The patriarchy has ingrained itself in all facets of society throughout cultures all over the world. Women from all backgrounds have been subject to overt oppression by their male counterparts unable to freely express themselves and have sovereignty over their lives and decisions. Although the patriarchy has long needed to be dismantled, women across the globe are taking charge of their narrative and forcing a shift to erupt. Amongst many of these freedom fighters are artists, sharing their work internationally in order to gain momentum in the battle against oppression. Within Africa there are many systems in place meant to silence and deter women from owning their power. Therefore, many female rappers have taken up the mantle to engage in lyrical destruction, revelation and exposure of how this system marginalizes women reducing us to mere counterparts to men. Within this mixtape I have collaborated a myriad of female rappers from across the continent that dedicate their music to such purposes. Through this mixtape these voices are brought to the forefront, and given the opportunity deserved to freely express the contempt towards the patriarchal hierarchy.
Grrrl Like-Dope Saint Jude
First up, Dope Saint Jude, a queer artist hailing from Capetown, South Africa. Jude has utilized her platform to speak out against the oppressive regime that has attempted to silence her voice and bring awareness to the intersectionality of women themselfves. Within the song, Grrrl Like, Jude exclaims that she it not a member of the other, but a girl just like everyone else. Throughout the lyrics Jude continues to repeat this one liner, strewn in between her raw verses she delivers an extremely complex message through a minimalist approach. The song itself has a great impact, but the music video brings to light the diverse background of African women. Within the video it is not littered with your typical cis gendered female, but a diverse cohort with varied sexual orientations. Jude is raising her middle finger up to the patriarchy, screaming for anyone to hear, that It will not place her in a box, but encourage her to fight back even harder.
Felukah is making waves through Egypt, as she unapolegtically reveals the many constructs within the society she was raised. Felukah is an extremely diverse artist as her songs range from party music to music with a greater political undertone. Within her song Daughter, Felukah reflects on the impact that her father leaving her had. Not only is this song a brave examination of her soul, Felukah also emphasizes that she is still a daughter to be proud of and this onemaple figure does not define her. A man does not define a woman, and with this song Felukah represents this very framework of thought. She states that she was “rebirth like shit” further connoting that, albeit a sad circumstance it did not deny Felukah the opportunity to rise to precipice of the rap game.
God is a Woman–Eno Baroney
Ghana has met its maker with the powerful verses produced by rapper Eno Baroney. There are no ceilings that she is not able to break as she ventures down a lyrical path founded on her embracing her multifaceted female identity. This song is extremely powerful as it refutes all notions that those in power must be man, one of the most historic being God. Within this song Eno rejects this linear line of thought and states, quite blatantly, that God is a woman. The verses within this song do not hold back as Eno weaponizes her music to make substantial change. Along with this Eno fully embraces her identity as a bisexual woman and incorporates this into the song. There is no room for complacency within these lyrics as the patriarchy has never taken a second thought to muffle the free thought of women. Eno fully embraces her platform speaking out for women from all backgrounds to know that God is indeed a woman.
Bint Mecca (Mecca Girl)–Asayel Slay
Bint Mecca is probably one of the most controversial songs selected for this playlist. Hailing from Saudi Arabia, Asayel Slay was imprisoned for the distribution of this song. Slayel takes it a step further as she not only criticizes the patriarchy itself, but the religious foundation that contributes to its prosperity. Within the song Slay critiques the subordinate position of woman within the Islamic community referencing how their beauty and appeal as a wife are what give them value within society. Although she raps the entire song in Arabic I included the music video with English lyrics within the playlist so that you have the full impact of the power behind her lyrics. The music video itself is a political outcry as many of the backup dancers within the video were not filmed wearing their hijab. Slay knew exactly what she was creating when she released this tape however, her fight for change and equality outweighed that of the conflicts.
My Body–Gigi Lamayne
Within the patriarchal structure one of the most tragic results is the destruction of the black female body. There are thousands of lives lost due to this archaic structure that does not honor woman the way it should. Gigi Lamayne, a rising star, in South Africa speaks out against the violence perpetrated upon women in her song My Body. Throughout the son Lamayne repeats the bar “My body is nobody’s but mine.” Unfortunately within any culture you encounter many females do not have sovereignty over their being and are therefore subject to atrocious acts of destruction place upon their body. Lamayne fights this narrative with a rallying cry that woman reclaim their body.
All of these artists constructively contribute to dismantling the patriarchy and bringing awareness to a system that for too long has outrun its demise.
Thank you for reading!
Check out the playlist in the youtube link above!