June is the start of many celebrations like Pride and Caribbean Heritage Month. It’s also the start of Black Music Month! This annual celebration recognizes and honors the contributions of Black musicians to American music and culture. The efforts first originated in 1979. President Jimmy Carter designated June as “Black Music Month” to celebrate the rich musical heritage of African Americans.

This years Black Music Month is especially important. 2023 is the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. There are many women who have been trailblazers in the hip-hop game. Here are a few of the women we have to thank for what the genre is today.

Black Women Hip-Hop Needs To Thank

The first woman that trailblazed hip-hop was Cindy Campbell. Although she wasn’t an artist, she played a huge part in the genre’s origins. Hip-hop was born on August 11, 1973, because of a back-to-school party. Legendary DJ, DJ Kool Herc was in charge of the music for the function, but the party was put together by Campbell. She was considered the first hip-hop promoter.

“Being a woman, a female in a male dominated area such as Hip Hop, it’s very significant to know that a woman was there all the time behind it,” she said in an interview with Forbes Magazine.

Next up is Sha-Rock, also known as “the mother of the mic.” She was the first female rapper to perform live on national television and gain a record deal as the “Plus One More” of the hip-hop group Funky 4 + 1. She was one of the first women who was taken seriously as a hip-hop artist in the early 70’s when men were the main focus of the genre.

Taking it across the pond to the UK, Monie Love was the first British rapper to be nominated twice for a Grammy Award. She made waves in the industry, starting out on Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First.” A year later, she released her debut album, which included the single “Monie In The Middle.” She received her first Grammy nomination for the song but it ultimately went to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”

Women’s roles in hip-hop cannot be understated. They have consistently pushed boundaries, challenged stereotypes, and contributed to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of the genre. Their presence and voices are essential in shaping the future of the genre and ensuring its continued growth and relevance.