I Had To Say It

Album: I Had To Say It (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • This might be the first major-label rap song by a female artist. For a 1999 ad campaign for their Sprite brand, the Coca-Cola company ran an ad campaign called "The 5 Deadly Women," which featured Roxanne Shanté, Eve, Amil, Mia X, and Angie Martinez. They included Jackson in the campaign, who they determined had the first female rap record with this song. A play on "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang, Jackson told us, "I was poking fun at rappers like the Sugarhill Gang and Kurtis Blow. Up until then, I thought that Roxanne Shanté was the first female rapper. She wasn't, but she is one of the 5 Deadly Women."
  • In our interview with Millie Jackson, she said: "When I did 'I Had To Say It,' I was just sayin' something, 'cause I felt like somebody oughta say it. In fact, I was thinking of what the next album is gonna be, and I had run out of things to talk about, because the record company didn't care what I did as long as I had one of those raps. So we were on the tour bus and I'm going through Jet magazine, and I'm saying, Okay. There's Arthur Ashe - with a white woman. There's the guy that plays Shaft on TV - with a white woman. Damn, there's O.J. Simpson - with a white woman. That's my next record. Somebody needs to say this. Why don't I say this? I have to say this. I sat right there and wrote the song before I got to the next gig. By then I had gotten over all my nerves, my fright and stuff, so it was no problem with me talking about people then."

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