Album: Various artists, Fly Girls! B Boys Beware, (Soul Jazz)

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The Independent Culture

This is the sort of thing Soul Jazz does best: a history of an under-anthologised corner of the musical world. 'Fly Girls!' collects many of the major names from the first wave of female rappers.

It's by no means definitive (no Salt-n-Pepa, for a start), but since so much of it has hitherto only been available on vinyl, it is – to quote S'n'P – very necessary. It has some joyous moments, notably She Rockers (feat Betty Boo) leading the Brit contingent with "Give It a Rest", and Marley Marl's floorshaking beats behind Roxanne Shante's "Bite This".

Pick of the album: The realest Roxanne: 'Bite This'