How does an Under Armour commercial display the full potentiality of feminine athleticism and power? They could set the whole video to a Sampa the Great song, for one.

A Zambian-born, Botswanan-raised artist with a point to prove, Sampa the Great has distinguished herself as not only one of Africa’s great female MCs, but one of the world’s great MCs— female or not— and her music serves to support this claim. Embracing the role of feminist inspiration and all-around skilled MC, Sampa the Great’s F E M A L E possesses a powerful and uplifting message about the power of women around the world. Its lines acknowledge just how much respect women deserve in a society that constantly allows accomplished females to go unrecognized. She also mentions the power in African women, and the importance of recognizing our roots and how they contribute to our strength. She mentions the power of women struggling economically, the power of women fighting everyday to reach their goals, and the power of women to get out and continue to achieve more. Continue reading “F E M A L E”

Defying the Norm

Born Mabel Oine Alubo, 24 year-old Bella Alubo is an up and coming Nigerian artist.  Bella signed with Tinny Entertainment in December of 2016, after being recognized for a cover of Kanye West’s song ‘Therapy,’ and has features with mainstream artists like YCee.

While being branded as Pop, Afrobeat, and Hip Hop, Bella reinforced her Hip Hop standing late last year in a cover of Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow.’ While this cover only has 6,000 views, compared to her pop and afrobeat videos that have over 100,000, she uses this platform to show her lyrical abilities.   Continue reading “Defying the Norm”

Everything’s Going to be Alright

Last year when upcoming Nigerian artist Saeon Moruda decided to bring on fellow Nigerian artist, she created a form of protest music that spoke to the state at large.  In the single #Aii (Remix) they tell the people at whole that everything is going to be alright.

With artists YCee, Vector, Iceberg Slim, and Terry Apala, they addressed the dwindling political state of Nigeria, along with the hardships they have faced as rappers within the Nigerian community.  It speaks as a form of protest music because it tells the people that they’re going to be alright, and points out the flaws within the government, but doesn’t call for the people to act out against the government. Continue reading “Everything’s Going to be Alright”

Liberian Femcee Diamond Chanel Rebels Against Gender Norms

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It is not a great surprise that there aren’t many Liberian Femcees with a platform as compared to their male counterparts; after all hip hop is male a dominated genre. Many Liberian female rappers fear not being taken seriously or being seen as “valid” in the eyes of male emcees. The sad reality of this is correlated to the stereotypes about women that society perpetuates.  

In almost every culture, women are ether oversexualized and treated as sex objects, or they are forced into a shell that prevents them from being sexual beings in the same way that men are. Unfortunately, women who rebel against these gender norms are heavily ostracized. Continue reading “Liberian Femcee Diamond Chanel Rebels Against Gender Norms”

Patriarchy No Worry Me

The patriarchal influence of marketing music sales leaves Askia unfettered. Her style in this music video is a mixture of aggression, pride, and bravery that reflects the persistence to overcome gender discriminatory constraints women face in society. In a music industry dominated by men, such that it is rare for female rappers to gain the same recognition and popularity as male rappers, Askia flips the status quo by projecting herself and her crew as artists unperturbed by the systemic limits presented by patriarchal culture. Her aggression and flow make up the confidence that translates to No Worry Me. Continue reading “Patriarchy No Worry Me”

Dakar’s Female MCs and the Power of the Cyp(her)

In a hip-hop scene as developed and competitive as Senegal’s, the cypher continues to act as a platform by which talented, young rappers make their debut. The fast-paced intensity of a hip-hop cypher is the perfect way for new artists on the scene to prove to their worth to the public. And in a society where women must give it their all to make an impression in the musical community, the cypher allows female MCs to show everyone that they are just as lyrically passionate and complex than their male counterparts— if not more. Continue reading “Dakar’s Female MCs and the Power of the Cyp(her)”

Bow Down to The Empress

On January 12 1992 the Limba tribe of Sierra Leone gained a great addition the Hip Hop community. Philka Tenneh Kamara, better known to her fans as Empress P, is one of the country’s best. Empress P started rapping in her early years to help spread her point to those who may or may not be educated about peace, survival, and hope.

Empress was fortunate to sign with REEMS entertainment which benefited her rap career incredibly. While working with them , Empress dropped many hits but the song that toped them all was “Feminine Era” .  Her 99 bars created a nationwide impact for female rap in general. Because she was able to produce so many hit songs, she was nominated over 5 times as best female hip hop rapper and over 3 times as best new artist. Continue reading “Bow Down to The Empress”

The Story of a Raptivst: Who Can Stop Me?

Although often marginalized and underappreciated, Yukka Shahin demonstrates that female Egyptian Hip-Hop artists are not a dying breed. The 26-year-old began rapping in 2010, around 18 years old, in the rap multicultural center of Alexandria, Egypt. Her early works served as a platform for self-discovery and expression, allowing herself to discuss issues concerning her personal life, but was soon overshadowed by the sometimes chaotic atmosphere she endured during the highly political Arab Spring. The Arab Spring is described as being “a revolutionary wave of both violent and non-violent demonstrations, protests, riots, coups, foreign interventions, and civil wars in North Africa and the Middle East that began on the 17th of December 2010…with the Tunisian Revolution.” The Arab Spring served as a catalyst for the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, commonly known as the Egyptian Crisis. The anti-government rallies presented themselves throughout Alexandria, where she resides, and Suez predominantly. Her personal involvement the tense and politicized environment that occurred before, during, and after the constraints of the crisis itself, as well as her involvement in support of the feminist movement (“highlighting the role of women in society and advocating for women’s rights”), inspired Shahin’s transition into the realm of raptivism. Continue reading “The Story of a Raptivst: Who Can Stop Me?”

Tonicah – “Dream Chasers”

Tonicah is an upcoming Kenyan-born hip-hop artist that has garnered recent fame with her single “Dream Chasers”. It is not unknown to anyone that the number of women in the hip hop industry, especially in Kenya, is not as high as the number of men in the industry. In hip hop videos we often see women as nothing more than props where their bodies are sexually objectified accessories. Tonicah not only sets herself apart with her casual style (as opposed to provocative clothing we see in men’s hip hop music videos), but with her socially conscious music influenced by poetry and jazz music.  Continue reading “Tonicah – “Dream Chasers””

Askia, Cameroon’s rising Femcee

Cameroon is the source of many formidable rappers in different ages, genders and backgrounds. Askia is among the ranks. Without much information known on her, she allows her music to speak for itself. Askia was first seen in mainstream rap in 2015. She released a wave of music and quickly generated a large fanbase. Based in the south west region of Cameroon, she is represented by Mutumbu records. Continue reading “Askia, Cameroon’s rising Femcee”