Rapper Yo-Yo Digital Biography
Born Yolanda Whitaker, 4 August 1971, Los Angeles, California, USA. A protege of Ice Cube, Yo Yo made her name as a female rapper who likes to play it as rough and dirty as her male gangsta brethren. Raised in the South Central district of Los Angeles, her big break came when she appeared on Ice Cube's 1990 debut, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, duetting on "It's A Man's World", representing her gender in admirable style. Her own long-playing debut introduced her combative attitude, with frequent interjections from Ice Cube's Lench Mob posse. However, amid the assertive, abrasive lyrics lurked a sophistication that might not have been envisaged by the casual buyer. That album's torch song was "Sisterland', a rallying call for her fellow female MCs. Yo Yo's insight was later confirmed by her leading role in the formation of the Intelligent Black Woman's Coalition. The following year's Black Pearl confirmed her role as a self-styled guru of female dignity and pride in the male dominated world of rap. Keen not to be pigeonholed, Yo Yo largely eschewed the social issues for hardcore reportage on 1993"s You Better Ask Somebody, which included stand-out tracks "Girls Got A Gun", and her duet with Ice Cube, "The Bonnie And Clyde Theme". Better still, she managed to invert the usual gangsta trappings by acting as a female pimp on "Macktress'. Following the release of the album Yo Yo concentrated on her acting career, appearing in several movies including the Hughes brothers acclaimed Menace II Society, while continuing to play an active role in community projects. She returned to recording with the lacklustre Total Control, on which the lifeless grooves blunted her still impressive rapping skills. Ebony was a more effective attempt at updating her sound to match the new generation of female rappers led by Foxy Brown and Lil' Kim. The album included combative collaborations with Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott ("I Would If I Could') and Lil" Shawn ("Fantasy").
Make Way For The Motherlode (East West 1991)***, Black Pearl (East West 1992)***, You Better Ask Somebody (East West 1993)***, Total Control (East West 1996)**, Ebony (East West 1998)***.
Boyz N The Hood (1991), Menace II Society (1993)
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