Girl Power

Mina la Voilée is the literal definition of girl power! With not many female emcees in the scene in Senegal, she elevates new heights among many female rappers. Mina la Voilée serves as resistance music in a way since she speaks about important issues that affect women in Senegal such as gender inequality, the effects of patriarchy upon women, and also female empowerment. What makes Mina la Voilée very unique is that she is a Hijabi rapper, which is almost unheard of because in many Muslim communities, rap can be seen as taboo and is often forbidden.

Her song “Girl Power” (released in 2020) speaks to female empowerment and is upliftment and a positive affirmation for women, particularly women of color. Her song is sung mostly in Wolof, however, she does incorporate bits of English. The verses in her “Girl power gives victory to Mammi” and “I am a black queen” reinforces the ideas of feminism in music and also as a call to action for women to use their voices against the patriarchy in society and violence against women.

In Hip-Hop in Africa, Clark states that “even when women do not challenge gender oppressions directly in their music, they represent that challenge the moment they decide to be hip-hop artists” (Clark, 2018). Female emcees are unfortunately challenged by hypermasculinity, misogyny, and unequal opportunities given to them as opposed to their male counterparts. When they do emerge in the field, they serve as a representative of the underrepresented and as a living testament of girl power, regardless of whether or not they express these ideas in their music. This could be said in “Girl Power” when Mina acknowledges Senegalese rapper Sister Fa, a revolutionary artist in the early years of Senegalese rap. Her just being a female rapper alone and her music of course has served as a great influence and inspiration to many female emcees across the African diaspora. Along with this, the messages portrayed in their music are powerful within themselves. Their music brings awareness and upliftment of women’s voices to a larger platform.

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