There’s got to be a bunch of furrowed-browed misogynists perched on barstools around town bent on slowing the flow of Detroit’s hip-hop distaff. Well, too bad for them that Raw Khemystery Entertainment — an all-female production house — just birthed one of rap’s hottest clap-back albums since Brooklyn’s Hip-Hop for Respect LP put ex-mayor Rudy what’s-his-name in his place. No comp with such a broad urban female base has ever been released (or attempted) before locally. This one features 28 of Michigan’s rawest female emcees, a collection that should indeed make men pause. Though the beats are all created by men (it’s the drops and production by DJs Ub and P-Dog that make the project come off so grimy-sounding), the lyrics are certainly spit by cocksure women. The rhymes are crisp, diverse and impressive. In fact, stuff here is better than most of the lame balling-out-of-my-parents’-basement rhymes some of the Motor City’s male counterparts have been chirping recently.
Ms. Murda’s “Action Figure” and Printz’s “Swayze” are two of the hardest tracks to come out of the city all year. N’Jeri Earth and Invincible lay it down on “War” while Lady Luck and Mysterious make “Bomb First” a head-rattling classic. Other standouts include 15-year-old T-Murda, whose spits and aggressive cadence recall a young Boss. Neco Redd’s soulful “Count Sheep” proves why the chanteuse is currently touring with Amp Fiddler, and Kelly Valentine even drops the “soundbwoy fi dead” dancehall riddim on “Shine.”
But don’t assume that Da Miss-Tape aims to be a ball crusher. Some the city’s finest rudeboys (Big Herk, Guilty Simpson, Marv-Won, Wasted Youth’s Big Tone and others) make cameos complete with “Support these female artists” shout-outs.
Jonathan Cunningham writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].