There is no shortage of male titans in Hip-Hop. Historically, despite testosterone dominating the rap landscape, said forces have been able to co-exist alongside one another. Indeed, with the recent release of ‘What A Time To Be Alive,’ Drake and Future proved that there is strength in unity. Though existing on different branches of the genre, they fused their talents together and earned chart-topping results.
But, while the public have no problem accepting a multitude of male Hip-Hop artists, it appears that masses can only affix their focus on one female rap star at time.
Tune in after the jump as we explore this reoccurring problem within the culture.
A major issue with the current fabric of the female rap sphere is that once a new talent struts to the forefront, she is instantly compared to the previous “it girl.” And while this is a common trend among female artists in a broader sense, it is especially prevalent in Hip-Hop.
Case in point Nicki Minaj‘s five-year reign. Though still on-going, at countless junctions she was to be “dethroned” by the likes of Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea, and, for some, even Dej Loaf.
A further hurdle that female MCs face is their expected expiration date. While rappers such as Jay Z, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, and Snoop Dog can rap well into their 40s, their oestrogen carrying counterparts do not experience this same luxury. Though MC Lyte, Lil Kim, and even Trina are able to still make music today, their impact is arguably less substantial than that of their prime. Even with Missy Elliott’s recent Super Bowl showing, much of the young generation were unfamiliar with who the icon was. One can blame the saturation of the market today, or the lack of integration of female rap within the Hip-Hop community. Either way it’s spun, the difficulty of longevity as a female MC is a reality.
From our vantage point, it’s a problem that is rooted in the flawed ideology of society (sexism, patriarchy, and ageism), as well as the behavior of many femcees themselves.
For instance, if an established rapstress takes a break or a hiatus from music, they are often forgotten or considered irrelevant – with much to prove upon their “comeback”. Again, in an era defined by short attention spans and Snap Chat, this is an issue that affects most artists. Yet for femcees, it is almost a requirement that they take on an omnipresence in the public eye to maintain any kind of lasting footing in today’s market. A problem their male counterparts don’t face as intensely. Or arguably at all.
The oddity of this system often gives birth to a cattiness that goes beyond the friendly sparring that defines Hip-Hop.
How are the public supposed to rationalise an industry filled with a variety of gifted vixens when said talents tend to exhibit questionable interactions with one another. Female rappers typically do not collaborate or embrace each other. Rather, there are more fights than sister retreats, as seen between the Lil Kim & Nicki Minaj beefs as well as the Battle of the Azealias.
With the lack of camaraderie among female rappers, it’s unsurprising that public and industry at large follows suit. The girls of today could benefit from following the examples set by the likes of MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Yoyo with more celebratory collaborations.
Despite recent years’ influx of female rap talent such as Tink, Dej Loaf, Angel Haze, Iggy, Tiffany Foxx, Brianna Perry, and the like, there still wages a gap between the amount of male vs. female rappers allotted in mainstream Hip-Hop. There has been implementations set forth to bridge this gap, by shows like ‘Sisterhood of Hip-Hop,’ but there are more opportunities that are being missed. An all female Hip-Hop tour could be a monumental stride within the female rap community. There could even be new categories implemented by the Grammys if enough noise is made. Perhaps we’re being too optimistic, but you get the idea.
What do you think? Is there only room for one woman in Hip-Hop? Weigh in below.