The state of rap music has changed since its creation in the 1970s. Starting in Bronx, New York rap was always seen as an underground subculture that deviated from the social norms and patterns of the dominant culture. It was here that the expressions of young Black and Hispanic men were freely expressed and not criticized. Rap music is a cultural art form that consists of four elements: deejaying, break dancing, rapping, and graffiti. Having its historical roots in ancient African culture traditions, rap music can also be traced to countries that were part of the African diaspora. And even though rap music was a means of civil disobedience against the “Man”, uniting all those who felt indifferent about the system in which they lived in it is not a fully inclusive culture. I feel as though we still objectify and under value our femcees by constantly undermining their skills and giving them less room for creative freedom.
The success of femcees as we’ve seen with the success of artists such as Missy Elliot and Nicki Minaj has relied on the use of their sexuality. Missy expresses her sexuality through her lyrics for example, the first verse to one of her most notable songs Work it :
I’d like to get to know ya so I could show ya Put the pussy on ya like I told ya
Gimme all your numbers so I could phone ya
Your girl actin’ stank then call me over
While Nicki expresses her sexuality through both her lyrics as well as her image as we’ve seen in her song Anaconda where she says:
This dude named Michael used to ride motorcycles Dick bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking ’bout Eiffel’s Real country-ass nigga, let me play with his rifle Pussy put his ass to sleep, now he calling me NyQuil
While most femcees are objectified by their labels in an attempt to boost their sales Nicki has embraced her sexuality and uses a tactic known as self-objectification. Where instead of letting her label be the ones to push her sexuality to the forefront she embraces her sexuality and in an essence objectifies herself. Im not saying that the rap industry should be dominated by femcees but its time that we let them take control of their own sexuality and stop belittling their presence in the game.