Saturday, January 10, 2009

Women in Hip Hop

Legendary Public Enemy front man and activist Chuck D has set a 2009 resolution to rectify the marginalized representation of females in Hip-Hop culture. A swept aside issue in recent years, Chuck D argues that the lack of prominent women in Hip-Hop is causing the culture to move backward and devalue many of the progressive strides made by female pioneers in the 80s and 90s. “In ‘09, my fighting the power is for women in Hip-Hop, especially groups, producers, songwriters, and label heads. There are very, very few all women rap groups. Less than we had 25 years ago. I feel it is the next revolution in this 'same dude, same idea, same voice genre.’ I personally feel that the lack of groups on the male side has hurt, as well as production teams for the sake of soloists, across the board.” (Taken from

I couldn't agree more and reminded me of a dope emcee I heard a while back from Detroit, Invincible. ( Ever since I heard Bahamadia I've been a great fan of the diverse skill and introspection the girls bring to the table, more of the same please!


Cro said...

Don't forget T-Love either, might be best forgetting Hoez With Attitude though ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Invincible is tight. I like this video.

Per Chuck D, I wonder exactly how he plans to "rectify" hip-hop when hip-hop is something that exists from below. Top down attempts to change hip-hop have always failed. I respect Chuck D for his historical contributions, but he has not been relevant for our generation, even if he was for his own 20-25 years ago.

However, I do, of course, believe that women not only have a place in hip-hop, but are hip-hop. You do see more male artists and while I think it would be great to see more women, their contribution to hip-hop can't be measured solely in terms of how many MCs and DJs there are. It has to be looked in the way they identify, their politics, their sensibilties, etc.

Women challenge male chauvinism every day and have a long history doing it, especially among black women. This is hip-hop too, there just hasn't been much in terms of musical manifestations of this resistance. It gets tricky too if we determine hip-hop to be ONLY music. But when we look at the women who pack hip-hop clubs and who determine what music the DJ will play, when we look at their contributions in dance via New Orleans Bounce, especially the fact that many genderqueer artists here have won over many women, clearly what they have brought to hip-hop is indispensable.

I certainly wouldn't have a problem with more female MCs, but this is something that can't be merely "fixed".

Anonymous said...

By the way, I dig your blog and will be reading more. I'm gonna throw you up on the blogroll. Peace.

Solocypher said...

Thanks for your comments Krisna, couldn't agree more! Now are there any actuall women reading with a view on this!?