Debbie D is a Pioneer MC and one of the Mothers of Hip Hop Culture. Born in Harlem, New York, Debbie D honed her oratorical skills as a child while singing, speaking and writing poems in church and afterschool programs. As a teen, she relocated to the Morrisania Section of the South Bronx during the height of gangs, violence and urban decay but also the rise of Hip Hop, founded by DJ Kool Herc, in 1973.
In 1977, Debbie D would hit the mic as one of hip hop's earliest female Emcees. Later, as the only female in an all male crew, she performed shows with DJ Patty Duke & Jazzy 5 until the crew disbanded. Self titled the Grand Mistress because of her lyrical skills, in 1981, Debbie D stepped on stage as hip hop's First Female Soloist, shattering the glass ceiling for women rappers! Accompanied by a female DJ, on cassette tapes, MC Debbie D could be heard utilizing her lyrical skill, bodacious voice and showmanship in male dominated battles and performances, to emerge as New York's No. 1 female rapper; a feat she would achieve without a rap record!
While building her reputation in hip hop, simultaneously, Debbie D earned an Associates of Arts Degree and was employed as a Legal Secretary in affluent NYC law firms. With a lucrative income, Debbie D, a Fly Girl, is first to brand couture clothing into her rap performances, prior to its popularity today!
In 1984, Debbie D appeared in Beat Street with Us Girls, a pioneer rap trio and the first female rappers to appear in a motion film. Their song, Us Girls Can Boogie Too, which appeared on the movie soundtrack, became a catalyst, inspiring girls worldwide to become involved in hip hop. The trio also recorded New York City Breakers, the first rap record for Bboys.
Shortly after, Debbie D resumed her career as a solo rapper and recorded Tom, Dick and Harry and The Other Woman. She was also a member of the legendary Juice Crew, who recorded Evolution; Debbie D's rap highlights abolitionist, Harriet Tubman.
Today, Debbie D is a Hip Hop Scholar/Historian and uses her knowledge as a pioneer to converse on the origin of hip hop, complemented by her specialty as a Historical Flyer Expert (Flyerologist). As an artist, Debbie D is esteemed as the first Pioneer In Residence at NJPAC's Hip Hop Program, specializing in Rap and Performance and also serves as a Teaching Artist throughout NJ Public Schools.
Academically, Debbie D holds six earned degrees including a Ph.D. She is an Ordained Reverend and the first rapper turned preacher. Residing in Northern New Jersey, she is presently working on a memoir.
*A short list of literary works and films that highlight MC Debbie D include Yes, Yes, Y'all, Hip Hop: A Cultural Odyssey, God Save The Queens, The Motherlode, AA Smithsonian, Universal Hip Hop Museum, Hip Hop Hall of Fame, Lithub, Netflix's Hip Hop Evolution and The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion.