Yo-Yo (rapper)

Yo-Yo (born Yolanda Whitaker; August 4, 1971)[1] is a Grammy nominated American hip-hop artist, actress, and entrepreneur. Much of Yo-Yo's music advocates for female empowerment and denouncing the frequent sexism and misogyny in hip-hop music. Yo-Yo is the protégé of gangsta rapper Ice Cube. Yo-Yo dubbed her crew the IBWC, for the Intelligent Black Woman's Coalition.[2]

Yo-Yo
Yo yo-04.jpg
Yo-Yo in 1997
Born
Yolanda Whitaker

(1971-08-04) August 4, 1971 (age 49)
OccupationRapper, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur
Spouse(s)
DeAndre Windom
(m. 2013; div. 2018)
Musical career
OriginSouth Central, Los Angeles, United States
GenresWest Coast hip hop
Years active1989–present
LabelsEast West America
Associated actsIce Cube, Chilly Chill, Da Lench Mob
Websitehttps://yoyoschoolofhiphop.com

Music careerEdit

Yo-Yo first appeared as a guest on Ice Cube's 1990 debut studio album, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted on the track "It's a Man's World." Cube returned the favor by appearing on "You Can't Play with My Yo-Yo," on Yo-Yo's 1991 debut album, Make Way for the Motherlode. Each of the videos for the singles from the album were directed by Okuwah Garrett of Power Films.

Her follow-up album released in 1992, Black Pearl was well received by critics,[3] partly because of its focus on positive messages and uplifting themes that heavily contrasted with the popular gangsta rap style at the time.[3] Despite a plethora of renowned producers such as DJ Muggs this failed to translate into a hit with mainstream hip-hop audiences, and the album's sales were considered a disappointment.[3]

Less than a year later, Yo-Yo released her follow-up album, titled You Better Ask Somebody. The final track on the album was her third recorded hip-hop duet with Ice Cube, "The Bonnie and Clyde Theme".

Yo-Yo's next album, Total Control, was released in 1996. In 1998, Yo-Yo finished her fifth studio album, Ebony, though it was not released. In 2008, her single, " You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo" was ranked number 92 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.[4] Later that year, she performed with MC Lyte, The Lady of Rage, and Salt-N-Pepa at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

As of 2009, Yo-Yo has been working on an EP, titled My Journey to Fearless: The Black Butterfly.[5]

In 2013, it was announced she joined the upcoming BET reality series Hip Hop Sisters which will focus on six female rappers' lives and their attempts to relaunch their careers.[6] Other rappers confirmed to appear are MC Lyte, Lady of Rage, Monie Love, Lil Mama, and Smooth.[7]

Acting careerEdit

Yo-Yo appeared in the 1991 film, Boyz n the Hood. She had a recurring role on the television show, Martin as Keylolo, the sidekick to comedian Martin Lawrence's alter ego Sheneneh. Yo-Yo also appeared on other TV shows, including the Fox network's New York Undercover. She made a cameo in the music video for Missy Elliot's "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)". She also appeared in the video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as the voice of Kendl Johnson.[8]

Community activismEdit

Yo-Yo has been active in advocating for hip-hop artists to become involved within their community. Notably, Yo-Yo testified in 1994 for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about whether the government should require rating labels on gangsta rap.[9] She also founded the Yo-Yo School of Hip-Hop to use hip-hop in curriculum for at-risk students.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Yo-Yo dated Tupac Shakur for some time in the 1990s. She was with Shakur in the hospital shortly before he died.[11] Later, Yo-Yo became engaged to DeAndre Windom, the former mayor of Highland Park, Michigan, in August 2012.[12] The two married on August 17th,[13] 2013 in the Cayman Islands.[14] They divorced a couple years later in 2018.[15]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Year Title Chart positions
Billboard 200[16] Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[17]
1991 Make Way for the Motherlode 74 5
1992 Black Pearl
  • Released: June 23, 1992
  • Label: East West Records
45 32
1993 You Better Ask Somebody
  • Released: June 22, 1993
  • Label: East West Records
107 21
1996 Total Control
  • Released: October 29, 1996
  • Label: East West Records
- 46

Unreleased albumsEdit

Extended playsEdit

  • Hits Revealed (2007)

SinglesEdit

Year Title Chart positions
US Hot 100
[18]
US R&B
[19]
US Rap
[20]
1991 ""Stompin to tha 90's" 2
"You Can't Play with My Yo-Yo" 36 11 1
"Ain't Nobody Better" 30 4
"Girl Don't Be No Fool"
1992 "Home Girl Don't Play Dat" 3
"Black Pearl" 74 11
1993 "West Side Story" 14
"The Bonnie and Clyde Theme" (feat. Ice Cube) 72 37 1
"IBW'in wit My Crewin'" -
1996 "Same Ol' Thang"
"Steady Risin"
"One for the Cuties"
1998 "Iz It Still All Good" (feat. Gerald Levert)
"Do You Wanna Ride" (featuring Kelly Price)
2009 ""Give It T'um" -
2019 "Out of Control" (featuring Patient Picasso, Brittany B. and Tyeler Reign) -

