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Watch a rare interview with Queen Latifah from 1991

When it comes to female MCs in the mainstream nowadays, there are a fair few to pick from, but it wasn’t always that way. Female MCs are often not taken that seriously until they are approved by males, and for a long time, there was a drought in the culture. Not enough homage is paid nowadays to the likes of MC Sha-Rock, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah. The females who paved the way for what we see today.

The late 1990s and early ’00s saw a rise in females coming up. However, only a few of them were able to hang on, and they strangely all had either extremely short periods in the spotlight or completely fell off the radar. Although she is often regarded as simply an actor, Queen Latifah is also a rapper and has had a fair few hits such as ‘Ladies First’ and ‘Warth Of My Madness’.

However, in the 1990s, the spotlight, for the most part, was solely focused on Lil Kim and then, upon The Notorious B.I.G’s death and Missy Elliott’s appearance on the female rap scene in 1997, Lil Kim suddenly became less of a focus. Although Lil Kim still made waves after Missy Elliott’s appearance with songs such as ‘Lighters Up’, she was never able to reclaim the level of greatness she had while she was part of Bad Boy alongside The Notorious B.I.G.

Missy Elliott was undoubtedly impactful when she landed on the scene in 1997 with her debut album Supa Dupa Fly. With super-producer Timbaland by her side, the two just couldn’t go wrong, and almost everything they made seemed to be a hit. From 2001’s ‘One Minute Man’ to ‘Work It’, everything Elliott made with Mosley was amazing. However, that run seem to last for about a decade exactly.

There was one other female artist that managed to cause a minor stir during Elliott’s reign, but she ended it for herself pretty quickly, and that was the Bronx’s Remy Ma. She first hit our TV screens in 2001 with the ‘Ante-up Remix’ and then again with Terror Squad in 2004 for ‘Lean Back’. However, after nearly shooting a friend over a dispute about $1,000 the rapper was jailed for in 2007 six and a half years.

But unfortunately, the female rap conveyor belt was fully functional and when Elliott and Ma were at the end of their roads in ’07, someone brand new and different was ready to take their place. However, seeing where each of these MCs had gone wrong and planning out accordingly what to do, in 2007 a female appeared that would be a little harder to budge. This was Nicki Minaj, who now (although admittedly slowly) is stepping aside to let the new generation through.

Nicki Minaj remained on top and untouchable for well over a decade, and many believe this caused Minaj to develop a sense of entitlement. She has been accused of shady practices behind the scenes, such as paying off journalists to write bad reviews about her competition’s album sales, stealing record concepts and instrumentals from labelmates and blocking certain artists from appearing at award shows by blackmailing the organisers. With a cult following known as the ‘Barbz’, Minaj still has a viciously loyal fanbase.

However, with Cardi B opening the floodgates for rappers such as GloRilla, City Girls, Sukihana, Latto Tierra Whack and others, it looks like Minaj has accepted that as a mother and wife, her time at the forefront is up. However, none of this would have been possible without the likes of

Below you can watch some rare footage of an interview with Queen Latifah from 1991.