Ladies first. That was the theme of Wednesday's (March 12) episode of RapFix Live, which featured first-time guest anchor Nadeska Alexis and two of the most powerful women in entertainment: Hot 97's Angie Martinez and hip-hop mogul Mona Scott-Young.
March is Women's History Month, so it was only fitting for the show to celebrate women in hip-hop with a focus on female contributions to the male-dominated genre.
First up was Martinez. The 20-year veteran of radio shared the secrets to her success on New York's storied Hot 97 radio station and the huge interview that cemented her legacy as a broadcast icon.
"I always talk about the Tupac interview, which was my first one," Martinez said. "I was super young. I always talk about that as being one where I felt like I had arrived. I lived and breathed the radio station and hip-hop. I love what I do and that's what's worked for me, that I actually love what I do. I actually try to figure out new ways to do what I do and be inspired and I really love the music, I love the artists, I love what I do."
Back in the early aughts, Martinez tried her hand as an MC, which resulted in a Grammy nomination for her guest bars on Lil' Kim's "Not Tonight" remix and a unique perspective as a radio interviewer.
"It was something new and exciting and I wanted to try it," she said of her days as an MC. "It gave me a better perspective to understand the work ethic that goes in and just what it takes. I'm a little more sensitive having had that experience for when artists come and sit at your table just giving you their new album. I now know what it means to be in the studio for all those hours, write those lyrics and then put this out in the world. Like, before that experience, I would just think, 'Eh, it's their new album,' but now I can appreciate the work that actually goes into that."
Scott-Young, who has conquered the world of artist management with rappers like Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip and television with shows such as "Love & Hip-Hop NY" and the upcoming "This Is Hot 97" on VH1, shared her insights on women on the business side of music entertainment.
"I always talk about knowing your business," Scott-Young said. "If I can sit in a room and exude confidence, it's because I know what I'm talking about. And I know what I'm talking about because I took the time to educate myself on whatever it is I'm talking about. So I always say educate yourself, know that business, so that no one can question whether or not you're functioning at your best capacity. Intellectual property is something that no one can give you and it's something no one can take away from you. I always encourage that because it's the foundation for everything else."
Before the two ladies sat on the red sofa, viewers were treated to vintage footage from MTV's archives of Queen Latifah, Lil' Kim, Salt-N-Pepa, Roxanne Shanté and MC Lyte talking about what it means to be a woman in hip-hop.
And as always, the show was concluded with an impressive freestyle cipher, with G.L.A.M., Dutch ReBelle and Nyemiah Supreme riding the instrumental laid down by DJ S. Whit like seasoned lyrical maestras.