15 Hip Hop Early Pioneers

at 5:25 pm | By

Sheila E


Sheila E is a Latina-American singer/drummer whose notable collaborations include Prince, Lionel Richie, and more. She fused early hip hop with pop/rock/funk/latin, and jazz influences all together, making her sound original and innovative. She was the only female with a starring role in the Hip Hop classic film “Krush Groove.”

Kurtis Blow


Kurtis Blow was the first commercially successful rapper, in addition to being the first to sign with a major record label.

Roxanne Shante


Roxanne Shante gained heavy attention from the “Roxanne” rap battles and her association with the Juice Crew. She was 14 years old when her breakout hit “Roxanne’s Revenge” debuted. Shante, born Lolita Gooden, successfully sued Warner Music for a forgotten clause in her recording contract that promised to fund her education for the rest of her life. Dr. Shante went on to earn a Ph.D in Psychology.

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