Switching The Game Up….Trae Yung

Trae Yung is a female rapper/mc who hails from Zimbabwe’s capital of Harare. This Female MC is not one to be reckon with. Her rap  is about everything,life issues such as the problems people face everyday. She doesn’t just rap about life problems but about love,street life,just life in general. Continue reading “Switching The Game Up….Trae Yung”

F E M A L E

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”

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”

Toussa, or all-inclusive

Who is Astou Gaye, and how did she set the contemporary precedent for aspiring female rappers in the banlieus surrounding Dakar?

Better known by her stage name Toussa Senerap, Astou began her career calling out a highly-patriarchal Senegalese culture that withholds respect for women in both marriage and the hip-hop industry. There is no questioning Astou’s commitment to overturning society’s status-quo: her first experience with rap was in 50 Cent’s international banger, “In da Club” – a testament to selling drugs and pimping women that Astou transformed into a struggle for women’s emancipation. Continue reading “Toussa, or all-inclusive”

A Lady, a Miss, a Feminine Touch to Hip Hop

If I were to tell you “there are women in hip hop” you wouldn’t hesitate to tell me that you already knew that. For years, women have been making names for themselves in the male dominated field of hip hop through their lyrics, looks, presence, and persistence. Today we’re looking at some femcees (female emcees) that are taking the genre and making it their home. Lady Leshurr is a hip hop artist from the UK who has been  coming out with mix tapes since 2009 and is most known for her Queen’s Speech rap videos.

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Her lyrics are clever, silly, and most of all memorable. In her 2016 song/video Where Are You Now?, Lady Leshurr immediately sets the mood with loud brass ensemble that plays an upbeat, “aww shit” type of tone as the camera moves from showing us the colorful walls of a room to seeing Lady Leshurr in a bright red and yellow oversized crewneck sweater looking very nonchalant. She begins speaking in her accent about how all the people she has been apparently suppose to see and how they have all of a sudden “disappeared”.  The whole song is about people who have treated her like she’d never succeed in the business but now she’s making it pretty big and all those people have seemed to of shut up. Lady Leshurr in this video (and all of her others) is all about the lyrics, upbeat tempo, and flow. throughout the entire video you see her in comfortable and cute outfits but nothing that evokes the idea of sex or distracts you from the lyrics. She makes the song just an all-around fun experience from beginning to end. One thing that also stood out was that despite having a male rapper be featured in the song, he doesn’t appear in the video. There could be many reasons this didn’t happen but I like to think it was purely because Lady Leshurr never has a man in her videos. This speaks volumes to me as a way of saying that a man can collaborate with her but at the end of the day people should want to experience her content as hers. If you came for Lady Leshurr then that’s what you’ll get!

This ties into our other femcee: Miss Celaneous. A lesser known rapper from South Africa. In her 2015 song/video #TRAPEM, she has the same feel as Lady Leshurr in her independence as a female rapper but the difference is the tone and the message that is being told.

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It clear to the listeners that Miss Celaneous wants to be seen as versatile with lyrics like

they think I’m rude, they think I’m a dude

He never thinks that when I’m sending my nudes

I’m poorly misunderstood

actually I’m not, they just can’t handle the truth

Miss Celaneous shows the two sides of her that has managed to make people either love her or hate her. She’s naughty, she’s nice, she’s miscellaneous… uh, sorry, Miss Celaneous. Both of these artist use their lyrics instead of their bodies to define themselves. A lot of the times it seems that in order to make it as a female in a male-dominated field of hip hop, you have to talk about sex, show yourself in a sexual way, or both but these ladies it shows that you don’t have to. Femcees of today are still struggling to be taken seriously but with women like Lady Leshurr and Miss Celaneous out here, it’s only a matter of time!

Female Sexuality in Hip-Hop, Is It Still A Taboo?

