In the mid-80s Queensbridge’s own Roxanne Shanté became the teenage poster child for female rap. Her collaboration with the infamous Marly Mar on her diss track “Roxanne’s Revenge” set the pace for battle rap. The track was laced with profanity and confrontational lyrics, but it became an instant hit in NYC. In 1988, MC Lyte’s “Lyte as a Rock” made her the first female solo rapper to drop an album. Soon after, femme fetale acts like Queen Latifah, Salt n Peppa and Ms. Melodie took the stage as femcees. Females never had a prominent presence in hip hop, however the ones that did, were accepted for standing for something with their own styles.
The 90s marked the age of raunchy female rap with the exception of the eccentrics like Missy Elliot and The Brat. Lil Kim, Foxy Brown and Eve used their sexual appeal to get their messages across. At this time, hip hop was extremely male dominated and hyper-masculine. These ladies adapted and used these constructs to their advantage.They were strong, sexy, and just as talented as their male counterparts. Unfortunately, none of these women reached heights that they deserved. Why? What was the missing element?
Media outlets run the world and femcees do not get the same amount of coverage as male rappers resulting in a smaller fan base. With the omission of Nicki Minaj, whom I believe deserved woman of the year award and hardest working woman in entertainment. She has managed to be a sexy lyricist but I wouldn’t say she’s a raw female rap act because a lot of her success is a direct result of her pop ventures.
Despite the excellent music being conceived, femcees face major challenges when trying to become popular in a misogynistic industry. Appearance is the main attribute a female can bring to the hip hop table and very few become popular without emphasis on their sexuality. Femcees have become objects of male fantasies making it difficult for society to view them as credible artists. The history of femceeing also gives the impression that there can only be one successful femcee at a time. This notion makes female rappers view each other as enemies as opposed to colleagues. Due to these elements in addition to the dreaded biological clock that all women face, the career of a femcees is half that of a male rapper. Therefore, the explanation behind the lack of raw female rap acts can be the result of many different things.
One can’t gain media coverage without less bodily coverage. Less body coverage only makes sense if you’re rapping about a promiscuous lifestyle so throw away that conscience, you must begin under a popular male dominated camp to get noticed, not a female one because she’s your competition and there’s only room for one. Oh! but please have a dope flow and bars that you’ve written or you’ll get dragged, poor Iggy. You’ve got about 10 years to get to Jay Z’s level if you really want a family and if not, make sure you stay young and fresh because once the age shows the fans don’t. It’s amazing to think about how stressed out the femcee must be!
Photo Credit: Twitter.com/Synchrkj
For years, we as a people have witnessed how many are horribly beaten, brutalized and sometimes killed by the hands of police officers and they are not facing the justice that they deserve. One of the most horrific memories of police brutality dates back to the Rodney King beating by four white police officers, that left him deaf in one ear, with broken bones,and physical, mental and emotional scars that followed him until his sudden death in 2012.
Police Brutality has become a tragic, recurring factor in society today Although we are growing up in the age of technology and social media, it just doesn’t seem like it is enough to put an end to this misuse of power. There are many people who are tired of police walking away red-handed, so to help spread the word about putting an end to police brutality, three publishers came together and made APB:Artists against Police Brutality.
The concept of APB came about shortly after the four cops in the Eric Garner murder case was not going to stand trial. Publishers Bill Campbell, Jason Rodriguez, and John Jennings, who were outraged and appalled by the verdict, as was most of America, the trio decided that something had to be done. Collectively the three gentlemen put together a series of different pieces from artists, writers, scholars all across America in the form of short essays, comics, pin-up, etc to get a sense of perspective on this police brutality crisis. According to Mr. Campbell, “It was not assembled in the hopes of somehow changing the world; sometimes, artists just have to do something. This charity comics anthology (the proceeds go to the Innocence Project) is the end result of these talented people’s anger and frustration and concern and love for their fellow human beings.”
Photo Cred: Thefreethoughtproject.com
His colored arms held up high.
Praying to God that his life won’t be snatched from him like his brothers and sisters.
Their index fingers on the trigger.
Itching to take the soul out of his heart,
when their hearts are as cold as the guns in their hands.
Seeping through the holes shot into the community.
Family homes raided.
Ak 47 pointed at kids only 4 and 7.
In another country it’s used to fight against terrorism,
But in this country it’s used to impose terror.
With every life taken goes a mind so rich and powerful to move the nations.
Our next cure for cancer is now 6 feet under.
Our next prophet is now mute in a hospital.
Our future was afraid to stand up for themselves.
With every act of brutality adds another voice to the voiceless.
With every act of brutality adds another reason to fight.
His arms were held up high,
And his voice was silenced.
We are hand in hand,
And our voices will be heard.