).
Def Dames were an American female rap duo from Bakersfield, California. The duo consisted of Marilyn Smith, known as "Kandy Kane" she also gose by her Sacramento alias "Touch," and Yolanda Sugart, known as "Special T" or "The Ace Senorita." She was replaced by Petrina Walker known as "Larissa" in 1991, now residing in Las Vegas, Nv. The Def Dames are best known for their first album, 2-4-The Bass, and their three top singles: "976 Boom," "Set it Off," and "The King of Romance," from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, known professionally as Saweetie, is an American rapper and songwriter. After the release of her debut single "Icy Grl", she was signed to Warner Records and her manager Max Gousse's record label Artistry Worldwide. She released her debut extended play, High Maintenance on March 16, 2018. Her second EP, Icy was released in March 2019, and spawned the top 40 single "My Type". Her debut album, Pretty Bitch Music is expected to be released in 2021 and was preceded by the single "Tap In".
Kyra Danielle Gaunt is an American ethnomusicologist, social media researcher, social justice activist, and professor at the University of Albany. Gaunt's research focuses on the critical study and hidden musicianship in black girls' musical play at the intersections of race, gender, and the body in the age of hip-hop. Her current research focuses on the unintended consequences of gender, race, and technology from YouTube to Wikipedia. She is a native of Rockville, Maryland.
Alyssa Michelle Stephens, known professionally as Mulatto or Big Latto, is an American rapper from Atlanta, Georgia. She first appeared on the reality television series The Rap Game in 2016, where she was known as Miss Mulatto and won the show's first season.