African women are often grossly misrepresented by the media and pop culture, the narratives established since colonialism often find their way into the way African
“Girl Power”, by Mina la Voilée, preaches tough feminism, women’s empowerment, and just an overall sense of badass rhymes and flow in a short but
This is the first in a special series of episodes being recorded lives with African Studies students at Howard University and George Washington University. The series is co-hosted with Words Beas & Life, who is also live-streaming the episodes on their Facebook page (facebok.com/wordsbeatslife) on Wednesday nights at 5pm EST. The schedule is on our website at hiphopafrican.com.
A part of the “born free” generation, Gigi Lamayne grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa after the fall of apartheid. She graduated from Wits University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and Anthropology in the midst of the #FeesMustFall movement. Rapping since high school, she released the powerful track “Fees Will Fall” just months after graduation. Considered one of South Africa’s best lyricists, her music addresses topics like Black pride, gender-based violence, feminism, sexism, and the shadiness within the music industry. We first interviewed Gigi Lamayne in 2017. She has continued to find mainstream success while addressing serious topics in some of her songs. In the conversation, she talks about her career, her views on the resilience and activism of South African women, race in South Africa, the relationships between women in the industry, and the stigmas and views around mental health in Africa.
The video version of this and other episodes are on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC43HnRR6MNq5DePBVKZZ7LQ
Dope Saint Jude is a South African hip hop artist who was born and raised Cape Town. A former Political Science student at the University of Cape Town, she started her hip hop career in 2011 as a drag king. Her drag king persona was Saint Dude, and resembled rapper Lil Wayne. After releasing several singles, Dope Saint Jude’s first EP, Reimagine, was released in 2016, Her second project, Resilient, was released in 2018. It included the song “Grrrl Like”, which opens this episode and has been one of her biggest hits. The song was also featured in the teaser for the Netflix original series Blood & Water https://youtu.be/OV9Ma4F_xyA. Dope Saint Jude has also performed at Afropunk, been featured in Vogue & Marie Claire, and been part of major advertising campaigns.
In this conversation we discuss the social relevance of her music. Well versed in the politics of intersectionality, Dope Saint Jude is very intentional in what she does. In her music she weaves intersecting identities into lyrics that challenge listeners to reconsider their ideas about who they think Black, Coloured, queer South African hip hop women should be.
You can find Dope Saint Jude’s music on streaming platforms. She is also online at dopesaintjude.com, twitter.com/DopeSaintJude, instagram.com/dopesaintjude, and youtube.com/channel/UCdGiyFXiSgtTCXu1AGUeK3A.
For more scholarship on Dope Saint Jude’s work:
Chapters 24 “Queering Hip Hop, queering the city: Dope Saint Jude’s transformative politics” by Adam Haupt and 29 “Building an international profile as an artist” by Dope Saint Jude, Blaq Pearl, Black Athena, Jean-Pierre, Lyrical Deezy with Emile YX? in Haupt, Adam, Williams, Quentin, Alim, Samy H., Jansen, Emile. (2019).
Clark, Msia Kibona. (2018). Feminisms in African hip hop. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 17 (2), 383-400.
Please click here to access the playlist. As noted in our class discussions and reading materials, African women have faced many challenges in the hip-hop
Toussa Senerap—who’s name is a play on the French “Tous ça,” or “everything,” and an agglomeration of Senegal and Rap—plays an interesting consciousness in her