Flashback, Who’s That? Entre Vous, Lady Tee:
Released in 1981 this is the third record ever that includes a female rapping, behind only “That’s The Joint” featuring the legendary Sha-Rock of the Funky 4 + 1 and Blondie’s “Rapture”. Blondie’s Deborah Harry (bless her heart) was stepping on the rhythm in a fashion not befitting Kurtis Blow. Teena Marie is not Sha-Rock. Teena is not a rapper. Yet the difference between who sounds more natural on the mic between here and Debbie is striking. Not to mention the difference in content, listen to Vanilla Chile name-check William Shakespeare, Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou.
Debbie Harry was rapping about a “man from Mars” who was not David Bowie. Ziggy did not eat cars, bars nor guitars.
Teena is not from Mars, Teena is from Venice. From a section of the Oceanside LA city then-known as “Venice Harlem”. A hometown that loves her enough to put this mural up on Pacific Avenue, which is the last artery before the famed Venice strip that runs along the Pacific Ocean.
The photo of this mural I took with my phone a few months ago. While the mural was painted by my friend Jonas Never, a great artist gradually redecorating the entire Westside of Los Angeles in his images.
“Square Biz” also has an argument for being the first West Coast rap record, released the same year as Disco Daddy & Captain Rapp’s “The Gigolo Groove”. Stick to “Square Biz”.