Nigerian rapper Saeon Moruda was interviewed on TVC Breakfast earlier this month (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY8rPYgPdYY&feature=youtu.be&a). The reporters noted that she was set to dominate in a male dominated genre, yet proceeded to ask her incredibly sexist questions throughout her interview and interrupt her several times while she attempted to answer. Early on in Saeon’s interview, one of the reporters asked her why she chose to pursue rap, “when many females would rather do normal vocals…because your music seems to be hardcore hip hop”. Saeon was not phased by the degrading tone of the reporter, and proceeded to answer the question by explaining that her shift from pop music to rap was motivated by those who kept telling her how she should sound, as opposed to being able to find her own voice.
In her interview, Saeon noted that she does not see gender, and therefore does not refer to herself as a “FemC”, but as a Mic Checker because she is constantly proving herself alongside male rappers. Saeon’s defiant nature, is evident throughout her music video for #Ali (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMN8aPQAZTE). The entire music video is shot and black and white, and consists of gritty footage of Festac Town, Lagos State. Occasionally, Maduro wears a grill while she raps- an accessory seen as tailored towards men especially after Nelly’s popular song “Grillz”.
During a majority of the video, Saeon clutches a rosary and raps about her commitment to God, rapping “in God I be trusted”. Saeon spends most of the video wearing an all white baggy ensemble, while a crew of guys follows her as she raps in the streets. This imagery supports her wish to be seen as equivalent to male rappers, therefore showing she will not be catering to the male gaze with tight, feminine clothing. As Haupt wrote in his scholarly article, rap has “predominantly been male and heteronormative”. Saeon Moruda smashes this tradition with her line, “I’m taking all of your bitches / I don’t be waiting on no one I make all my rules so they call me Moruda”. I am excited to see where Saeon goes in the industry, and I will be closely following her career.