Rapper Antoinette Digital Biography
First introduced on producer Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor’s funky 1988 comilation, Hurby’s Machine, the b-girl wild who went by the name Antoinette was definitely no joke. With a voice was cool as an iceberg, she repped the tougher side of Girls Town on “I Got an Attitude.” Riding a raw, hardcore beat as thought it were a bucking bronco, Antoinette boasted that she was “the mike smoker of chicks” Forget about sisterhood, this bad mama from Queens-who later adopted the title “the gangstress of rap”- was ready to attack all rivals at the drop of a hat.
Obsessed with the skills of Brooklyn bomber MC Lyte, Antoinette spent much of her 1989 debut, Who’s the Boss (Next Plateau), trying to drag her competitor’s name through the mud. Dressed in ‘round-the-way-girl chic on the album cover, Antoinette’s denims and fat gold chain were reminiscent of Big Daddy Kane with lipstick. Produced by I.G. Off, Jay Ellis, and Cedric Miller from Ultramagnetics, Who’s The Boss was a rather lackluster affair in comparison to her blazing lead off single.
But her sophomore disc, Burnin’ at 20 Below, proved that not only could Antoinette snap, she could shine, too. Pulling no punches, she kept throwing fits at Lyte on “The Fox That Rox the Box.” But at least she tried to expand her horizons beyond the land of cat fights. On the leadoff track, “I Wanna Be Me,” she dropped some truly independent funk amidst tumbling drums, syrupy bass, and slippery synth notes. “Has anybody ever tried to change ya / Shape ya, mix and twist – rearrange ya?” asked Antoinette. These lyrics could have been the mantra for a generation of women rappers who felt like puppets on strings of male producers. Antoinette also teamed with Spinderella and Pepa on the splashy asphalt-shaker “Never Get Enough,” later hooking up with machine dreamer Curtis Mantronik on the smooth pre-techno electro jam “From the Top.”
Although many years have passed since hip hop America has heard a peep from Antoinette-according to an old associate, she’s now an officer of the NYPD-wherever she might be, it’s safe to say she still has an attitude. -Michael A. Gonzales
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