Various Artists

Fat Beats & Bra Straps: Hip Hop Classics

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Despite the borderline-offensive title, Fat Beats & Bra Straps is a valuable collection of early rap and hip-hop from female rappers. The first installment of the three-volume series spotlights Classic Hip-Hop, featuring both classic songs and cult classics from a variety of female artists, including The Real Roxanne ("Romeo, Pts. 1 & 2," "Bang Zoom (Let's Go-Go)"), Roxanne Shante ("Have a Nice Day," "Runaway"), Queen Latifah ("Inside Out," "Wrath of My Madness"), Ice Cream Tee ("Can't Hold Back"), Sweet Tee & Jazzy Joyce ("It's My Beat"), Dimples D. ("Sucker D.J.'s (I Will Survive)"), Sparky-D ("Throwdown"), 2 Much ("Wild Thang"), Hurby's Machine, featuring Antoinette ("I Got an Attitude") and Oaktown's 3-5-7 ("Juicy Gotcha Krazy"). There are a handful of classic cuts, but most of this is primarily of interest to collectors and serious hip-hop fanatics, since many of these tracks are forgotten singles or album tracks that haven't been widely heard since their initial release. It does fulfill a valuable role, however, because it presents a real, convincing argument that females had a more vital role in the development of hip-hop than many histories have suggested.

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