Female Hip-Hop: Removing The One Rapper Rules Rule

Nicki-Minaj-2015-thatgrapejuice
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.

female-rappers

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.

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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.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Surprise..(DEC 2013) October 9, 2015

    Wow, very well written and poignant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • KING October 9, 2015

      what you talking about?
      female rapers needs to work hard like the male rapers but they dont!

      where is dmx now? ja rule? etc… they took a break dmx came back with shity work and you dont hear him any more.

      WORK HARD THATS ALL!

    • KING October 9, 2015

      LET ME BREAK IT TO U ALL

      WHO DO YOU THINK IS GREAT NOW?

      I DONT SEE GREAT FEMALE RAPPERS RIGHT NOW

      IGGY IS CUTE FOR KIDS AND THATS OK

      BANKS GOT A GREAT MUSIC STYLE BUT SHE IS A RACIST AND STUPID – I WILL NEVER SPEND ON HER

      NICKI GOT BARS AND ALL BUT NOW SHE IS STARTING TO LOSE IT…

      MISSY I HOPE SHE WILL BE GOOD AS HER OLD WORK

      TINK IS SUPER OVERRATED BY TIMBALAND

      KIM I HOPE SHE WILL GET BACK GOOD BUT I DONT THINK THAT IT’S POSSIBLE

      Lady Leshurr SHE IS RISING

      AND THATS ALL U GOT BASICALLY

      NOTHING FRESH NOTHING HOT NOTHING Special nothing Unique. and thats all the story!

    • truth(Janet is QWEEN, MaDINOSAUR is a flop! Deal!) October 9, 2015

      Nicki a flop..DEAL!!!

  2. LIL’ KIM BIRTHED YO FAVES October 9, 2015

    Interesting that this piece comes now when Oinknika is washed and can’t sell a million copies worldwide of an album that she promoted for over a year. Why wasn’t there any pieces critiquing Oinknika for not collaborating with any female rappers in her five-year career?

    The truth is that Oinknika wanted to be the only female out. Like Azealia Banks said, she was so determined to try and destroy Lil’ Kim by pretending that Kim was hating on her when it was the other way around. The idea that there can only be one female rapper is a NEW DEVELOPMENT. It is not something that existed before Oinknika. When Kim reigned, she had the competition of Eve, Foxy, Da Brat, Remy, Missy and so many others. Kim did the Ladies Night record to collaborate with her peers. Kim worked with Missy Elliott numerous times.

    This is not a problem of society. This is an Oinknika problem. Oinknika knew that she couldn’t survive with other female rappers out, so she blocked everyone. Now Kim and Missy are coming back, you’re going to see the unity in female rap that has been missing for the past 5 years.

    Oinknika is washed. SPLISH SPLASH. Time for the new era.

    • nicko October 9, 2015

      Ure so delusional its almost cute.???????? I stopped “Oinkika is washed”. Go n take ur meds.

    • nicko October 9, 2015

      I dont know which statement shows ur delusion the most:
      “Onika is washed up” or “Missy n Kim are coming back” ????????. Onika just sold 1M albums WW n achieved more this yr than the chicks u mentioned did in the last 5 yrs.

    • Nicki is queen!!! October 9, 2015

      Interesting that a Kimmy Chan stan wants to talk figures like her FREE music even gets clicks. If people don’t even want it for free what does that say? Nicki doesnt need to give these girls handouts, who tf helped her? None of the past ladies really like her, there’s very few exceptions, same with the girls now. Nicki merely existing opened doors for them, you know single handedly reviving a genre and all. A lot of them only given chances as a means to rival/dethrone Nicki anyway so what’s the point? Comparing the old days to current times is really stupid also, nearly as stupid as using the walking well tweeting contradiction Banks to back up your lies. She flits between bopping to TPP & popping off about Nicki as nothing in her own career is. She really has issues. Nicki blocked everyone? If they were that good they couldn’t be blocked, same way none of these new girls were really competition for Nic ????

    • CiMinaj October 9, 2015

      Yes because washed up rappers cover The New York Times…. Fact of the matter is nobody is selling albums like they used to but every single from Onika is certified except TNISY. But keep hating sis.

    • truth(Janet is QWEEN, MaDINOSAUR is a flop! Deal!) October 9, 2015

      I C NO LIES!!!! ????????

  3. Jay October 9, 2015

    Nicki Minaj would rather compare her stats to singers such as Beyoncé and Rihanna. She sees herself as “one of them”, a pop star who wants to be accepted by whites picking fights with “weak” white gals (Taylor Swift & Miley). If she supported female rappers, she would introduce the world to newcomers, and legends who paved the way like men do. Nicki, is a narcissist. She does see Dej Loaf as a threat like Iggy, thats why Dej was able to open up for her tour. If Nicki, knows that she is already cemented with a solid fanbase, and accolades why feel threatened? Why hasn’t she worked with Missy, who is the blueprint? Why compare herself to Lauryn Hill, but her music is garbage compared to Ms. Hills?

