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Ladies First: 10 Old-School Videos Feat. Female Rappers

If Nicki Minaj is the only female rapper on your radar, then Houston, we have a problem. Sure, the animated rhymer has saturated videos alongside Diddy, DJ Khaled and Trey Songz as of late, but a slew of femcees commanded the spotlight in clips way before she donned an orange wig. Here are 10 old-school videos that became popular simply because the ladies spitting 16 bars during their cameo stole the show.

10
‘I Wanna Be Down (Remix)’
Brandy Feat. MC Lyte, Yo-Yo and Queen Latifah
Three is the magic number as MC Lyte, Yo-Yo and Queen Latifah join forces to bring lyrical flavor to Brandy’s ‘I Wanna Be Down (Remix),’ also widely known as the ‘Human Rhythm Hip-Hop Remix.’ In the Hype Williams-directed clip, the rap trio, outfitted in baggy attire, speaks on devoting their time to a guy who has caught their eye. Latifah raises the temperature on set as she spits, “Let me massage your mind as my mental starts to play.”
09
‘Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)’
Lil Kim Feat. Angie Martinez, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Da Brat & Missy Elliott
One look at the Lance “Un” Rivera-shot video, and it’s as if ‘Girls Gone Wild’ received a rap makeover. While their “sistren” receive leg massages and slip dollars into the leaf-decorated thongs of muscular men, the rhyming fivesome — all wearing matching white ensembles — take over an island by exercising their hip-hop flair, especially Left Eye, who gives kudos to her “fancy, fly bitches.” Look closely to catch cameos from Mary J. Blige, Changing Faces, SWV, Xscape, Queen Latifah, Total and Maia Campbell.
08
‘Ready or Not’
Fugees
What’s cooler than the Fugees posting up inside a submarine after escaping an army of attackers? Lauryn Hill “defecating” on her rap group cohorts in the process. While the video is replete with gritty images of an imprisoned Wyclef and Pras stealing a military tanker in order to help him escape, L Boogie outshines them both with lines like this: “Bless you if you represent the Fu/But I hex you with some witches brew if you do do voodoo/I could do what you do easy/Frontin’ niggas give me heebie-jeebies.”
07
‘What’s Your Fantasy’
Ludacris Feat. Shawnna
While Ludacris is a stand-alone artist, a song littered with lyrics describing sexual positions, whipped cream, cherries and handcuffs only feels right if a lady is by his side. Enter Shawnna, the first female rapper signed to the Mouth of the South’s Disturbing Tha Peace record label. In the video, the rapid rhymer — who showcases her penchant for lascivious lyrics as she carries the chorus — displays not one, but two different hairstyles ranging from a short red ‘do to long, caramel tresses. Oh, you fancy, huh?
06
‘Can I Get a …’
Jay-Z Feat. Amil & Ja Rule
Admit it, ’90s movie soundtracks were memorable. Take ‘Def Jam’s Rush Hour’ soundtrack, for instance, which featured Hov‘s ‘Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life’ gem ‘Can I Get a …’ Hearing it on yet another compilation left it ingrained in listener’s heads, but seeing the visual display of choreographed dancers and Chris Penn’s bar antics made it a fan favorite. Though Amil has long since vanished from the Roc-A-Fella empire and rap circles altogether, her distinctly smooth lyrics matched equally with her sex appeal in the video leaves the question, “Can we get a comeback?”
05
‘Not Today’
Mary J. Blige Feat. Eve
Leave it to Chris Robinson to turn a video into a mini-movie. Here, with the assistance of Cedric the Entertainer, who plays a bumbling barber, Mary J. Blige and Eve tell the story of a cheating scoundrel. While customers wait inside for their next cut, a young lady confronts her deceitful man outside the shop, all while the R&B singer and the “pit bull in a skirt” witness the spectacle. Never ones to shy away from looking good, both ladies exude fashionable flair, yet its Eve’s one line that sums up the fed-up lover’s dilemma best: “You’s a magician, all them tricks up your sleeve.”
04
‘Lean Back’
Terror Squad Feat. Fat Joe & Remy Ma
A Bronx house party is the backdrop for this Jessy Terrero-directed clip, which features cameos from the likes of rapper Nore and comedian Kevin Hart. While scantily clad females mingle with glittering chain-wearing thugs, Remy Ma trades verses with Terror Squad’s head honcho Fat Joe. Since Remy’s in the clink on an attempted murder charge, her gully raps here serve as a reminder that she truly lives the lyrics she rhymes: ‘We gangsta and gangstas don’t dance, we boogie/So never mind how we got in here with burners and hoodies.”
03
‘No Diggity’
BLACKstreet Feat. Dr. Dre & Queen Pen
Dr. Dre, check. Teddy Riley, check. Queen Pen, check. Combine their lyrical prowess with Hype Williams’ illustrious visuals and here’s the final result: a video that turns up in memory banks time and again. In the clip, BLACKstreet and co. make use of the beach and its nearby saloon-style bar, where Lil Penny plays the keys inside. As manners suggest, ladies tend to lead the way, but here, Queen Pen makes her feminine mark as she serves a final verse laced with lyrics of diamond pinkie rings and first-class flights.
02
‘Touch Me, Tease Me’
Case Feat. Foxy Brown & Mary J. Blige
This is the way we like to remember Foxy Brown: less hot mess and more raptress. With her wild antics — mooning her neighbor and fighting her manager — making recent headlines, it’s hard to recall when the Ill Na Na actually rapped well and looked good while doing it. From the Brooklynite’s youthful glow to her opening verse, she commands center stage in Case’s video, all while showcasing her cocky demeanor.
01
‘Nann N—-’
Trick Daddy Feat. Trina
Most people outside of South Florida had no clue what “nann” meant until Trick Daddy brought it to the masses via a bounce-infused record. But once the song’s accompanying video hit television screens, the slang and Trina’s revealing diamond ensemble were all the rage. The self-proclaimed “baddest bitch” holds her own against Trick, reminding him that no other femcee does it quite like her: “You don’t know nann/That’ll keep it hot like me/Keep you coming back like me/Have you fiending like Jodeci.”

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