When considering the hip-hop scene in OC, one question arises over and over again. Where are the women on the mic? Of course, there are other elements to the culture — DJs, B-girls, etc — but these days MCs are front and center. When women from outside OC come to do shows, the local talent that serve as opening acts are usually, if not always, male dominated. If there's a panel discussion, women artists usually make the trek from Los Angeles to balance the perspective.
On that tip, it's easy to understand why. Whether it's the gangsta goddess underground legend Medusa (who interestingly enough spent part of her schooling in Buena Park) or groups like the Guerrilla Queenz, our neighbor to the north can definitely boast many more acts – even if under representation is a discussion there as well. Hell, MCs even relocate from as far away as down under, as is the case with Sydney, Australia's Maya Jupiter, to make music in the metropolis.
What do we have? SanTana can lay claim to Ms Krazie, one of the most popular Mexicana rappers on this side of the border, but even as she readies for a summertime release of her fifth studio album Forgive Not Forget, the city can only do so from afar as she has long since relocated out of OC. At this year's Orange County Music Awards at the City National Grove of Anaheim, the act crowned 'Best Hip-Hop' was BLOK. Of course, Gianna Gianna comprises one-third of the trio, but I don't really consider them hip-hop. Feel free to disagree.
For all the musical eclecticism of Grrl Fair over the years and its strong emphasis on promoting local female-fronted performers, female rappers were never really in the mix.
I don't claim to be an authority on the hip-hop, but I do my best to observe its presence here. I've put this central question to others and they are generally at a loss for answers and that's not a good thing. Maybe it's ultimately a failure of mine as a writer and if it is leave a comment or hit me up.
If you're a woman rocking the mic or are in the lab working on tracks in OC (and Long Beach), we're waiting for you to holler at us.
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.