God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, September 26th, 2020  

Kathy Iandoli

God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop

Published by Dey St.

Nov 18, 2019
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God Save the Queens is an important book and one long overdue. In it, journalist Kathy Iandoli explores the history of women in rap and hip-hop. And in doing so, she paints a crucial picture of roles of women in the art form and brings those women who fought so hard to express themselves and their talents to the fore.

God Save the Queen starts at the beginning, with Roxanne Shante and ends with Megan Thee Stallion, and in the 300-some pages in between details all the trailblazers that made rap and hip-hop so much more than a boy's club. The birth of hip-hop is chronicled through its female contributors, with interviews from both male and female contemporaries. Early beefs are explored. Pioneers which rap fans have unjustly forgotten are given their due. And recent stalwarts like the aforementioned Megan Thee Stallion are discussed in their roles of bringing rap and hip-hop into the present day.

Rightful space is given to Lauryn Hill, and the trials and tribulations of her career in music are explored. Early icons Salt-N-Peppa, Monie Love, Queen Latifa, and MC Lyte to later heroes Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Azealia Banks are discussed in terms of their contributions to the art form.  Femininity is explored in how these artists either used it as a marketing strategy or purposely shied away from it so as to not be objectified. The complex calculations of how women could become important in the mostly male-dominated rap/hip-hop game are detailed.

All in all, Iandoli's text is engaging, informative, and necessary. Finally, she has set the record straight and evened the score.


Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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