It’s #CaribSunday on WorldWide Entertainment TV and yours truly Venom is here to illustrate what could be the inspiration for Tory Lanez rap battles in recent months against American rappers. If one looks at the history of Toronto hip hop and its foundations you will notice a similarity between the 6ix and Big Apple.
In the picture above you see a rare photo of a young Roxanne Shante and Michie Mee together in New York. In my other article, I asked the question who is the greatest teenage rapper of all-time? I made mention of Roxanne Shante being a 14 year old girl who was basically the King Of New York.
I also had another article about the impact of Jamaica on the hip hop genre. DJ Kool Herc who hails from Jamaica is credited as being the Father of hip hop. It is also to be noted during the 1960’s and 1970’s there was an influx of immigrants from the islands that descended upon New York and Toronto which would shape the city’s music scene for years and decades to come.
It is well documented in those days that it was much harder being a female in the game compared to today when the likes of Roxanne Shante and Michie Mee helped to open doors for women in this type of music. Roxanne Shante provided the early growth of hip hop with the legendary “Roxanne Wars”. While she was taking names and prisoners proving doubters wrong in New York, it was double the work for Michie Mee carving a name for herself in Toronto and the mecca of hip hop. She would face the top challengers of her city and also take on the best from New York when they would arrive in her city. What was another added issue in her fight for respect in the game was her Jamaican heritage which at times was not always looked fondly by onlookers.
Michie Mee was proud to see her fellow pioneer Roxanne Shante receive a Netflix biopic about her life. In an interview with Now Toronto, she explained why it was important to capture Roxanne Shante’s story on film.
The [Roxanne Wars] emcees were not a part of Cold Chillin’. A lot of them weren’t really getting noticed. Part of it was these emcees were trying to get recognition. She was a target for all, and she’s a woman. So the first thing you’re going to do as a man, if you can’t compete with her lyrical content, is take [a misogynist] approach. Everyone’s telling their truth, and their truth was to attack her. The scene gravitated to her, good and bad. That’s how large she was at the time: males and females had to attack her, because she was the one. Just like in hip-hop today, there’s still that core competitiveness in songwriting, because this genre was based off of battling: it’s the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) approachMichie Mee – Now Toronto
We were friends. I had family [in New York] and became part of the scene. We were kids, 14 and 15, and everybody had to be home at a certain time. So, it’s not like we could hang out like how hip-hop artists hang out today because they’re older. There was no internet. There was no Snapchat. There was no way of keepingup with each other. So it was just once every couple of months when we would see each other. In terms of referencing other female emcees in the press and media, we would let others know that we were aware of each other.Michie Mee – Now Toronto
Michie Mee would not only get the attention of the likes of Roxanne Shante, but other female rappers such as MC Lyte.
MC Lyte would end up being apart of the same label that Michie Mee would sign a record deal with becoming the first Canadian to strike a major recording deal for urban music.
Michie Mee would speak about her impact on the hip hop and reggae scenes for Canada on MuchMusic’s Rap City with the Dream Warriors. She made mention how today’s twitter and instagram era reminds her of the days she use to battle rap and more.
Michie Mee without a shadow of a doubt helped to put Toronto’s urban music scene on the worldwide scene that paved the way for the likes of Drake and Tory Lanez. So it was only fitting that Michie Mee helped to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on the same stage as Drizzy at Nathan Phillip Square. WorldWide Entertainment TV was there to capture the historic event.