Sweet Cookie

Do You Wanna Dance

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When Sweet Cookie's debut album, Do You Wanna Dance, came out in late 1987, many New York MCs were still insisting that the Big Apple would always be the capitol of hip-hop. But the success of rappers from Los Angeles (Ice-T, N.W.A), Oakland (Too Short), Philadelphia (Will Smith, aka the Fresh Prince) and Miami (2 Live Crew) made it clear that a successful MC didn't have to come from one of the five boroughs. So Baltimore resident Sweet Cookie figured that she had a shot as well. Outside of Baltimore and nearby Washington D.C., Do You Wanna Dance received very little attention; nonetheless, it's a decent effort that is commercial without being toothless. This LP isn't hardcore rap รก la MC Lyte or Roxanne Shante; sleek, R&B-drenched items like "The Other Woman" and "Want You Back" were obviously designed to cross over to urban contemporary audiences. But at the same time, Do You Wanna Dance isn't without grit. Though much of the material is fun and lighthearted, Cookie tackles social issues on the poignant "Ricky" and the angry "Chains on Me." The people that Cookie inspires comparisons to are Salt-N-Pepa and Whodini; like those New Yorkers, she demonstrates that a rapper can have a lot of R&B appeal and still be substantial. If, in 1987, you were the type of R&B fan who had only a casual interest in rap but appreciated Salt-N-Pepa and Whodini, there was no reason why you couldn't get into Sweet Cookie as well -- that is, if you had a chance to hear her. Outside of Baltimore and nearby Washington D.C., the vast majority of rap fans didn't even know that this record existed. Nonetheless, Do You Wanna Dance is a pleasant footnote in the history of 1980s hip-hop.

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