Us Girls was created in 1983 with three pioneer women in hip hop, one of which includes MC Debbie D. The group was originally called Empress and was established in 1983 in The Bronx, NY.
In 1984, Us Girls appeared in the hip hop film, Beat Street, produced by the legendary actor and singer, Harry Belafonte. It was the first time a female rap group was ever featured in a motion film! The first party scene, with Us Girls rhyming on the mic, became a catalyst to inspiring girls all around the world to become an MC. Hip hop artist and England native, Monie Love, often says in interviews, "when I saw them rhyme, I said, I want to be an MC"!
Our song, Us Girls Can Boogie Too, also appeared on the soundtrack album and went certified gold! It was the first time a song by a female rap group had appeared on a movie soundtrack. The following year, Us Girls recorded a unique bboy "break" single exclusively for the legendary New York City Breakers, who also appeared in Beat Street. This record was also featured on their Breakdance album and went certified gold! Following the movie, the NYC Breakers and Us Girls toured together in Europe.
Us Girls' early accomplishment in hip hop culture is indelible and is undoubtedly the initial spark to the enormous rise of women in hip hop from the mid 80s to today!
Scroll down for photos and footage about Us Girls and Beat Street
To hear the full song and see the movie scene, click below!
Empress at Danceteria
Interview by Ed Lover with Original Screenwriter Steve Hager, Melle Mel, Debbie D and others!