Women in Rap

Gail Hilson Woldu’s Women in Rap was very interesting and entertaining to read. The rapper Lil’ Kim is mentioned a lot throughout the article in which she is one of the most important female rap figures from the 90s. Female rap and sexuality both go hand in hand and Lil’ Kim is a great example of it. The majority of female rappers in the late 90s based their music and image on sex, such as Salt-n-Pepa and TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes who wore condom glasses to get the message of safe sex across. However, Lil’ Kim took rap and sex to a complete level in which she made herself look more like a sexual object, rather than a rapper. Lil’ Kim’s first album Hard Core is mentioned in Wuldu’s article, and she states how just the title Hard Core sounds pornographic. The album cover has Lil’ Kim posing in a very sexual position, attracting the male audience for her beauty and not for her craft. Other album images include Lil’ Kim posing squatting down with her legs wide open, wearing just a leopard bikini. This image reminded me of today’s female rapper Nicki Minaj, in which she is posing the same exact way. Both female rappers have a similar style in fashion (color hair wigs, provocative clothing, ect.) and similar style in rapping (struggles, growing up in the hood, ect.) but using their bodies to market themselves. Another subject from Woldu that I found interesting was trying to understand the word “bitch” from two perspectives. In the male perspective, the term “bitch” is used very negatively, in which they are referring to women who has done some wrong. If a women betrays a man in any sense, she is considered a “bitch”. In female rap, “bitch” is used the complete opposite, in which they refer to their homegirls or black females from the hood as a “bitch”. Woldu states that in female rap this term is seen as “a weapon of empowerment”. However, the term “bitch” can go either way and it is used freely in rap music. Although the author mentioned Lil’ Kim a lot, she did not forget to mention other female rappers that have contributed to the rap game. Lauryn Hill is mentioned as a lyricist to the black community, advocating responsibility and self-respect. And there is also Missy Elliot, whose lyrics are very comical and that is what sets her apart from other female rappers. Overall, this article was interesting in which it explained the difficulty of a female rapper to gain respect in a male oriented field.

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    Diana Banegas » Women in Rap

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