I just learned that Karryl Smith (right), AKA Special One from The Conscious Daughters, died in December 2011. This makes me very sad.

TCD was probably the best female hip-hop duo of all time, and one of the great unknown rap acts in history. Discovered and produced by Paris, an unknown-legend-in-his-own-right, they came correct in the mid-90s with a powerful mix of hard-hitting beats and vivid lyrical skills. Most of their songs are about their own greatness and living an enjoyable life (their most popular song was “Fonky Expedition”), but along the way they dropped in tracks about unexpected pregnancy (and delinquent fathers), police brutality, and domestic violence.

After a thirteen-year hiatus (during which I assumed they had just moved on), TCD returned in 2009 with The Nutcracker Suite, another excellent album. I hoped to hear much more from them in the future. Alas, Special One died last year from blood clots in her lungs.

RIP, Special One. You will be missed.


My favorite TCD track has always been the first song on their first album, “Princess of Poetry”.

Today I’m listening to: The Conscious Daughters! Here’s an interview they did in 2009 with the legendary Davey D:

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