Yo Yo had been rapping and performing in the Los Angeles area as a middle school and high school student in the late 1980s. She built a reputation as one of the few women rapping in various talent shows during that time. A fellow high school student saw her performances and felt she should meet someone who would help her career.
“I met Ice Cube through one of his friends who went to high school with me, T-Bone of Da Lench Mob,” Yo Yo says in Billboard’s Ladies First article. “Bone was saying Cube was in the process of leaving N.W.A and was looking for a female artist. We were introduced and it wasn’t long until we were in his mom’s living room writing rhymes and making music.
“When I met Ice Cube I had this feminist mentality,” she continues. “That was before I even knew what a feminist was. I came up in the era where N.W.A was like, ‘A bitch is a bitch.’ So, I was in defense of women. All of my songs were like Queen Latifah’s ‘U.N.I.T.Y.’ So, when I met Cube it was more so, ‘You’re not going to call me a bitch.’ But once we got to know each other, I began to respect him as a big brother. It’s creativity and where he came from. Our bond was so strong. If you notice on ‘The Bonnie & Clyde Theme,’ I say, ‘I got a down ass ni–a on my team.’ He didn’t say, ‘I got me a down-ass bitch.’ He tried it, but I was like, ‘No, you’re not going to call me a bitch.’ He went in and changed it, which was mad respect.”
Yo Yo is is the fifth rapper featured in an edition of Billboard’s Ladies First. MC Lyte, Angel Haze and Charli Baltimore have also been included in the series.
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