South Africa is known for having a strong female presence in the hip hop scene. This is especially true for 26 year old Fifi Cooper, who rose to the scene in 2010. But the work of Fifi Cooper has changed the once male dominated hip hop game. In May 2015, the music video “Kisses” by South African hip hop artist Fifi Cooper was uploaded to Youtube. The music video also features AB Crazy, another famous male, South Africa hip hop artist.
The music video opens with Fifi Cooper putting on lipstick, but then quickly cuts to scenes of her standing in front of a large group of girls. The camera angle and shot of this scene are arguably important. Traditionally, this type of shot is dominated by male figures. In particular, usually there is one male figure being focused on in the center of the shot with several other male figures behind him. Fifi Cooper’s use of all female figures for this type of shot accentuates her presence and gender, arguably showing her dominance in a usually dominated male scene. Additionally, the majority of the video is shot at a party-like scene. It is interesting to see all female figures drinking and partying, which once again breaks down traditionally male actions.
Another thing to take note of is the lyrics of the music video. Fifi Cooper is breaking down the norms in hip hop by discussing how as a female, she has sexual desires. This is seen in the opening lyrics “I like it when we touch like that, I like it wen we kiss like that, When we do it like that.” By paring such sexual lyrics with the imagery of the female dominated video, this illustrates how she is unafraid to reverse gender roles within hip hop. Fifi Cooper is an example of how the female presence in the hip hop scene in South Africa is strong, and it will be interesting to see how she will continue to change the norms of hip hop.