Sixty-one years ago when Motown Records was created, it brought forth a unique sound that helped shape American music and history, as it launched the music careers of countless legendary artists. One of the most successful record labels of all time, it nurtured the artistic talents of singers and producers like Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, and many others, all of whom have had trailblazing lives and careers to this day.
However, some had their careers cut too short while they were on the verge of success. LaTasha Sheron Rogers, better known as MC Trouble, became Motown Record’s first female rapper around the age of 18 but she passed away too soon by a brain tumor. MC Trouble died in her sleep, suffering an epileptic seizure brought on by complications from a pre-diagnosed brain tumor, according to media reports.
Very few people inside or outside the Motown family knew of her condition, as she kept her health issues to herself and continued to record and perform as often as she could. Many believe that had she lived, she would have been placed among Hip Hop’s elite and taken over the industry with her lyrical prowess.
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MC Trouble joined Motown in 1990 when the soundtrack in urban culture was Swingbeat, a fusion of R&B, Hip Hop, and Funk. MC Trouble could rap, sing and dance, and ultimately produced or co-produced all her songs. Indeed, she wrote, arranged, and produced her first and only album entitled “Gotta Get a Grip” (1990), which birthed the minor hit single “(I Wanna) Make You Mine” with R&B trio The Good Girls.
The single, released May 25, 1990, reached #15 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart at the time.
The Los Angeles native also earned acclaim with local hits “Highroller’s Girl” and “Can’t Get Enough,”, which would appear on the What Does It All Mean (1989) Motown compilation with Greg Mack of KDAY 1580 fame.
In features, she is remembered for the EP / 12″ single entitled Highroller’s Girl (1989), and her splendid guest performance on Jazzie Redd’s “Think,” from his album entitled Spice of Life (1990).
As a biography of the rap goddess by mctroublefans.com states: “Trouble’s lyrics were remarkably pointed and aggressive. They distinguished her from her contemporaries and paired her with the likes of Rhyme $yndicate, a hip hop collective with ties to rapper and actor Ice-T.”
Sadly, a brain tumor would end her life, at a time she was producing her second album. MC Trouble’s death on June 4, 1991, shook the Hip Hop community, and a host of tributes from stars followed.
Indeed, Nefertiti paid tribute to MC Trouble in her song, “Trouble in Paradise” and Phife Dawg, of A Tribe Called Quest, did the same in the single “Vibes and Stuff” from The Low End Theory. Boyz II Men also dedicated the music video of their song, “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday,” to MC Trouble and P.E.A.C.E. of Freestyle Fellowship sent a shout-out to her in their song “Dedication.”
What is more, Motown, which had even been antipathetic to the genre of Hip Hop when it signed its first female rapper, released a series of singles on MC Trouble and commissioned a follow-up album that she had been working on at the time of her death.
Joyce Tolbert from the 80s/90s group The Good Girls shared with UB Today on what it was like to perform with MC Trouble: “I loved performing on stage with her. I could watch the crowd and have fun, I [really] love, love it and my favorite was performing with her.”
“She was a beautiful soul and a superstar she would have been an active person, in the community a very strong young woman with a vision in mind. Trouble would have created some positive movement within our youth and our communities and schools through music and her voice,” Tolbert said.
Check out MC Trouble’s music videos below and let us know your favorites: