Women in hip-hop & Africa: Star zee’s influence

Star Zee and manager got attacked by thugs on Friday in Sierra Leone

Star Zee is a multi-award winning hop-hop artist from Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown. Born Linda Samai, Star Zee uses her rhymes and influences of dance hall to create positive images of Sierra Leone and put out a vibrant message. As a female artist, one can assume she has had to break significant barriers and work ten times as hard than her counterparts in the same industry. 

Musical Background

Star Zee was born to Patrick Samai, a former singer in a military dance band, and Sombo Samai, a medical nurse. Star Zee was involved in performing arts from a young age and lived a customary life of a young girl from Sierra Leone. She joined Stress Inc. Records at the age of 14 after her previous experience. Stress Inc. Records places Star Zee in a girl group by the name of Ladies’ Day Out (L.D.O.). L.D.O. consisted of four female acts including Star Zee, Lady Felecia, Julie, and Thelma. Their first album came out under the name Focus on Africa and it increased their popularity in Sierra Leone. One of her most recent songs include Big Money.

Star Zee’s Work to Change the Narrative

Star Zee is an extremely accomplished artist with five albums and international tours. Accomplishments such as these are no small feat for a woman in the male dominated music industry. Star Zee has personally shared with fans & media outlets that she hopes to serve as a role model for women with similar dreams. Unfortunately, whether it is a goal of Star Zee to be a role model or not, her identity in the music industry is representative of women as a minority in hip-hop. Stuart Hall identifies the impacts of representation but specifically defines representation as the act of symbolizing, standing for, or being a specimen of. Because of that Star Zee’s existence and art is a step further in terms of representation. 

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