Editor’s Note: Sue Barrett contributes articles to this blog and retains all rights to this and all articles that appear here.
By Sue Barrett
Miss Kinnie Starr’s the name
I was born to bear the flame
that excites you to the game of contemplation
now just enjoy this here collision
rock ‘n roll folk hip hop fusion
(Kinnie Starr, ‘Sex in the Prairies’)
A somewhat bemused owner of a record store in Australia led the way to his small collection of hip-hop CDs. Then he made the collection even smaller by removing several miscategorised CDs (including the only one by a female artist).
With the release of the nominations for the 57th Grammy Awards, and Iggy Azalea’s four nominations (including Best Rap Album), the record store’s hip-hop collection might now be growing.
It was at the 31st Grammy Awards, in February 1989, that a Rap category appeared in the Awards for the first time (albeit with the award apparently presented prior to the telecast) – DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince won Best Rap Performance, with ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’.
Other winners at the 31st Grammy Awards included George Michael (Album of the Year, with Faith), Bobby McFerrin (Record of the Year and Song of the Year, with ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’), Tracy Chapman (Best New Artist), KT Oslin (Best Country Song, with ‘Hold Me’) and Ziggy Marly and the Melody Makers (Best Reggae Recording, with Conscious Party).
Later in 1989, Elaine Meitzler wrote, as part of a review of Neneh Cherry’s record ‘Buffalo Stance’, in the 25th (and final) issue of Bitch: The Women’s Rock Newsletter With Bite (p. 35):
“Looks like Rap is a genre that is here to stay…Some rap groups are funny, like Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, or have a hardcore political stance, like Public Enemy. But Neneh is sassy, cool, and tough.”
Neneh Cherry has certainly been in the spotlight this past year, with the release of her first solo album in over sixteen years, Blank Project (which appeared in a number of Best of 2014 lists) and a string of performances and other projects.
As 2014 closed and 2015 opened, and with the 57th Grammy Awards upon us, NASTAIJ (Australia), KINNIE STARR (Canada) and BE STEADWELL (USA) talked hip-hop with FolkBlog.