Album: Crime Mob
Sure, before the Atlanta-based Crime Mob came into existence, women had rapped on hyper-aggressive and/or violent tracks. And yes, they had rapped on the same tracks as men. But had they rapped on hyper-violent tracks alongside men? Not quite like they did in Crime Mob, who took the, um, progressive step of putting female rappers named Diamond and Princess on tracks like "I'll Beat Yo Azz" on the group's gloriously crunk 2004 eponymous debut album.
The chorus—"Stiletto. Pumps. In. The club/Whoeva thought that these girls will get crunk?"—said everything you needed to know about the female contingent of Crime Mob. Then Princess and Diamond jumped on for their verses, and demonstrated it. And while the song's lyrics, which ranged from Princess's declaration that "If a ho say somethin, try me then her hair will get thrown/I'm turnin' heads left and right soon as he see one foot" to Diamond's understanding that "I know you want a second look, but pictures isn't necessary/Diamond be my name and by the looks gurl you ain't even ready" might not have been as memorable as that hook, it did create an indelible stamp in the ATL crunk scene and a slightly smaller (but no less wonderful) one in the canon of women rapping, blending the lines between traditional feminity and gender-neutral violence as they did it. In other words: Gloria Steinem would be proud. —Foster Kamer