MC Debbie D is distinguished not only as a Pioneer but as a Hip Hop Matriarch; one of the mothers of the hip hop culture! Born in Harlem but raised in the South Bronx, Debbie D started emceeing in park jams in Webster Houses in 1977, at the age of 14, with local DJs Bear and Able.
In 1979, MC Debbie D joined DJ Patty Duke & The Jazzy 5, standing out as the only female MC in an all male crew. The crew performed at popular clubs such as the T Connection and Ecstasy Garage along with DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore and Fantastic Five, DJ Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force, Comic Force, Funky 4+1, etc. After two years on the scene and seeing no future during hip hop's infancy, like most pioneers, the crew disbanded but the fire in Debbie D wouldn't quench. In 1981, Debbie D, the only female MC to hold the title as Grand Mistress and Queen Rapper, went solo, shattering the glass ceiling as hip hop's first female MC soloist! Her strong, bodacious voice, lyrical skills and stage presence made her the most sought after female MC in hip hop during the early 80s, headlining shows throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; a first for women in hip hop and a feat for a female MC with no rap record! With a female DJ by her side, MC Debbie D was a mainstay performer at the infamous club, Harlem World, alongside her male peers, Busy Bee, Spoonie Gee, Treacherous 3, Cold Crush, Crash Crew, Fearless Four and many others. In addition, she was also crowned the winner or runner up of male and female MC battles as evidenced in her personal vintage flyer collection!
By 1984, Debbie D, a legal secretary with a college degree, appeared in the film, Beat Street with Us Girls. The trio were the first women in hip hop featured in a motion film and movie soundtrack album. Their song, Us Girls Can Boogie Too, inspired girls worldwide to rap, including Monie Love of England. Returning to the stage as a soloist, MC Debbie D became the second female MC of the legendary Juice Crew. With Juice Crew All Stars, MC Shan, G Rap and Glamorous, she recorded, Evolution, depicting the life of Harriet Tubman. Her solo singles included, Tom, Dick and Harry and The Other Woman, early rap records on female empowerment! Finally, MC Debbie D is a Fly Girl, with 40+ years fusing fashion and hip hop. Her passion for fashion led to a career with Judith Modelling Agency in New York City.
Today, MC Debbie D, hosts shows and teaches hip hop history, coupled with her expertise in hip hop flyers (clients). She is also the Founder of Us Girls Can, a nonprofit organization to empower women and girls. Professionally, MC Debbie D is known as Rev. Dr. Debora Hooper, hip hop's first rapper turned preacher. Over the last three decades, she has been a National Evangelist, Pastor, best selling author of Hooper's Evangelist and Minister's Handbook and the Founder and Ministry Coach at Hooper Ministry Academy. Lastly, as a strong proponent of education, MC Debbie D holds five earned theological degrees, including a D. Min. (summa cum laude) from Hugee Theological Institute and one Associate Degree from LaGuardia Community College. She presently resides in Northern New Jersey.
*A short list of works on 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 along with Netflix's Hip Hop Evolution and The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion.