Throwback: Nikki D-Daddy’s Little Girl

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Nikki D signed to Def Jam in 1989 and became the first female rapper to infiltrate their all male roster. Nikki has the shared the story of how she made Def Jam her goal and rode a Greyhound bus from her native Los Angeles for four days to arrive in New York City and find Russell Simmons. Her early days with Def Jam were filled with new professional experiences learning how to record and perform under the mentoring of Russell Simmons, Whodini and The LA Posse.She recorded her first song, “My Love Is So Raw” with Alyson Williams. “Daddy’s Little Girl” was released in 1991 and it was a unique song because male and female emcees rarely discussed the relationship with their fathers. Her lyrics about maintaining an innocent facade for her father contrasted with a sample of “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega and charmed hip-hop audiences. “Letting Off Steam” was her other major single for the label and it’s remembered most for her no frills hard-spitting rhymes. “Wasted” was Nikki D’s proto-feminist rap encouraging women’s self-empowerment through safe sex and the careful choosing of partners. Daddy’s Little Girl, the album, also came out in 1991 and despite the powerful singles it failed to reach a significant commercial mark. Nikki D was not happy with the way Def Jam was marketing her and in ’94 she left her role as an artist for the company. She did make more recordings with other artists including Redman, EPMD, the Set It Off soundtrack, Naughty By Nature, Moby and Flavor Unit. She worked for Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit as a VP of A&R for a couple of years before taking a position as a marketing manager for Phat Fashions. The 2009 VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors slighted Nikki D by not having her perform or attend the ceremony and she took to social media to vent about it. In 2014 Nikki started recording again under her given name Nikki Strong. The project is untitled and she has plans to release a single before year’s end.