Whether you’re a fan or not, we have the reasons why you need to check out this four-part documentary that chronicles the first fifty years of women in hip-hop!
Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop just dropped and all we can say is this: you have to watch this documentary! Hip-hop reaches its 50th birthday this year and fans everywhere are celebrating the milestone. What you might notice in this year’s festivities is that many female hip-hop artists aren’t lauded like their male counterparts are. Ladies First seeks to remedy this issue, taking this opportunity to record the impact of women on hip-hop for all to see. This documentary clearly aims to honor the Black women that create and impact American culture year after year. Let’s get into all the reasons why you need to watch ASAP. Starting with the trailer:
Without these women there is no Hip-Hop.
Watch Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop now on Netflix pic.twitter.com/yYK2rHRul4
— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) August 11, 2023
The interviews in this documentary series are stellar. Legends like MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo, Roxane Shante, Rapsody, Latto, Saweetie, Chika, Da Brat, Remy Ma, Kash Doll, Tierra Whack, and many more light up the screen in personal and introspective sit-downs. Whether it’s faces we’ve grown up with or new names that dominate the radio today, each woman exudes charisma in their interview. The passion that they all share for hip-hop and womanhood is palpable. Each woman takes the time to uplift her peers in music; this makes for an open forum to discuss the realities of being a woman in a male-dominated field.
A History Lesson
“If the woman’s voice is not heard then Hip-Hop is dead.” Spoken like a true Queen.
Catch Queen Latifah and more iconic hip-hop queens on Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip Hop pic.twitter.com/eK2GBYjFOl
— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) August 9, 2023
The history of women that have shaped hip-hop since its inception is explored in Ladies First. Directors Hanna Beachler, Dream Hampton, and Raeshem Nijhon take the time to tell the stories of women like Roxanne Shante and Sha-Rock who didn’t get the credit they deserved the first time around. This reflection on the past serves as a reminder that the work women do today will reverberate into the future. In a format like a documentary series viewers are able to easily identify the impact early artists have on today’s superstars. With this kind of insight, we might also see what the future for women in hip-hop will look like.
This was amazing. I really enjoyed this #LadiesFirst doc series. I almost didn’t want it to end. I love that the OG women in Hip Hop got their flowers and that the new girls got shine too. I will always be here for Black women in Hip Hop culture getting their flowers and respect. pic.twitter.com/ps5LwuhVdn
— SHAR (@sharlizemonet) August 10, 2023
— Essence Gant (@EssenceGant) August 12, 2023
— Janella Hinds (@JanellaTHinds) August 11, 2023
People really seem to agree that Ladies First is a breath of fresh air. It’s a welcome chance to celebrate the women that shape not just hip-hop music, but much of our day-to-day culture. Fan favorites like Yo-Yo, Queen Latifah, and MC Lyte inspire intense nostalgia for lots of us, so it’s a treat to see them examining the intricacies of Black womanhood across decades of hip-hop. By the end of the fourth episode, you’ll be wishing you had four more episodes to binge.
There’s space for your story.
There’s space for your style.
There’s space for your authenticity.
Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip Hop is now on Netflix pic.twitter.com/3idrwl1YUd
— Netflix (@netflix) August 9, 2023
If you ever struggle with following the throughline in documentaries, worry not. Each episode has a clear, guiding question that the interviewees explore through their expert opinions. And then each episode is broken up into easily digestible parts guided by general ideas that answer the question of the episode. This is not your grandfather’s war documentary, it’ll keep you entertained throughout the journey.
You’ll be so happy you watched Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop. Clocking in at less than three hours long, it’s possibly the quickest few hours of TV that you’ll watch this year. From the interviews to the compelling discussions that the rappers and commentators spark, this limited documentary series is so full that it’s over in a blink. It’s a great way to spend an evening or two!