Throughout the hip-hop industry women are constantly fighting to come up on top, no matter what country or continent they are on. With the patriarchal structure, it is usually difficult for women to make music the way they would prefer or most resembles who they are because they fear it will not be received the same unless they conform to the structure. As a woman alone it is hard but imagine being a Black woman within the industry. Learning how to love themself in the real world and project it in their music is one issue they face because they are afraid to be judged. Trying to figure out who they are and how they want to present themselves to their audience is another issue in itself as well.
To find female artists who are capable of overcoming all the tribulations of the hip-hop industry nowadays is troublesome. Those who produce music based on their own experiences or personal understanding of the world around them. That is why the women placed on the mixtape below are seen as examples of artists who have not allowed the patriarchy in the hip-hop industry to get to them. Women who make authentic music based on what they know or have gone through.
Freda Rhymz: “Public Opinion”
The first song on the mixtape is, “Public Opinion,” by Freda Rhymz. Freda Rhymz is an artist from Sunyani, Ghana. In her song, Freda addresses how since she has been in the spotlight there are always people putting their two senses into what she does or makes music about. “Everyday Freda do this, okyena do that get off ma d*ck. Looking for millions, public opinions make me sick.” That line is from her chorus and it sets the tone for the entire song because she projects how she feels when people are constantly trying to tell her what to do and how she is tired of them trying to control her because they assume it will be easy to manipulate her just because she is a woman when that is not the case.
Freda makes sure that her listening audience can feel what she is going through. Her tone of voice has slight aggression with irritation which matches her lyrics quite perfectly.
Eno Barony: “Fear No Man”
The second song on the mixtape is, “Fear No Man,” by Eno Barony. Eno Barony is an artist from Tema, Ghana. Following suit of “Public Opinion,” Eno Barony’s song, “Fear No Man,” continues the perspective of how people have a lot to say about female artists, female rappers specifically. As mentioned in the song, people have said that Eno was “too weak” or that she rapped “too slow” to be in the industry trying to compete with men. She does not allow the critiques to get to her as she says that although men believe they are better rappers she still is capable of surpassing them and their music.
“The difference between and the highest be say… I wear a skirt. So he thinks I’m a boy in a girl’s dress.” Letting it be known that her rap skills are as up to par as any other man in the industry. She is so good at what she does that people cannot even tell the difference between the best rapper in the game and her.
ENNY: “Peng Black Girls”
The third song on the mixtape is, “Peng Black Girls,” by ENNY. ENNY is a Nigerian artist based in the United Kingdom. After getting past the patriarchy as mentioned before there is still the struggle of being a Black woman in the music industry. In ENNY’s song, she is reaching out to the Black ladies around the world. In her music video, it is seen that there are different types of Black girls featured as well as Black women in traditional cloth. Her mission was to tell Black girls that it is okay to be themselves and that they do not need to conform to social norms in order to fit in.
“And I said G, someone can fix you a plate, but no one can force you to eat.” This lyric specifically has stuck out, because it speaks out to how every day in society there are new forms or new social norms for Black women to follow and it is truly up to them to decide to fall into them or not.
Sampa The Great: “Final Form”
The last song on the mixtape is, “Final Form,” by Sampa The Great. Sampa The Great is a Zambian artist based in Australia. Her song brings a close to the mixtape because it is all about finally being able to accept who are you as a Black woman. Regardless of the patriarchy and her skin color, she is not ashamed of her music or who she is. The power and beauty of this song are not just in her lyrics but in her music video as well. The video is full of bright colors and people dancing, enjoying themselves in her local country.
“Greatness in me, you can’t make me feel less. Less hold, I’m not impressed. Beast mode, got my Afro like an empress.” After being able to accept herself, no one can tell her otherwise and that is what she wants her audience to do as well, accept themselves in a world that is consistently trying to bring them down. A powerful message and a great way to end the mixtape.