While skimming through the textbook, I came across a poem written by Aya De Leon entitled, “If Women Ran Hip Hop.” As an avid hip-hop fan, I was immediately intrigued by the title and began to wonder what would happen if the majority of rappers were female. In the poem, Leon makes it very clear that if women ran hip-hop, it would be a much better genre. She says that there would never be a bad vibe when the music came on, the music would never be too loud, and people would not have to feel ashamed for listening. She goes on to say that if women ran hip-hop, there would never be shootings and females would only dress sexy if they wanted to celebrate their bodies. The poem ends with leon stating that if women ran hip-hop, the best female emcees would emerge and unleash their brilliance on the world.
After reading this poem, I couldn’t help but disagree with every single thing that she said. I do not believe at all that if women were the majority in hip-hop, every negative stereotype associated with the genre would disappear. It is widely known that rap videos tend to showcase women and their bodies, but I do not believe that this will disappear if women ran the genre. Sex sells in the media. It will always sell no matter what. I think if women ran hip-hop it would be just the same. In order for the female emcees to sell their records, the sad truth is that they will probably continue to dress sexy in their videos. As for the “no negative vibes and zero shootings” part, I do not believe that will happen either. Just look at the real life female emcees we have now. They fight with each other! Does anybody remember the Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj feud? Back and forth diss tracks were released by each female emcee over who was the “Queen of Hip-Hop.” To say that all women would get along if they ran hip-hop is preposterous. Let’s be real.
Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliot, & Eve are all female emcees who dress sexy and have explicit lyrics in their music just like every other male rapper. To say that people would not have to feel ashamed to listen to hip-hop if women ran the genre is not only absurd, but downright insulting. I believe that if women ran hip-hop, things would probably stay the same, if not get worse. There are plenty of male emcees in hip-hop who do not encourage bad vibes, shootings, or misogyny. There are many male emcees who have unleased their brilliance on the world. Tupac Shakur’s “changes” speaks about getting out of the ghetto and making something of yourself. His song “Keep Your Head Up” glorifies women in a positive manner. He spread the message of loving and respecting women because they are the ones who bring us into this world.
There are plenty of male and female emcees that use their lyricism to spread positive messages to the world. To say that women would make the genre better only spreads a negative message towards men. Music is not something that needs to be divided by gender. It is art, no matter which sex is behind the microphone.