U.S. and South African Hip Hop Artists

Hip Hop is a male dominated field with very few women in the genre. Both the United States and South Africa are breaking grounds with more inclusion of women in hip hop and more encouragement as well. Female hip hop artists are using their voices to convey a message different from that of their male counterparts. They not only speak on community issues but also speak on their womanhood. South African female artist Gigi LaMayne uses her voice in her song “Fees Will Fall” to raise awareness on the issues affecting her community. United States artist Nicki Minaj uses her voice in her song “Fly” featuring Rihanna to reinforce a positive messaging of being able to overcome any obstacle. Both women push aside the standard of the woman in hip hop, overly sexual in their videos and content, in their songs and act outside the box to create songs with a message.

In “Fees Will Fall,” Gigi LaMayne is making a political statement with her song whereas in “Fly” Nicki Minaj is discussing escaping and rising above the turmoil around her. Gigi LaMayne is more strong in her delivery due to the fact that she’s calling attention to political and social issues. Her song is being used as a form of art to tell the truth and inspire the people around her, specifically the South African youth. Nicki Minaj’s delivery is not as strong as Gigi LaMayne due to the fact that it isn’t a political message, but a song of inspiration. The use of Rihanna gives the song a softer edge to it and makes it enjoyable for both hip hop and pop fans. The videos between the two artists also have clear distinctions. Due to “Fees Will Fall” lyrics containing political and social content, she incorporates visuals of political protests in South Africa. Using visuals of protests goes perfectly with the message being expressed and paints a picture for the listener. Nicki Minaj’s video places her and Rihanna’s appearance at the center. The video also does not match the inspirational message being promoted in her song except for the use of flowers blooming in the end to signify a rebirth.  Both artists are powerhouses in their own right and their presence in the hip hop game will continue to encourage other women to break into the hip hop game.

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