When it comes to being one of the hottest female rap artists in the game, you have to go hard or go home. Queens born rap artist, Nicki Minaj, knows that all too well and living in this day an age, sex sells in almost every piece of work. Rather it be in forms of fashion, hair, you name it, sex is everywhere. And let’s not forget that she is a beautiful, young woman with a beautiful body to match her lyrical talent so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when she released an explicit visual video to her hit song “Anaconda” in which she raps about her experience with guys she has been with in the past. While the video is rather provocative with women surrounding Nicki in short panty like undergarments and skin tight clothing with their behinds hanging out, the video also celebrates sexually attractive women.

Some viewers may feel a little off guard because they are uncomfortable speaking out about sex and don’t understand what it’s like to be sexually liberated and free to express oneself in such matter. In one of the scenes of the video, Nicki is in the kitchen cutting bananas and then proceeds to put a whole one in her mouth, symbolizing that she’s comfortable with her sexual openness and that being sexual with the banana means that she possess some type female power. Earlier this week I read some content that mentions Nicki Minaj as someone who markets herself as a “sexual entrepreneur” because sex is embossed in almost all of her work. And given her outgoing personality and the general audience that she appeals too, Nicki Minaj may not come out and say the song is about sex because at the end of the day it’s all about perception and we the viewers may get a total different message than what she intended to give out.

Inside and Out

The moment I heard Gigi LaMayne’s “Fees Will Fall” another well-known female rapper came to mind. Hailing from the U.S is Angel Haze, who’s image and flow I was reminded of when I watched LaMayne’s video. Both artists give off this masculine-feminine vibe. In Fees Will Fall you can see LaMayne wearing what appears to be a sequined dress, with her hair in a bun and wearing make-up, what is deemed to be a feminine appearance. However, her flow and delivery is hard and she uses “masculine” hand gestures to get her point across. In Angel Haze’s video for “Werkin Girls” you can see similar aspects. Haze is dressed in pants and a crop top, with her hair long and straight and makeup. All of these details giving Haze a feminine feel, however, when she starts to rap the way she delivers her bars and the hand motions make Haze appear hard and more like her male counterparts in the game. Not only that but what she says has a manly appeal, especially when she makes references to her bitches and talks about males turning into bitches, insinuating that these males are exhibiting “female” behavior. Both videos are also in very muted color, LaMayne’s being in complete black and white. This gives both videos a very stoic and cold feel to them. One of the only major differences between the two femcees is the messages behind the videos. In “Fees Will Fall” LaMayne’s purpose is to bring awareness to being who you are and claiming your freedom. It is positive and political, touching on how “they” (the government or possibly white America) put on a front and act as though they understand what black America has been through. In “Werkin Girls” the main message Haze is trying to deliver is that she is all about her money and that she is not one to be played with nor underestimated. Although both artists are spreading different messages in these particular videos, they both exhibit being “inside” and also “outside” the box.

Corazon vs. Pills and Potions

  The two videos I chose to focus on for this comparison are “Corazon” by South African artist Rouge and “Pills and Potions” by American artist Nicki Minaj. I will not be comparing rap styles because these two artists are completely different and are at different points in their career I will just be speaking on the videos. Both videos were very simple and both were released in 2015.

            Rouge is a South African artist who raps in English. Her video for “Corazon” was very simple. There were only three people who appeared in the entire video; Rouge, , and a girl dancing. The video consisted of Rouge rapping with a plain background that switched between black, red, and white. The only objects in the video were a couch and a few balloons. The song was upbeat and had a bit of a techno feel and it sounded very American.

Nicki Minaj is the biggest female rapper in the United States. Her video for “Pills and Potions”, unlike the rest of her videos, was actually very simple. The video consists of Nicki rapping alone in front of plain backgrounds that are different colors. The only two people in this video are Nicki and the Game who was the male model in this video. The video was very simple and plain with her as the center focus.

  Both video were very simple with simple concepts. The outfits worn by both women were simple and there were minimal props in each video, with the artists as the center of attention. I liked both videos and songs. Both women have unique styles of artistry. The videos were simple yet attention grabbing and enticing. Both artists have very different styles and sounds but the videos for these two songs were surprisingly very similar in concept and execution.