Archive | March 2017

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: SW (Fresher)

The youngest group of femcees are the last to go to battle. This has been by far the most turbulent, unpredictable bracket, with upsets in every round. And just like every other quadrant, the choices are about to get even worse. Welcome to the madness! As has been my custom (for the past 2 rounds), here’s a Spotify playlist if you’d like a few more selections from the competition: Otherwise, the polls are open and waiting for you below.


(8) Noname    vs.    (13) Lizzo

Yes. This is really happening. It was finally Noname who gave Little Simz – the biggest upset of the competition – the boot last round. Noname’s been consistently blowing up, having to swap for larger venues and add nights to her tour. Her poeticism is something like we haven’t heard before (or at least since Lauryn Hill). And now she takes on another force to be reckoned with. Lizzo has similarly jumped from underground hip hop organizer to being nearly a household name (at least my kind of households). On top of her clever wordplay and energetic flow, she is known for preaching a message of self-love and acceptance, so that’s great. This poll might just kill me, so I get it if you need to take a minute. Tell you what, if you go ahead and purchase both of these rappers’ albums you might feel better about having to pick just one.

(14) Sammus    vs.    (2) Rapsody

Sammus is the lowest seeded rapper still in this competition, having begun the competition by taking out the 3rd seed Tink, and then last round she not only upset 6th seeded Dej Loaf, she did so with 100% of the vote. By the way she’s making it through these brackets, I don’t think it’s helpful to see her as an underdog anymore. The girl came to play. And now she’s looking to make her biggest upset yet, against Rapsody who is the highest seed left in this quadrant. But South Carolina’s own will not go down easily, if at all. Her laid-back flow paired with piercing and reference-filled lyrics are not really comparable to anyone else, although sometimes she reminds me of what MC Lyte might sound like if she were born a decade later. Then again, would Rapsody be Rapsody without MC Lyte? Or more importantly, can she defend her top seed against this up-and-comer out of upstate New York?

See you on the weekend with the Elite 8! In the meantime, make sure you place your votes for the other quads if you haven’t already. All necessary links are below. Enjoy!

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: NE (NYC Vets)

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: SE (NJ/Philly Vets)

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: NW (Fresh)


Femcee Madness Sweet 16: NW (Fresh)

The NW brackets certainly have a few more surprises than the Veterans did. Check out the updates below and make your choices to put two of the femcees below into a spot in the Elite 8! For a few more selections from each rapper, feel free to make use of this handy Spotify playlist as well:


(1) Nicki Minaj    vs.    (5) M.I.A.

Nicki Minaj has been slaying her opponents thus far like baby dragons, but now she comes up against an far more appropriate contender in M.I.A., who has had a few close calls as she had to knock out Khia before barely coming out on top against Rah Digga. Both women are total bosses, with their interest in art and performance extending beyond their rhymes and verses. Though they are relatively new to the game (compared to anyone on the east side of the brackets), Nicki and M.I.A. have in their own ways pushed the boundaries and limits of what rap music can be. Who deserves to move on? That choice is up to you.

(3) Remy Ma    vs.    (10) Sa-Roc

Remy Ma has been back in the spotlight with her Nicki diss shETHER, and her album released with long-time collaborator, Fat Joe, and she is swinging she has something to prove. Her performances have an extra dose of attitude and energy, like she’s about enter a real fight ring. Sa-Roc is a very exciting underdog, who is relatively unknown, but has clearly caught enough listeners to pick her over the southern diva, Trina, making for one of the biggest upsets of the tournament so far!

Remy takes her turn at 1:37.

If you haven’t voted for the veterans yet, the links are below. Enjoy, and vote responsibly!

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: NE (NYC Vets)

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: SE (NJ/Philly Vets)



Femcee Madness Sweet 16: SE (NJ/Philly Vets)

Eight veterans are left and it’s up to you to decide which four will move on to the next round. As with the NYC vets, the videos embedded below will be of live performances. I have done my best to post the best videos I can find that showcase their skills as rappers and performers, but never feel limited to basing your vote on these vids. If you are looking for more selections from each femcee, I have made Spotify playlists for each quadrant here:

bracket East 16

(1) Lauryn Hill    vs.    (4) Queen Latifah

While Ms. Lauryn Hill has been steadily approaching this moment with ease, Queen Latifah was very nearly beaten last round by an epic battle against the legendary Missy Elliott. Although it’s sad to see Missy go, I think this is the right match for the moment. Not only do both queens hail from the state of New Jersey, they also have low, sultry voices which effortlessly mix melodic vocals with quick, articulate rhymes. Not only do their similarities make this a tough call, but both of these women make it into regular conversations about who is the G.O.A.T. regardless of gender. Unfortunately, only one can move forward in this competition.