    Real music heads know the real female rap queens. Its good that Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and others have went on to host, act, and more! They have earned it, and aint worried about it.

    The new rap gals, will have to come harder. They dont have the it factor. I’m sorry, but Tink does not stand out to me right now.

    Missy is a legend. Everything, Missy has done is cemented in history. She is good for life.

    • Jay October 9, 2015

      Correction:

      She does NOT see Dej Loaf as a threat….

  4. KingMe October 9, 2015

    As you Mention this generation is very fickle. So in order for a female rapper to be successful and maintain longevity her fan base must be stronger then the quality of her music. Mediocrity is winning right now and has been for a long time that’s why this is the microwave generation. Something quick fast then it’s on to the next. Not to mention the general music buying public are young teeny boppers. It’s really sad because there once was a time a slew of female MC’s winning Simultaneously.

  5. Sure Did October 9, 2015

    As long as Nicki Minaj is that ‘it’ girl, I don’t see change happening any time soon. She talks with both sides of her mouth. She says she wants to end sexism in the industry, yet drags every female artist who she considers a threat.

  6. Taylor Tori Azalea October 9, 2015

    Yess Drag that walking plastic…… It’s a pity your fave is more washed up

  7. Mikejackthriller October 9, 2015

    It funny that Kim was saying fhis all along and no one listened. They labeled her as a bitter hater. Nicki has thrown Trina a bone to get the south approval but who else female wise has she ever collaborated with besides Shanel of young money ?
    It’s not that she is talented she is just like the spoil child who always want all the attention. Out of all the female rappers coming out especially the young girls ,who has nick Ever shown love to ? even gave a damn Twitter shoutout to?
    Now the smoke has cleared everyone is now calling nicki the bad guy ? She is not . Why be mad at her now for doing what she has done her entire run? My only issue with nick Is she has been the most popular female rapper to date according to statistics why is the female rap life non existenance when one of the top selling artist out today is a female rapper? Nicki had the opportunity to make female rap bigger than it has ever been, instead she did her and called the other girls and broke and made sure they didn’t eat…
    Social media is big these days and has huge influence on today’s society … Nicki still has the oppurtunity to do it, but the question is how to do it now without it seeming so forced or fake

    • Mikejackthriller October 9, 2015

      Please don’t kill me guys. I know my writing sucks but you get my point

  8. Suicide Blonde October 9, 2015

    This was well written, i think the problem lies in the way these females are presented to us, we get saturated with their image, each one of them becomes a brand, they want to be everywhere, this is a non-stop promo machine, they have their own fragancies, they’re on every magazine cover, they’re on talent shows, they perform on every tv show or music festivals, etc, etc…This is true for women in music in general, honestly is annoying, whereas male rappers aren’t used by the gp as “icons” in the same way a female rapper is, a male rapper is more of a cult figure (2pac) [forget Kanye], female rappers are similar to pop stars nowadays (Minaj), and that’s the main reason why i think men in hip hop are selling millions while its female representatives struggle for gold, not to mention the fact that the culture of rap music was built on rivalry, shots fired at your ex-best friend who used to freestyle with u in the hood and who also became famous like you (rapper), etc, etc. Women are just kitties, they’re naturally mean to each others, just my 2 cents 😀

  9. #TeamTinashe Stan October 9, 2015

    – I can’t support Nicki at all, I find her very fake. With the whole using the race card for her benefit in her invalid statements to trying to take away Zendaya’ shine with the barbie doll. She is the girl that cries wolf all the time and I’m so over that and her doing pop music so much.
    – I was liking Azealia but she is too confusing and a whole entire contradictory story.
    – I like Iggy but I won’t support.
    – I like Tiffany Foxx and Tink but I need to see more before I invest.
    I am only interested in buying a Missy Elliott album because she is so creatively insane and futuristic and I can only expect the best from her!

    • BeyRihLiyah October 9, 2015

      Nicki gave your rodent looking fave a oppurtunity of a lifetime by touring with her

      • Lmfao_Hoe October 9, 2015

        And Mariah ( Up Out of my face ), Madonna (Give me all your love), Beyonce (Flawless, Jay Z & Kanye (Monster), Usher (Freak) Ludacaris (My Chick Bad), Justin Bieber (Beauty and a Beat) and last but not least Taylor Swift shout out for Super Bass helped her ass too. Much recipients I provided.

