In today’s hip hop landscape, women are usually the bodies before the camera rather than the emcees behind the mic—but it wasn’t always that way.

In the fledgling days of hip hop pioneering female artists such as MC Lyte, Missy Elliott, and Queen Latifah helped define and reshape the music. Some three decades after the birth of the genre, however, female emcees are few, with artists such as Nicki Minaj and Diamond holding the mic.

So why the paucity in female emcees? Does their meager presence signal the eventual disappearance of women’s role in hip hop?

On Aug. 30 BET Networks presents a documentary that promises to address those questions and others. My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women and Hip Hop offers an in-depth look into the past and present role of women in hip hop—how they have influenced the genre, how the genre have impacted them and the gender-specific differences in artistry, marketing, promotion and economics that mark the industry.

“This is a story that could not be told by one voice. It required a chorus. And although this story is comprehensive, it is still likely one of many truths about the role of women in hip-hop,” said Stephen Hill, president of Music Programming and Specials, in a statement.

In presenting its truth, the documentary features revealing interviews with journalists, executives, and rappers, including Missy Elliott, EVE, Trina, Rah Digga, MC Lyte, Yo Yo, Questlove; hip-hop moguls Jermaine Dupri, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and many more.

“My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women and Hip Hop” debuts Aug. 30 at 10 p.m. EST on BET. For more information, please visit