Posted in South Africa, Student Projects

Female MC Takeover: Lady Leshurr’s “Queen’s Speech Ep. 4” and Dope Saint Jude’s “Realtalk”

English rapper, singer, and producer, Lady Leshurr’s style is one that immediately resonates with listeners on a lyrical level because of her ability to reference popular culture and rhyme simultaneously. The first line in her song, “Queen’s Speech Ep. 4” is the following, “I hold it down like a snapchat.” She is able to significantly connect to young adults all over the world that use Snapchat, because those youth know that in order to record a video on snapchat, one must hold his or her finger down on the screen. This is a small and simple reference, but, Leshurr continues this style on a very impressively high level. Following this very first line, nearly every line after has a similar reference to popular culture; including but not limited to the following: current news, makeup trends, and popular celebrities. Stylistically, the music video features Leshurr cuising the roads in street fashion while confidently addressing the camera.

The way Lady Leshurr walks, dances, and even raps displays her strong sense of confidence – which is essential in being a popular FeMC. s these titles of confidence, swagger, and cockiness were primarily only attributed to male rappers in the past, Lady Leshurr brings attention to the current state of hip hip and the ability of women to command through their rapping style.

A FeMC of South Africa, Dope Saint Jude, similarly does the same in her video, “Realtalk”. A remix of  YG’s “My N***a”, Jude raps over his hard beat and not only shows strong visuals that defy gender roles and norms, but even expresses herself and her sexuality (that also strays from the “norm” or average straight person).

In the video, Dope Saint Jude shows off shirtless men in the background, similar to the way male rappers often show off their “women” with little clothing in the background of their music videos. This reverses and flips the gender roles normally attributed to rap music, and negates the norms of them, therefore creating a new style. Jude is so original because she is not afraid of contradicting the stereotypes portrayed by rap music of the past (and present). Her line that reads as, “And I have five boys, and they all my side b*tches” only adds to this negation of the norms in rap, and is a testament to her ability to be original and break down the gender roles so strongly upheld by society around the world.

Author:

Gabrielle Oliver is a Junior English Major, Japanese Minor from Silver Spring, Maryland. Instagram: @rabbi_gabbeye

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