      • #TeamTinashe Stan October 9, 2015

        Girl or boy you really are a mental patient going crazy over our(me & yours) QUEEN Tinashe and I am HERE for it! Love you xoxo!
        HASHTAG: #TeamTinasheUNITES 😀

    • BEY>RIH October 9, 2015

      Umm if I’m not mistaken it was Demi Lovato who dragged Zendaya. Not nicki..

      • #TeamTinashe Stan October 9, 2015

        They both were. Nicki posted her enhanced barbie doll on instagram instead of Zendaya and congratulated her on that post but shed more light on herself instead.

  10. Lmfao_Hoe October 9, 2015

    That’s the thing I’ve been saying, Nicki has the right platform that can help put female rappers at the top again but she refuses cause she’s intimated they’ll outshine her. And don’t yall give me that bs she shout them out when she receives a BET award, cuz its easier said than done (collaborating and showing true ginuwine love). I was more of a fan of her mixtape dayz but ever since the beef with Kim, Nicki left a bad taste in my mouth both her personality n musically. Cause with common sense we all know she took Kims style, without paying true homage. No I don’t mean kiss ass, but to acknowledge your influence. That’s Chris Brown saying MJ wasn’t his main inspiration but Prince. Like really? The dances, choreography, video visuals, and songs while doing his signature sound of the 80s. She says she looked up to Lauryn yet Ms. Hill would never had made the songs she has done, she says Foxy, but imitates Kim with the colorful wings and different persona. It’s a sign of fake at its finest. Especially how she treated Mariah, say what you will but Mimi is a legendary singer that all our faves look up too highly. For her disrespect a woman of that caliber that knows exactly the business and have been singing for over 25 years like b****

    • nicko October 9, 2015

      Huh ? Just because u like an artist doednt mean that ur music has to sound like theirs. 1. Foxy obviously inspired Nicki a lot. Listen to Nicki’s early songs, when she was in that rap group with SB back in 2003. She sounded like foxy. 2 Kim inspired Nicki as well, however, kim wasnt the first artist to wear wigs.. stop reaching.

    • October 9, 2015

      which one of them girls in the past help nicki when she was in them gutters of south side jamaica queens. they paved the way yes, but which one of them reach out to collab with her.
      none did,so why the f-ck should nicki ne force to help anyone, if she wants to thats fine, but she isn’t obligated to help anyone,she can help who helped her yes thats fair people who put her on back in the day when these other female rappers didn’t give a d-mn about her.some people love to hate on her talking about who she isn’t helping, but none of y’all new her when other female rappers was running sh!t, were was the f-cking outcry to these female mcs and female rappers to help Nicki. i didn’t here anything but as soon as nicki starts to run sh!t they some asking for this and that and some fans asking for this and that,and i understand what sam is saying but some fans needs to understand that there is two sides to this.Nicki is doing the samething done to her,continuing t pave the way so others can fallow without getting there hands held.

  11. Fancy BISH October 9, 2015

    Yaaas, love this post TGJ! Female rap is so special and unique…it always stands out in a SEA of male rappers with creativity, sass, s** appeal and empowerment…plus voice, flow and delivery are the most important elements for any rapper, and female rappers have some of the most distinctive..Salt N Pepa, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante and honorable mention Blondie set the blueprint for female rappers to come…so many HITS and JAMS by female rappers chile…Poor Georgie, Push It, Daddy’s Little Girl, Lost Ones, Tramp, Fancy, Funkdafied, You Can’t Play With My Yo-Yo, U.N.I.T.Y., and Queen B#!ch are some of my personal favorites..alot of the business side of female rap is unfortunately dominated by men…and that leads to creativity issues…Lauryn Hill, the most successful solo female rapper of all time, didn’t want Wyclef Jean to produce her solo album for that very reason…not only did she want to prove to him and herself that she could do it on her own, she wanted everything to be from a female perspective…but most female rap is controlled by some male creativity and input as well…nothing necessarily wrong with that, but too often female rappers are given pieces of written paper and told to ‘say it like this’…even Salt N Pepa had to deal with that…The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill benefits from that lack of male persuasion…homegirl sold 19 million copies 🙂 When it comes to cattiness, it’s actually the MEN behind the music pushing the women to do it…the men feel like they are ‘protecting their investment’ and female rappers are persuaded to collaborate with labelmates, usually male…then, there’s Miss Nicki…homegirl knows where the money is at, and definitely has her own flow and delivery…but she thinks like a dude, which means she’s not trying to be cool with ‘the competition’…she wants to be the ONLY competition…compete with herself lol…is there room for more than one female rapper? YES, but the men behind the music (including Miss Birdman lol) unfortunately only want ‘their investment’ to shine…
    http://giphy.com/gifs/nicki-minaj-drake-lil-wayne-gz0fh6G6oiUX

  12. Lmfao_Hoe October 9, 2015

    It’s ridiculous too cause all the females can eat together like one big happy female as the males. Drake for example has reached out to so many in the industry legend, vet,peer, and new comer. Would’ve thought Nicki take note. But all she did was jump on that I’m a boss ass b**** song.

