MC Sha-Rock has staked her claim as being the first female rapper in Hip-Hop history in response to fellow rap pioneer Debbie D. On Tuesday (March 14), Sha-Rock made a broadcast on both Instagram and Twitter listing her musical history and contributions to Hip-Hop dating back to the ’70s.
In the clip, Sha-Rock blasts Debbie D, who posted about being the first female rap soloist on Instagram the day before. In her argument, Sha-Rock points to being the first female rapper to appear on national television, the first to land a record deal, and other milestones throughout her career.
“MC Sha-Rock, the first female of Hip-Hop culture is about to kick the ballistics of the formation of the female emcee before records, before 1979 and I’ma let y’all know why I had to do this” she says near the beginning of the clip.
On Monday (March 13), MC Debbie D uploaded an Instagram post taking credit for being the first female soloist in rap. “My claim is hip hop’s first female SOLO MC/Rapper,” she wrote in the caption of a photo of herself and her former DJ, Wanda Dee. “In plain English, this means, in the 80s, whenever I performed, the only person you saw on stage with the mic, was me. This is a promotional picture of me and my deejay, Wanda Dee. MC Debbie D and DJ Wanda Dee are the female counterpart to MC Busy Bee and DJ AJ. In the 80s, prior to records becoming the norm, pioneers performed a show created between the Emcees & the DJ. Having your own DJ, guaranteed the Emcee a successful show because you rehearsed it; a soloist can’t do that changing DJs every week!
“This is why if someone claims to be a soloist, I ask, who was their DJ because every soloist who promoters booked to perform, had one. To know about me and my work as a soloist I’d like to point you to flyers, DJs and Promoters such as: Kool Herc, Sandwich, Afrika Bambaataa, Armstrong, Mike and Dave, RC Pac Man, Man Dip Lite, Mix Master Mike (NJ) and many others, including Fly Ty (Cold Chillin/Juice Crew) who secured my record deals as a soloist.”
She continued, adding “Neither of these DJs and Promoters mentioned above, have ever booked any female MC who makes a claim as the first soloist. Let us not confuse or try to champion a female Emcee who you saw at a jam rhyming on the mic alone ONLY WITH THEIR CREW or at one or two parties, with Debbie D, the female Emcee who built an entire early career performing as a soloist every week, with her OWN DJ on 100s of shows, including battles, as evidenced on flyers and cassette tapes.”
Debbie D pointed to words that MC Sha-Rock herself wrote about her in the 2011 biography The Story Of The Beginning And End Of Hip Hop’s First Female MC to further state her case. “‘Holding it down by herself on stage, with her DJ Wanda Dee, as her back up. She was on fire! I figured since she was making a name for herself as a soloist, we could really benefit from making her a part of the group,’” MC Sha-Rock quoted from the book. “You tell me, is Sha Rock, the first female MC in hip hop wrong? MC Debbie D holds the title as the first to carve the path for the female MC/Rap SOLOIST, one who performs alone. Point. Blank. Period.”
MC Sha-Rock and MC Debbie D’s history dates back decades, with both recognized as trailblazers in Hip-Hop. They both appeared in the 1984 film Beat Street as part of the female trio Us Girls, with Lisa Lee as the third member.