A Feminine touch: Females in the Rap Game
To say that the Hip-hop scene is a heavily male-dominated spectrum would no doubt be an understatement, and as difficult as it is for any rapper to become a successful artist, or even an up and coming underground phenomenon to make it in the big leagues, the odds are inevitably stacked that much higher against any female rapper looking to become a selling artist, regardless of race. Despite the difficulty, however, there is no denying the talent that lies therein. Some women have broken through the stereotypes, assumptions, gender related expectations and all other odds to come out on top and have their lioness roars heard above the pride. These sexy, fierce, feisty, edgy, and controversial women have and continue to dominate the rap game. But with the extreme face lift that the hip-hop world has undergone it’s become nearly unrecognizable and words like Barbie, ‘poppy’, suburban, international, eccentric, and ‘dancy’ are all words that can be used to describe some of the current generations emcees and the music their making. From artists like the ever controversial Lil Kim (lover her, hate her, or simply perplexed by her questionable and obsessive plastic surgery, she was definitely instrumental in helping to pave the way for female rappers), and heavy hitters like Queen Latifah, Foxy Brown and Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot to young and energetic women like Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azealia, M.I.A. and Azealia Banks that now dominate and represent the new face of female hip-hop. But the one continued trend that is absolutely positive no matter how you like your hip hop served is the fact that there are more and more females with varying and unique styles popping up and making a stand on the scene. Whether affirming their fierceness in a pair of Timbs or embracing their sexuality in a pair of 6, 7, 8 or whatever inch heels, these animals, hood barbies, and suburban gangsters are here to stay.
While on the topic of the changing face of hip-hop it’s important to mention the role that social media, namely YouTube, is playing in all of this. Take a gander through the often exciting, but mostly confusing, and sometimes horrifying world of YouTube and I guarantee you will be surprised with some of the female artists that are dominating social media right now and threatening to go mainstream; with record labels tripping over their own laces clamoring to be the first to sign whatever new and hot artist the kids are listening to. It’s no wonder how Mickey Mouse club artists like Kreayshawn are getting signed. (Silly money hording major record labels don’t you know our generation is fickle, and easily tire of trends like viral artists.) That’s not to say, however, that YouTube is all bad, the medium has definitely given many “talented” artists a platform as well. Up and coming females like tough N.Y.C native Angel Haze and intellectual lyricist K.Flay to name a couple.
In any case, if groups like South African rap duo Die Antwoord are any indication of where the rap movement is headed we are all in for some interesting and unpredictable surprises. As far as the role that females will continue to play in the MC fight club, this too is unpredictable, however it’s like a wise man, whose name currently escapes me once stated, “ If women weren't such b*tches to each other they could rule the world and subsequently the rap game”... I added in that last part but even still, truer words were never spoken.
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