  13. nicko October 9, 2015

    Lol @ ppl blaming Nicki for everything. As she said in Win Again, she isnt a magician. She cant revive a whole genre on her own, plus she has her own career to worry about. She has already done A LOT for female rap (if it wasnt for Nicki’s success, Azealia, Iggy wouldnt even be signed. And personally Nicki is the reason why I know kim, missy, foxy, eve etc). N lol @ ppl calling Nicki’s music mediocre… REALLY ?! This girl can sing AND rap, her punchlines are always creative n on point, n she switches her flow like no other. Ure obviously blinded by ur hatred but yall can stay pressed tho ( as long as Nicki’s winning Im fine ????.)Plat singles, gold album, top 10, top 20, top 30 hits, a VMA n a few other awards, a successful tour, forbes cash kings list, all in one year= Respect that. N lets not forget the fact that shes the first rapper on the cover of NYT since Tupac.

    • ronnoc October 9, 2015

      I don’t mind Nicki, but stop trying to give this bish the singing creds. She can’t hold a fkn tune to save her life

  14. Chile, leave my weave at the door and don’t steal it like those broke ass barb stans October 9, 2015

    I’m still waiting for “T.D.G.” to be promoted so that it can start chatting. She’s seriously annoying me with all of this procrastination now.

  15. Stephy. October 9, 2015

    I don’t care what nobody says, Lauryn Hill will ALWAYS be the Queen of Rap for me. I know, she hella crazy & only released like 2 albums. But, bayyybeee, I cannot ignore the impact her rhymes, flow, tone & most of all POETRY has impacted me the most, when it comes to these female rappers.
    .
    I look at Nicki Minaj as the Queen Of Rap-Pop/Hip-Pop. I cringe when people say she’s the “Queen Of Rap”. When she’s basically a POP star, whom raps. Nicki maybe the most successful female MC ever, but that doesn’t mean she’s the best and/or “Queen Of Rap”. She’s the Queen Of Hip-Pop, period.

    • Christian October 9, 2015

      She’s not the most successful ever.. that’s where people are confused. She sold the most singles. Yes. She has the most chart positions and top 10s but she’s not the best. Top 5. Lauryn, Missy, Kim then Nicki. ALL of Missy Elliott’s albums are platinum. One of them is even double plat. Lauryn’s first album sold 8 million copes. 8 grammys. Missy has 5. Kim has one Grammy and her first 3 albums are platinum with her first being double plat

      • nicko October 9, 2015

        Nicki has 2 plat albums n a gold one with her first one being double plat n selling 4M copies WW. Nicki’s career sh*ts on kim’s career in terms of success n Nicki’s name on Forbes cash kings list proves it. Being the highest selling female rapper >>>>> having a few plat albums, getting dropped from ur label n releasing songs on paypal

      • What now October 10, 2015

        Stop lying. Nicki only has ONE platinum album

      • BEY>RIH October 10, 2015

        As much as some people may feel its undeserving, Nicki Minaj is undoubtedly the most successful and influential female rapper of all time. She has taken the genre to new heights and has more commercial success than all of those you named. (Lauryn Hill would be the most successful if she released more than 2 albums)

  16. A&R October 9, 2015

    I love when y’all write articles like this instead of bash post on Rihanna. So I think articles makes good points and I also think the fact about Nicki not welcoming other females make a good point as well. I think she may have taken on the Beyonce mindset without realizing it more hurtful than helpful. Sure it helped put her atop but part of what keeps the genre alive is having variety and peers to help boost you and your creativity. Without others to offer something fresh it’s easy to become stagnant. We need another ladies night! We need a Beyoncé and Rihanna collaboration. These women need to stop feeding into the catty mindset.

  17. Yoncè October 10, 2015

    This is what Kim is talking about! Nicki wanted to be the only one! If she was a bad b**** and secure in her rap career she would have did a song with or banks early on! Kim showed love that’s the difference between the two. Cause nicki still haven’t put out that foxy feat she said she was doing…

  18. What now October 10, 2015

    Cute, but stop the b*******! TGJ writes every thing that iz negative about Iggy Azalea wack azzz just bc they were scared that Payola & white privilege waz going 2 make her a bigger star than Nicki Minaj. I ain’t here 4 this article or sum of these dumb azzz comments AT ALL! Try again.

  19. sashafromdonetsk October 11, 2015

    It everything is incorrect. Many old male rappers also already exhausted and isn’t interesting for new generations (except Eminem).

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