Heather B.

Started: Putting “All Glocks Down”.

Going: Radio Hosting/Cook

Debut Album: Takin Mine (Released June 11, 1996)

Latest Album: Eternal Affairs (2002)

In 1992, Heather B was casted in MTV‘s The Real World. The first, if not, one of the first reality TV shows. She was marketed as an affiliate of the legendary Boogie Down Productions. After the success of her “All Glocks Down” single, she released her debut album in mid ’96 on Pendulum Records. Since then, she’s best known for her role as co-host on Sway In The Morning. The Shade 45 radio show is a hub for spitters, as well as stars in other realms of entertainment. Outside of the show, she’s known for “Happy Hour With HB” and her strong Christian faith. She’s also signed on for the new ‘Real World’ reboot.

Jay Z

Started: Marcy projects.

Going: CEO of the world.

Debut Album: Reasonable Doubt (Released June 25, 1996)

Latest Album: 444 (2017)

Jay Z was a slow burn, to say the least. “I gave you prophecy on my first joint, and y’all all lamed out“. His debut was massively slept-on, but to our credit, there were so many “in-your-face” emcees thriving at the time that Jay’s laid back approach was easy to overlook. Nowadays, Hova is associated black excellence, billionaire status and innovative thinking. His list of accomplishments are so long, and well-known that there is no need to spell it out. “Imma 88’er, 96’er, Reasonable Doubt“.

Lil Kim

Started: Packin’ Mac’s in Cadillac’s

Going: Iconic!

Debut Album: Hard Core (Released November 12, 1996)

Latest Album: 9 (2019)

The closest thing we’d ever seen to Kim was Salt-N-Pepa, with their raunchy look and lyrics. Kimmie Blanco took that edge and added a street b*tch element. The result? The prototype for female rappers to come. Since her mentor and lover, The Notorious B.I.G passed (who was rumored to be writing her lyrics), she has not only continued, but elevated her brand and music. She’s among the most decorated female emcees in history, including the coveted 5-mic album rating in The Source for her 2005 album, Naked Truth. These days Kim starred in VH1’s Girls Cruise (2019), tours & continues to be a fashion spectacle.

Foxy Brown

Started: Child prodigy.

Going: Meh.

Debut Album: Ill Na Na (Released November 19, 1996)

Latest Album: Brooklyn’s Don (2008)

Foxy Brown came through on LL Cool J‘s b-side “I Shot Ya (Remix)“, “Touch Me, Tease Me” with Case, Jay Z’s breakthrough single “Ain’t No“, then lit the spot up with her own “Get You Home”. By the time Ill Na Na dropped we were very aware and acquainted with Fox Boogie. She was written in for success with her debut, especially being on Def Jam in era. She went on to join The Firm with Nas and others, releasing and album produced entirely by Dr. Dre. In this era, FB’s more known for being an advocate for Nicki Minaj then anything else. We haven’t seen her. She barely even posts pictures of herself on her official Instagram page. Looks like she went full recluse. Innerstandable, given she’s had public label, legal, mental, hearing, street and relationship issues seemingly at a constant rate. Maybe it’s best for Boogie Brown. She is, however, scheduled to perform at the Lovers & Friends Festival in May of 2022.

Heltah Skeltah

Started: Ruck & Rock

Going: Rock carries the torch.

Debut Album: Nocturnal (Released June 18, 1996)

Latest Album: D.I.R.T Da Incredible Rap Team (2008)

Heltah Skeltah debuted at the height of Boot Camp Clik‘s popularity. They stood out amongst STARS like O.G.C, Smif-N-Wessun and the foundation of BCC, Black Moon. They even featured the Original Gun Clappaz on their first single, “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka”. They all shined, individually. HS would go on to put out an album 2 and 12 years later, Magnum Force and D.I.R.T, respectively. After their 1998 album, they would rebrand as Rockness Monstah & Sean Price. They would both release mixtapes and albums, capitalizing from Heltah Skeltah fame while gaining new fans. Sean P in particular had an amazing run, becoming an underground superhero until his passing in mid-2015. Rock continues to put out work, along with his Monsta Monday’s Podcast on Dash Radio.

G-HOLY.COM, 2021