Sher certainly hesitated to speak out at the time of her alleged assault for myriad reasons, given the risk and burdens placed upon her, especially as a pioneer in the game. “You get ready to blow up somebody’s [spot] who is bringing people into the [spot]light and putting the food on a table. That would have been a disaster.”

As such, we can’t help but wonder about the ultimate sacrifice these women made to mitigate such a “disaster.” Toward the end of On the Record, writer-editor Kierna Mayo beautifully expressed something in a way that remained with me days after I watched my screener: What potential contributions did we miss out on in hip-hop from these women by silencing them?


Dixon took a line from Method Man’s interlude (“Shorty, I’m there for you; anytime you need me…”) and through her ideation of the concept of a “hip-hop sonnet,” she is now the reason we have the iconic “I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need” duet with Mary J. Blige. Abrams continued fighting against the dehumanization of black women—work certainly needed within the hip-hop space—and her voice toward media advocacy would’ve been beneficial at a major hip-hop label such as Def Jam. Sher is the founding member of the very first all-female hip-hop group, Mercedes Ladies. This is the “culture.” What do we do when we realize the culture has failed them?

On The Record is currently available to stream on HBO Max.

As noted in the footnote of the documentary, if you are a survivor of sexual harassment or assault and you need assistance, you can contact:


RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline


Black Women’s Blueprint Hotline


This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.