WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), a member of House Democratic Leadership and the Congressional Black Caucus, concluded his celebration of Women’s History Month today with a speech on the House floor honoring the best female MC collaborations of all time. Rep. Jeffries, who made headlines last year for his tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. highlighted one artist each day for the first ten days of March to honor groundbreaking women in Hip Hop.
On the House floor, Rep. Jeffries states that: “Throughout the years, artists such as Elvis Pressley, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen have been recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives. Today I rise to honor the best female MC Hip Hop collaborations of all time.
These extraordinary MCs, along with legendary pioneers like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Salt-N-Pepa shattered Hip Hop’s glass ceiling with their skill, talent and lyrical ability. As we celebrate Women’s History Month in the U.S. Congress, they are worthy to be praised.”
The complete top 10 list, including artists such as Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott and Lil Kim, is available on the Congressman’s Medium page.
Inspired by Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, Rep. Jeffries honored women trailblazers in Hip Hop, another field traditionally dominated by men. “In every field of human endeavor, women excel when given a fair shot. It’s true in politics, business, science, academia and Hip Hop. The women on this list are legends in their own right. They defied artistic convention and lyrically elbowed their way to the top of rap’s male-dominated mountain top.” said Rep. Jeffries.
Rep. Jeffries, a fierce advocate for artists, musicians, songwriters and creators in Congress, recently introduced the bipartisan Music Modernization Act along with Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). The bill modernizes and updates the music licensing process to make sure creators and songwriters are adequately paid for their artistic work. The MMA is widely supported by all of the critical stakeholders in the music industry, and is poised for consideration by the House Judiciary Committee shortly.
In addition, Rep. Jeffries is a co-sponsor and strongly supports the CLASSICS Act, a bill that would resolve the statutory uncertainty over the copyright protections afforded to sound recordings made before 1972. Under current federal law, only sound recordings made after 1972 are eligible to receive payments from digital radio services. The CLASSICS Act will afford songs recorded before 1972 by legendary artists like Dion Warwick and Sam Cooke federal copyright protection, and thereby facilitate royalty payments on platforms like Pandora and Sirius XM.
Rep. Jeffries added: “Music is a universal language that breaks through racial, religious, and regional barriers. The Hip Hop genre helps to tell our story, and we should celebrate those women who’ve done it the best with passion and power, and who have contributed so much to its evolution. It’s Women’s History Month, and pioneers in every field of human endeavor will be celebrated in different ways, why not put a little rap music into the mix?”