In summer 2009, a concise little EP with the unwieldy title Representing NYC Presents: Da' Brats From Da' Ville Featuring the Fly Girlz appeared. Five teenage girls from the Brownsville section of East New York posed on the cover with hands on hips or middle and index fingers up; the music harkened back to the boxy beats and group-shouted raps of Run-D.M.C. and Roxanne Shanté, a strain of hip-hop that mostly disappeared well before the girlz were born. Yet it also had an undertow of weirdness to it, the queasy synth drones and fractured beats behind the boasts courtesy of producer Nathan Corbin (better known for his work with inscrutable Brooklyn noisemakers Excepter). Under the hip-hop aliases of Lady Millz, Pinky, Sophie, Princess, and Angel, these five hip-hop initiates were full up with attitude but also awareness; in a Fader TV video, it's endearing to see these outspoken young teens turn shy as they peddle their wares to the clerks at Brooklyn's Academy Records Annex. Here were East New York teenagers ignoring the subjugating fantasies of mainstream rap and collaborating with outsider Brooklyn noisemakers to make something outside their comfort zones, suggesting a... More >>>