An Introduction to the Feminine Energy in Africa’s Hip Hop Scene

Women across the African diaspora are reclaiming themselves through their work in hip hop music. The rappers are choosing to express themselves openly and freely. Whether they are openly explicit in expressing their  sexuality or being braggadocious about their multiplicities as a woman and MC. One thing all artists have in common is that they represent a historical time of feminine energy in hip hop by being so open and free in their artistry.

For a while, the placement of women in the hip hop industry put women into two categories. They were either a sex symbol or to “sell sex” and the alternative was to be conscious and erase sexuality out of the image. That was standard in hip hop in the United States and across the diaspora. In the new era there is space for intersectionality, where female MCs embrace their sexuality as well as a message of empowerment to other women.  Many of the female rappers across the African diaspora are rejecting the double standards and the oppressive system of patriarchy and are displaying these messages in their lyrics and imagery. 

To keep you all informed on women across the diaspora with unique voices in hip hop. I have composed a mixtape that will introduce you to Africa’s feminine energy hip hop. 

Sampa the Great: 

As stated in a previous post, I am a fan of Sampa The Great! She is the epitome of powerful female energy that is taking place in the world of Hip Hop today. Sampa was born in Botswana and raised in Zambia, and is  a hip hop artist a part of the African diaspora. When Sampa The Great raps you want to listen to the message she is trying to get across. Some of the topics discussed in her work include self love, honoring your roots, and pro Africaness.  Her visual content is constructed outside of western images of beauty and the audience will typically see this while viewing her visual content. 

In Sampa’s song “Energy” Sampa The Great raps the lyrics “If I ruled the world, money stacks for all my daughters, Never asked for payment in the womb times 9, Now we see the blood on the streets times’ trying, Feminine energy, Balance up the indestructible” This is the reason for the title of the mix

Another african diasporic artist that was introduced during the course of this class was Sa-Roc. 

Sa-Roc: 

Sa-Roc  is a rapper of the diaspora from Southeast, Washington DC. She centers on themes focused on women empowerment. Sa Roc has especially made an emphasis on self love. She advocates for peace within herself and for women to accept their flaws and all. In he 2018’s “Forever,” she is open as she raps about turning her pain into art. In Forever she raps

” You betta shine on em baby, you a star. You betta.
Be exactly who you are-Forever.
Cuz they gon try and change your heart. Don’t let up.
Cuz You so damn fine, just the way you are.
You betta shine on em baby, you a star. You betta.
Be exactly who you are-Forever.
Cuz they gon try and change your heart. Don’t let up.
Cuz You so damn fine, just the way you are.”

Sa Roc aspires to use her platform as a rapper to to inspire other women to overcome and reject the societal standards of beauty that are placed on women. Sa Roc is one of many women across the diaspora using their platform to empower women.

Fifi Cooper: 

Fifi Cooper also known as Refilwe Boingotlo Mooketsi is an award-winning hip hop artist from South Africa. She originally started her career as an R&B singer, and is considered as the “The First Lady of Motswako” in her hometown.

This section will cover a video Fifi Cooper created in 2015, to raise awareness to take a stance against hate crimes against women and rape culture. Cooper encourages women to speak up, and emphasizes women’s right over to freedom over their bodies. In the video you can see people holding signs saying “Stop Femicide”, which means the wrongful killing of women/girls.

Rouge:

Rouge also known as Deko Barbara-Jessica Wedi, as woman of new era of hip hop. She’s confident, braggadocios, and is a skilled MC that demands respect from her male counterparts. Rouge is also of Congolese heritage from Pretoria.

In 2017, Rouge has won “Best Female Rapper” at the South African Hip Hop Awards for her album The New Era Sessions. Her style can be described similar to US southern trap with an intersection of contemporary beats. In this video Rouge teams up with rapper Moozlie for her 2016 song “Mbongo”.

This song is an anthem for women demanding equal pay without being exploited in the process. Rouge raps “I’m just tryna get paid”” Head on track, I ain’t got to wave, My rap not local, I’m overseas. Tryna be a mogul and get the G’s, But you tryna tell me I can only get it on my knees”.

Dope Saint Jude: 

Catherine St Jude also known as Dope Saint Jude name says it all! She’s dope, bold and rejects the societal standards of respectability politics towards women. Some of Dope of Saint Jude’s themes she tackles in art are advocating for equality in social, political, gender equality. Dope Saint Jude comes from Cape Town, South Africa. She is one of hip hop’s and South Africa’s rebel and revolutionaries for being openly queer and starting first drag-king group. She is a feminist activist that displays this energy throughout her artwork.

Get a taste of the feminine energy with the mixtape below : 

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