Women In Hip Hop
While thinking about the issues raised in this class, I found myself reading through several selections across the book in an effort to find out what this class was about. I skimmed through a few readings from each of the book’s chapters to see if anything caught my interest. One of the most thought provoking articles I encountered was “If Women Ran Hip Hop” by Aya de Leon. The reading consists of a free verse poem that explores the titular proposition; the world described by the poem is very different from the current world of hip hop. The poem is fun to read and contains several semi-humorous passages like “the only folks dancing in cages would be dogs & cats from the local animal shelter”. Its humor is similar to that of “If Men Could Menstruate” by Gloria Steinem, as both articles begin by setting out to examine how the world would be different if another group was in charge. After reading the poem I wondered how different the hip hop and rap worlds would be if women were the majority in control; the first problem I encountered was, would hip hop be hip hop if women were in charge, secondly I wondered if hip hop could ever be controlled by women? In my experience hip hop and rap are certainly male dominated genres in nearly all regards, the vast majority of artists are male and they do not seem to give much value to female artists; in fact they do not give much value to females in general, even female artists like Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj’s lyrics are derogatory towards females. It seems that as a genre hip hop undermines women almost intrinsically and I cannot imagine that hip hop would appear in any recognizable form if women artists were in control. Likewise it appears unlikely that women can take control of the genre, however since Nicki Minaj became famous every major hip hop record label has acquired a female artist; so perhaps this trend will allow more females into the genre and allow for more variety in the future. This is an issue that I intend to research and explore further.