For over 40 years, Hip Hop has penetrated the music industry successfully. What started as a new era of musical style, musical genre, and a way for young black people to express themselves in the early 1980s, today has become revolutionary. Almost half a century old, there is still speculation and uncertainty of why there are still qualms about women in Hip Hop. Why is this genre still mostly populated and popularized by predominately males?
Today, it seems as if you are a female rapper or MC, you must look like society’s expectation of feminine, sell sex, or be considered a ‘bitch’ in the game to sell mainstream music. Why is that so? Male rappers can look any time of way, lie about what they’re rapping about, and or disrespect women and be considered the best rapper of all time. Something has to change, and I see it coming real soon.
Back in the day, as late as the 1990s when Hip-Hop transitioned from gansgta rap into, cool street, conscious and ‘artsy’ rap, women like Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill, Eve, Tha Brat, Left Eye, and Trina, just to name a few, were popular. Not only were they popular, alot of these women did collabos on each other’s songs without any problems. It used to be a sense of community or sense of love and unity among women in the 1990s and early 2000s in Hip-Hop. Today, this era of support for talented female rappers and a variety of female rappers has changed for the worse. Now, the music industry has a scarcity of female rappers in mainstream Hip-Hop. There are less female collaborations in Hip-Hop, and less freedom of female rappers selling more than just sex.
For the last six to seven years in Hip-Hop, there has been mostly one major female rapper in mainstream Hip-Hop on top, which is Nicki Minaj. Yes, we’ve had many female rappers come and go from mainstream Hip-Hop, but not a lot of them stay, and not a lot of them are received as just talented rappers. There are way too many exemplary female rappers that want to break into mainstream, but are stopped because they aren’t seen as “marketable” artists. It wasn’t until recently that we have female artists such as Dej Loaf and Tink, who are considered fashion icons based upon her unisex fashion, marketable. Executive Producer TIP, T.I., Harris teamed up a year and a half ago with TV network, Oxygen, and produced a Hip Hop show of emerging female rappers making their way into a male dominated industry, called Sisterhood of Hip-Hop.
Today is a new day, and millennials aren’t waiting around for acceptance. More female rappers are emerging onto the Hip-Hop scene everyday competing with their male counterparts. They’re showing male rappers and society that they don’t have to sell sex or be limited to previous expectations for female rappers to sell music. At the end of the day, female rappers are just rappers. Let’s not get caught up in the ideology of division and embrace talented beings.
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