The Lack of Raw Female Hip Hop | By: Jazmine Abner

unnamedIn 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! rappers

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