Student Project: Women in Hip Hop

Check out the newest episode of our podcast discussing the differences of female rappers in American and African society.

Check out the newest episode of our podcast discussing the differences of female rappers in American and African society.

5 thoughts on “Student Project: Women in Hip Hop”

  1. This is a pretty cool analysis, but to a certain extent I think it’s also reductionist.

    Like I can’t speak for the artists on a personal level cause I donno all their stories whilst it’s true to a certain extent that American female rappers are more sexually expressive and that Africa could be behind in that department, to imply that all African female rappers aspire to the same sort of American rap freedoms is misleading.

    Not everyone wants to deal with sexual vixen rappers 24/7. Sometimes conscious rap is what’s needed no Nicki or Kim gimics and not mimicking their style either.

    Contextually I look at it from the point of view that SA and african female rap in general is just taking off in a big way only now so it’s not that they don’t want to reach out to audiences that side, but rather they still have a huge untapped market on the continent that’s still got a ways to go.

    A lot of the female rap struggle seems to stem from the need to be popular for something outside of the rap. With guys the work speaks for itself with women, as u highlighted there’s something in addition to the rap that gets them the popularity boost they need e.g Kim with the sexual lyrics, Nicki with the sexy dances, Missy with the baggy clothing not really dressing like a man, Lady of Rage with her afro puffs, eve with the paw print tattoos on her boobs etc, the pattern is still similar even today for up and coming artists. But in Africa whilst there is a strong pressure from record labels for artists to play into that westernized sex appeal appearance, the difference in lyrical content can’t simply be explained by social expectations, especially if the argument is that across the world female rappers are basically pushing against the status quo.

    Here a lot more factors go into that popularity element. It’s a combination of who you know, the circles that can hype you up (the more interesting u are on social media the more people hype u up before they even know what u do, lol that’s how I discovered Gigi Lamayne), the access to industry, as well as the look and the lyrical content. Not saying Gigi hasn’t worked hard for it all, cause she definitely has – she is one of the female rappers I can definitely say brought like an emphasis to the need for high quality music videos for female artists etc.

    But the way this industry is so “new” in SA, compared to America where female rap is more established even though you could say it’s got a much smaller reach than it probably should have due to the male dominance of the industry globally, is also a major reason for the differences in the female rap game. Not saying that artists in america don’t face the same challenges in terms of access to industry, but rather something from America will always be quicker to reach Africa and successfully take off, rather than visa versa cause American culture and things basically decide what’s hot and what’s not.

    Here again, it goes back to just the contrast in music industries in general. American musicians have just started to hype up African musicians as a result America is only taking African music more seriously now and therefore only more aware of it now. Whilst places like Germany etc have been enjoying South African bands etc for a long time without the same exposure.

    I hope I’m making sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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