(3) Eve        vs.      (2) Left Eye

Without meaning to, these match’s have become extra-regional, with both of these women representing Philadelphia. Eve’s journey to this point got somewhat messy against Da Brat in the second round, where she narrowly came through with 58% of the vote. Meanwhile, this is the first time that Left Eye is seeing any real competition, having lost a total of two votes to Yo Yo. These are two highly talented and underrated stars who manage to strike a balance between discussions around sexuality and social issues. I’ll admit that my personal nostalgic love for both of these women make this an extra tricky choice.

You can skip to 2:55 for Left Eye’s verse:

If you haven’t already voted for the NYC Veterans – head over there next!

Femcee Madness Sweet 16: NE (NYC Vets)

Only four Femcees remain in each quadrant, representing the best of each era/region. I’m so happy to have heard from so many of you that these brackets introduced you to a new artist, or gave you an excuse to dive deeper into the work of one of these musicians. The choices from now on only get more difficult, but the good news is you don’t need to choose in real life – you can listen to all of these women as they all have brought something slightly different to the art of rap music. However, for the sake of the polls and this competition, you do need to decide between some true legends of hip hop. Check out who’s left in the competition, and good luck to you and your favourite rappers!


For a Spotify playlist that highlights a few more tracks of the remaining rappers, click on this link:


(1) Salt-N-Pepa    vs.    (4) Foxy Brown

Our top seed trio Salt-N-Pepa has had no trouble at all in making it to the Sweet 16, most recently taking out Ladybug Mecca with 91% of the votes. I’ll be selecting live performances to embed – as much as possible – which here will give you a glimpse into Sandra, Cheryl and Deidre’s abilities in incorporating choreography with their already high energy tracks. However, there is no way that Foxy Brown will go down without a (nasty and scrappy) fight. She is confident, badass, and is never afraid to let you know she’s coming for you. One extra temptation to vote for her is the potential of a showdown between her and either of her two long-time rivals, MC Lyte or Lil’ Kim.

(3) MC Lyte    vs.    (2) Lil’ Kim

Although I can admit that I’m rooting hard for one of these ladies, I know this match could go either way. MC Lyte has been keeping busy since the 80s, and managed to pick of Jean Grae last round with surprising ease. Lil’ Kim slid right past her battle mentor, Roxanne Shanté, to make it to the sweet 16. Although Lyte was forward and unafraid to speak about sexual drive and desire, Kim took her explicit desires to a whole new level, with only Foxy to as a true rival. Both of these femcees from Brooklyn raised the stakes of hip hop, but only one can represent in the Elite 8.

Check back soon for the rest of the Sweet 16 polls. In the meantime you can prep yourself to vote with a Spotify playlist here:



Femcee Madness Round 2: SW (Freshest)

The brackets have been updated and the polls are opened – and this is the bracket of upsets! Here are the rappers looking for your votes to get one step closer to the final four. You can also check out the Spotify playlist to hear a few selections from each Femcee.

bracket (2)

(16) Little Simz    vs.    (8) Noname

Not entirely surprisingly, Little Simz took out the #1 seed Iggy Azalia with 100% of the votes in the first round, making it the biggest upset of the competition. Noname also won her first round match by a landslide against Sasha Go Hard, and now these two rappers (who are both my favourites right now) are facing off, making for one of the most difficult decisions so far.

Little Simz’ verse is at 1:30 of this Kehlani track:

After singing with Eryn Allen Kane on the hook, Noname’s verse starts at 0:47.

(5) Azealia Banks    vs.    (13) Lizzo

Azealia Banks will not go down without a fight, already proven in her tight match against Nyemiah Supreme. Lizzo has been a staple at my personal house parties since September, but it was still a bit of a surprise when she narrowly beat out Brooklyn fave, Young M.A. This one could get ugly.

Did anyone else know this happened? Find Azealia after 1:00.

Skip to 0:55 for Lizzo.

(14) Sammus    vs.    (6) Dej Loaf

Sammus was able to pull off a surprising upset against Tink in the first round – are people mad because Tink is singing so much lately? But I’m not mad, because Sammus is one of my favourite philosophical storytellers in rap right now. Here she goes up against Dej Loaf, who just barely beat out her 11th seed opponent, Gifted Gab, but is making critics crazy with envy for her chill flow and eclectic, gender fluid style.

Sammus’ verse is at 1:35

Along with singing the hook, Dej can be found trading bars with The Game from 1:15 on.

(7) Angel Haze    vs.    (2) Rapsody

Angel Haze had no trouble taking out Lee Mazin to get here. Then again, Rapsody beat out Princess Nokia with the exact same number of votes. Though they’re both newer to the industry, they are already established as memorable classics, and continue to push their game forward while encouraging others to do the same. I know who I’ll be voting for, but it’s not going to be easy.

Find Angel just after 1:20.

Rapsody shows up on Talib’s track at 1:50.

If you haven’t already voted for the polls in the NW quadrant, make sure you head over there next: Femcee Madness Round 2: NW (Fresh)