In 1994 critic Danyel Smith wrote a provocative essay, entitled ‘Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed: Why Women Rappers Don’t Sell’, in which she challenged commonly held stereotypes about women who rap. Citing a variety of record executives, Smith attributed the following reasons to women’s inability to attain commercial success in the world of rap: (1) women’s versions of reality are perceived to be less believable than men’s; (2) women have tried to be ‘too hard – either trying to be just like men or trying to be raunchy beyond what people would accept’; and (3) listeners prefer not to hear ‘aggressive, go-for-theirs sentiments from females’ (Smith, 1994, p. 126). Rappers Salt-n-Pepa were acceptable, according to Monica Lynch of Tommy Boy Records, because ‘they are pop-ish, not hardcore’ (cited in Smith, 1994, p. 126). Two years later, in 1996, rapper Lil’ Kim released Hard Core. With its teasingly pornographic title, Hard Core was a benchmark for women’s presence in rap as it affirmed a brazenly discordant female voice in what Smith referred to as ‘the almost exclusively male world of hip hop’ (Smith, 1994, p. 126). Hard Core established Lil’Kim among rap’s megastars; more importantly, it spat on the shoe of rap’s male hegemony.