Racism: The Mercedes Ladies

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As hip hop’s first all-female crew of MCs to rock the microphone at old school block parties and clubs like the Rooftop and Latin Quarters, The Mercedes Ladies paved the way for female rap acts such as The Sequence, Finesse & Synquis, Salt ‘N Pepa, Deadly Venoms, Oaktown 357 and the Conscious Daughters. Hailing from the South Bronx, The Mercedes Ladies formed in 1976. Although the group had several member when it started, the classic and most popular line-up consisted of Sheri Sher, Eve-a-Def, Zena-Z, Tracy T and two DJ’s, Baby D (AKA D’Bora) and RD Smiley. Other members included Sweet P and Sty-Sty (who were later members). According to Sheri Sher, the Mercedes Ladies started off as a crew of girls from the Bronx who initially wanted to…show more content…
They quickly earned the respect of their peers by holding their own on stage with hip hop legends like Kool DJ Herc, Afrika Bambattaa, Busy Bee, Kool DJ Red Alert, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Grandmaster DST and the Cold Crush Brothers. Unfortunately, their lyrical skills didn’t make them immune to sexism. “It was a struggle,” recalls Sheri-Sher. “We were getting a lot of street popularity because we were putting our work in. From corner to corner, then they started setting up shows for us and everything, but we would never get paid. The promoters would pay the L Brothers and Grandmaster Flash, but when it was time to pay the Mercedes Ladies, we didn’t get paid .” This led them severing ties with Trevor and the L Brothers. The group would go through a series of subsequent managers and a bad record deal with Def Jam before finally disbanding in the mid-80s. Unfortunately, the group never recorded an album of their own, but they can be heard on underground recordings of their early shows and on Donald D’s 1984 record, “Don’s Groove ”. Later that year, DJ Baby D would later go on to record her own single entitled, “No Sense,” under the moniker D’Bora . She continued recording records under that name until 1998. Sheri-Sher wrote a historical novel centered on her exploits as a member of The Mercedes Ladies which was published by Vibe Street Lit . In May of 2014, the Mercedes Ladies were inducted into the Hip Hop Hall of Fame , securing their legacy for generations to

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