The first female group to release a rap record returns home to Columbia

In the 1970s, a female rap group named The Sequence emerged in Columbia and broke into the big leagues. Now, they’re being recognized as “the first ladies of hip-hop” by Love, Peace and Hip-Hop, a local festival that celebrates the genre.

The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on April 13 at Tapp’s Art Center, 1644 Main Street, where Mayor Steve Benjamin will be recognizing the girl group for their contributions to the culture. There will be DJs present and a group doing a live tribute version of a song by The Sequence as well.

Angela “Angie B” Stone, Cheryl “The Pearl” Cook and Gwendolyn “Blondy” Chisolm were pioneers of the genre in a sleepy Southern city before rap was on the map. They have since been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as the first female hip-hop group to release a record.

Their claim to fame doesn’t just come from being first but from their talent, which has been sampled or invoked by artists like Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Flavor Flav, En Vogue, De La Soul and more over the years.

The story begins backstage at a Sugarhill Gang concert. The group was signed to Sugar Hill Records after being whisked on a plane to New York City and thrown into the studio. From there, they were immersed in the culture, dropping hit track “Funk You Up” in 1979.

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