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Check It Out: God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop by Kathy Iandoli

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This is Michael Maxwell with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I am recommending God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop by Kathy Iandoli - a story that is necessary reading for any music fan, whether you’re Bardi Gang or a Barb- or even if you have no idea what either of those things mean.

Kathy Iandoli is a music journalist who has worked directly with most of the women profiled in this book, so she writes with their trust and, often-times, their participation. This book offers readers never-before-heard stories and a refreshing candor that takes us beyond the front-page myths and into the artistic practice of these stars. Iandoli addresses the double standards and stereotypes that women have contended with throughout hip-hop history. She gives readers an inside scoop on what was actually behind some of those headline-making rap beefs that we can’t get enough of- asking larger questions about why women in the music industry often find themselves pitted against one another.

God Save the Queens is truly a hall of fame, presenting questions about rap royalty such as: How is Queen Latifah’s image as an Afro-centric MC different from Lil Kim’s raunchy rise to dominance in the 90s? How did Nicki Minaj seemingly come out of nowhere and revitalize the genre? Kathy Iandoli also dives into regional differences in hip-hop, giving readers plenty of local flavor- like when she explains how Trina has remained a Miami mainstay for decades. You’ll hear about all your favorites in this book, from Monie Love to Megan Thee Stallion.

Interspersed with all the household names in God Save the Queens are some unsung and underrated artists who finally get their flowers.

Check out God Save the Queens by Kathy Iandoli and more books about music at the Sioux City Public Library- and maybe you’ll even find your new favorite song in your next book!

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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