The representation and presentation of women in hip-hop culture needed tremendous work. For years, hip-hop culture all over the planet has shunned and disregarded on the basis of gender. In the continent of Africa, women have not had the place to voice their opinions and talents as MC’s, and for so long have been forced to hide behind the shadows of a male dominated crowd and industry. In the United States, women have long been objectified by male MC’s in an effort to show off their bravado, masculinity, and accolades. “I’ve got the baddest chick,” or, “I’ve got broads in every city” have been used as a way of bragging in many traditional songs and rap lines. However, the year is now 2021. More and more, we are seeing brave and courageous women standing by all over the world, showcasing their talents and words to mass audiences. Even more so, women are breaking the grounds of a male dominated industry, and are coming out with empowerment. Hip-Hop is a platform to shed light upon voices and deep moments of truth, and as backlash, disregard, and oppression against the LGBTQ+ community all across the planet still is commonplace, the amazing people in hop-hop are spreading their wings to empower those who may feel othered. These 5 artists and 5 songs shed light upon their greatness, and showcase their embracing of femininity in a ferociously objectifying culture. These songs are by artists who are based both in different regions of the United States and different regions of South Africa. The tracks are as follows:
- Queen of This Shit by Quay Dash
- Grrrl like by Dope Saint Jude
- TraderJoe by JunglePussy
- My Body by Gigi Laymayne
- I’m a Star by Moozlie
Firstly, Queen of This Shit. Quay Dash is a transgender rapper based in New York. She is unapologetically luminous in her music, and does not hesitate to regard herself as the queen of New York. Her song, “Queen of this shit,” is a testament to her haters, those who may rebuke her – she assertively turns the other way, saying that she will do whatever she likes. This is really important. For too long, the LGBTQ+ community lived in fear for what they (the others) might think. A widely accepted cultural thing that we have taken in and adopted is that it is bad to be gay, and so it is something that is hidden, unable to be freely expressed in any one part of the globe. Quay Dash says fuck that shit.
And, so does Dope Saint Jude.
Her track, “Grrrl like” is groundbreaking in African rap. The same cultural boundaries also shroud the continent of Africa, and Dope Saint Jude is one of the pioneers of breaking down that hard-headed culture. Dope Saint Jude makes sure to supercharge womanhood and femininity. Through her unique rap flow, she states, “I’m a girl just like, I don’t give a fuck.” Dope Saint Jude is openly queer and is redefining gender norms and redefining what a women is supposed to do, how a woman is supposed to act, and who a woman is supposed to act.
Jungle Pussy’s Trader Joe also unapologetically tells about toxic masculinity and this notion that this industry has to be focused on this male domination. She asserts that it doesn’t. In this track, she essentially states that she has a man head over heels over her; however, she is aware of her self worth and is not at all persuaded by sub-par men. My Body by Gigi Lamayne is the ultimate hoorah to empower women all over the world. This track is a battle cry to let the whole world know that the norms will no longer be norms, and that women will assemble together to break the chains of masculine oppression. The similar goes for “I’m a Star” by Moozlie, as the South African MC declares her self worth and will not settle for anything she sees as less.
All of these songs are powerful; that is because these songs come from even more powerful, courageous, and groundbreaking women. Each artist effortlessly drives the push for equality, and an acknowledgment of the importance of femininity (something that many are ignorant of). These songs are fearless and show that there is growth and improvement in the sphere of hip-hop – that any one, no matter who they are, can exist on this platform to share the truth, unapologetically.