Yolanda Whittaker on August 4, 1971) is a Grammy nominated American hardcore rapper known primarily among hip hop fans and music critics during the 1990s. Much of her music has advocated female empowerment, denouncing the frequent sexism found in rap music. Yo-Yo dubbed her rap crew the IBWC, which stood for the Intelligent Black Woman's Coalition. Yo-Yo first appeared as a guest on Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted album in 1990. Her critically acclaimed debut was 1991's Make Way for the Motherlode. The album's biggest single was You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo, which also featured Ice Cube.
Yo-Yo first appeared as a guest on Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted album in 1990. Her critically acclaimed debut was 1991's Make Way for the Motherlode. The album's biggest single was You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo, which also featured Ice Cube.
Her follow-up, 1992's Black Pearl was well-received by critics, due in part to its focus on positive messages and uplifting themes that contrasted the popular gangsta rap style. However, this did not translate into a hit with mainstream rap audiences, and the album's sales were considered a disappointment.
Less than a year later, Yo-Yo recorded and released a more commercial follow-up, 1993's You Better Ask Somebody. The album featured musical and lyrical styles more in line with the hip-hop climate of the era, including many references to guns and smoking marijuana. In an effort to distance herself from what some in the rap community saw as preaching positivity on her previous CD, Yo-Yo even dissed herself on the track They Shit Don't Stink by rapping, "I fell off, but now I'm back, cuz that Black Pearl shit was wack"
The final track on the album was her third recorded hip-hop duet with Ice Cube, The Bonnie And Clyde Theme. The track was actually a B-side on the album's first single, IBWin' Wit My Crewin, but ultimately it was the only song from the album to achieve substantial radio airplay.
Yo-Yo's next album was 1996's Total Control. In 1998, she finished her fifth and final album, Ebony, but it was not released; as such, it remains a highly sought-after bootleg by fans.