Debbie D is Fresh, Bold and So Def

Debbie D


I was born in Harlem, one block from the Apollo Theatre. My first recollection of me on the mic is in church; reciting Easter speeches and singing lead in the choir.  At 13 years old, my family relocated to The Bronx, settling in the Morrisania Section of the South Bronx in Webster Houses.  That Summer, around the time of the infamous 1977 NYC Blackout, I was introduced to hip hop music and hit the mic as an MC. I was the only female MC in my first crew,  DJ Patty Duke & The Jazzy 5.   We later merged with DJs Kenny Ken and Greg Ski under the name, K Connection.   We performed at jams outside in Bronx parks, schoolyards and clubs such as the T Connection and the Ecstasy Garage. Many of our shows were performances with other hip hop pioneers such as DJ Kool Herc, DJ Afrika Bambaattaa and his crews, Soul Sonic Force and Cosmic Force, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, Funky 4+1, The L Bros, Grandwizzard Theodore and the Fantastic 5 and others.  From rhymes on cassette tapes and early hip hop flyers, the titles,  GrandMistress, Queen MC and Fly Girl are associated with MC Debbie D.   Upon my crew disbanding, in 1981, I emerged on stage as Hip Hop’s First Female MC Soloist.  

I was the first female soloist to have a female DJ.  With a strong, bodacious voice and fearless performance, I became the most sought after female MC throughout the Tri State area.  As a lover of fashion, I was a known “fly girl”, wearing designer clothing,  leather outfits and performing on stage in custom suits. At times I headlined shows and performed alongside the Cold Crush, Treacherous Three, Fearless Four, Crash Crew, and many others. Lastly, in the early 80s when hip hop battles dominated parties, I was the only female MC listed in the roster of 12-15 male solo MCs, names who included Lovebug Starski, Busy Bee and Spoonie Gee and oftentimes, one of the three finalists in the soloist category!

My success as a female soloist, prompted a request for me to join Empress, later known as Us Girls. In 1984, we were the first female rap group to appear in a motion film, entitled, Beat Street. Our song, Us Girls Can Boogie Too, was also featured on the movie soundtrack album.  Following Beat Street, Us Girls recorded our second single for the legendary New York City Breakers. Both albums that included our singles went certified gold.

In 1990, I shifted my attention from the music industry to family and furthering my education. Today, I have attained six degrees and is the first hip hop artist to earn a Doctorate Degree (D. Min.) and the first rapper turned preacher.  Aside from hip hop, I am an Author, Ministry Coach and the Founder of Us Girls Can, (nonprofit) where I educate and empower girls.

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Rockin the original jacket from the movie, Beat Street,
MC Debbie D is featured in this movie clip with Us Girls rappin, Us Girls Can Boogie Too! (1984)