Do Remember: Shaqueen – Shaqueen Rules (Audio)
From Bumpy Knuckles, to MF DOOM, to NYOIL, Hip-Hop has seen some powerful re-inventive forces with artists. To Heads with deeper knowledge of mid-1990s New York Hip-Hop, Shaqueen certainly comes to mind. In the early 2000s, Shaqueen was reinvented as “Ma Barker,” a member of (her spouse) Kool G Rap’s 5 Family Click. While 2001’s Click Of Respect is not remembered as one of G Rap’s more celebrated albums, the work was a benchmark moment for Shaqueen, who had spent more than seven years building to that moment.
Heads in the know remembered Ma Barker’s voice from Main Source’s 1994 sophomore LP (sans Large Professor), F*ck What You Think. Alongside Jadakiss and Sheek Louch, ‘Queen guested on “Set It Off” from the Wild Pitch Records release. Between that look and her union with Giancana in the early 2000s, Shaqueen was offered her own moment. The NY MC released a Mighty Music single “Just Because” with B-side “Shaqueen Rules.”
With hard as hell percussion, the nasal MC hit the track with a tour de force. In 1998, Shaqueen and her backers wanted in, at a crossroads time in Hip-Hop when the hardcore was asserting itself, and especially acts like Heather B, The Lady Of Rage, and Bahamadia were reminding everybody, “Ladies First.” That same year, Shaqueen would also work with Sunz Of Man MC Shabazz The Disciple. However, the solo album never surfaced.
Sadly, the single never transitioned to an an album. Shaqueen’s fullest moment would be years later, on the guise of a 1930s maternal gang leader. That LP would be stylized to Kool G’s own mafiaso stature in the day. Shaqueen would later (in 2005) be immersed in the aftermath of Karrine Stephens’ Confessions Of A Video Vixen exposé memoir. The author was G Rap’s previous spouse. Sadly, her skills were barely mentioned in the hubbub.
Do Remember Shaqueen… an MC who may have spent most of her career as a role-player, but in one two-sided single, showed everybody how she could rip mics in half. Like Kool G Rap’s own constant reminders, think this MC could release some solo material to shake things up?