Miscellaneous appearancesEdit

  • 1990 – "It's a Man's World" (with Ice Cube) (AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted)
  • 1991 – "Debbie B. ft. Yo Yo - Pack Your Bags
  • 1991 – "Mama Don't Take No Mess" (Boyz in the Hood SDTK)
  • 1992 – "Get the Fist" (with B-Real, Ice Cube, J-Dee, Kam, King Tee, MC Eiht, Threat) (VA - Get the Fist Movement)
  • 1993 – "Romantic Call" (with Patra) (Queen of the Pack)
  • 1994 – "I Wanna Be Down (Remix)" (with Brandy, MC Lyte & Queen Latifah) (Baby CD SINGLE)
  • 1994 – "Sweet on You" (with Teena Marie) (Passion Play)
  • 1995 – "Freedom (Theme From Panther)" (with VA) (Panther SDTK)
  • 1995 – "Stomp" (with Coolio, Luniz, Melle Mel, Shaquille O'Neal) (Q's Jook Joint)
  • 1995 – "Crazay" (VA - Pump Ya Fist)
  • 1996 – "I Can't Take No More" (Girls Town SDTK)
  • 1997 – "Keep on Pushin'" (ft MC Lyte, Bahamadia, Nonchalant) (Dangerous Ground SDTK)
  • 1997 – "True Dat" (with Levert & Queen Pen) (The Whole Scenario)
  • 1999 – "Set Trippin'" (with Dresta, I Smooth 7) (VA - Gumbo Roots)
  • 2005 – "Mercedes Boy" (B-Side to Mobb Deep's "Get Twisted" 12")
  • 2005 – "Only 4 the Righteous" (with 2Pac) (The Rose, Vol. 2)
  • 2005 – "Boogie Oogie Oogie" (with Brooke Valentine & Lynden,Moet) (Roll Bounce SDTK)
  • 2009 – "Watcha Wan Do" (with DJ Quik, Kurupt & Problem) (BlaQKout)
  • 2009 – "Morning Comes" (with Ray J) (Non-Album Track)
  • 2010 – "Só Rezo 0.2" (with Nx Zero & Emicida) (Projeto Paralelo)

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

  • 1991 – Boyz n the Hood … Girl at Party
  • 1993 – Who's the Man … Herself
  • 1993 – Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit … Sondra
  • 1994 – Adventures of D.P. Boys 17: South of the Border (V)
  • 1995 – Panther … Pregnant Junkie
  • 1996 – Moesha … Security Guard
  • 1997 – Sprung … Sista #3
  • 1999 – After Stonewall … Herself
  • 1999 – Beverly Hood … Tilly
  • 1999 – The Breaks … Loretha
  • 2000 – 3 Strikes … Charita
  • 2000 – The Rev. DoWrong Ain't Right
  • 2002 – Paper Soldiers … Judge Prince[21]

Television appearancesEdit

Voice workEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award
1995 MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Rap Video for "I Wanna Be Down" (Remix) (featuring Brandy, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah)
1996 Grammy Award nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance - Duo or Group for "Stomp"

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ron Wynn (August 4, 1971). "Yo-Yo | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "SUMMER SPLASH III". (May 26, 1991). L.A. Times, p. 50
  3. ^ a b c Abdul-Adil, Jaleel (August 1, 1993), "Yo Yo and MC Lyte Turn Tables on Male Rappers", Chicago Sun-Times, p. 9
  4. ^ "VH1′s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs". Stereogum. September 29, 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  5. ^ "Lifestyle | Icons Speak: YoYo Talks Keri Hilson, Female Emcees, more". Singersroom.com. January 6, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  6. ^ "MC Lyte to Executive Produce 'Hip Hop Sisters' on BET". Black Enterprise. 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  7. ^ "@VIBEVixen» BET Announces 'Hip Hop Sisters' and Jeanette Jenkins Reality Series » Madison Lafayette". Vibevixen.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  8. ^ Jones, Francis. "Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (album review 3)". sputnikmusic.com. Sputnik Music. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  9. ^ "Free Speech for Rappers". The Progressive. 58 (4): 9. April 1994 – via ProQuest Central.
  10. ^ "Compton Artist YoYo Gives Students Hip-Hop Education". NBC Southern California. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  11. ^ "Unsung". TVOne. September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  12. ^ Blackman, Ritch (August 24, 2012). "Rapper Yo Yo Engaged To Highland Park, Mi Mayor". UnsungHipHop. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  13. ^ https://www.facebook.com/YoYoFearless/photos/a.355536064581165/503200659814704/?type=3
  14. ^ Sylk, Sam (2013). "Yo Yo's Husband, Mayor DeAndre Windom, Shot In Detroit Nightclub". WZAK. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  15. ^ https://hiphopwired.com/888882/mc-lyte-yo-yo-remy-ma-featured-in-new-episode-of-owns-girlfriends-check-in/
  16. ^ "MC Lyte Chart History". Billboard 200. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  17. ^ "MC Lyte Chart History". Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  18. ^ "Yo-Yo - US Hot 100". billboard.com. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Yo-Yo - US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Yo-Yo - US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". billboard.com. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Full cast and crew for Paper Soldiers (2002)". IMDb. Retrieved June 2, 2013.

External linksEdit