Hip Hop Culture & Feminism

Silver Moore’s presentation and our discussions in our class really got me thinking about hip hop culture, it’s ties to feminism, and it’s use as a form of expression.  I have always thought female rappers and hip hip artists that defy the status quo were total badasses but it never really occurred to me that many of these women were using their music to define themselves as feminists.  However, society has a problem accepting self-proclaimed hip hip feminists as “real feminists”.  In the article my group read in class about Nicki Minaj, the author admitted that she was initially afraid of Nicki and her skintight, revealing clothing and dirty song lyrics.  I think this is how most of feminist society and even non-feminist society views hip-hip, regardless of the gender of the artist.  How can something so raunchy and sexual be considered uplifting for women or gender equalizing? The author of the article went on to admit that Nicki is actually doing great things for young women’s self-esteem and confidence.  Nicki is very pro-sex and very focused on women getting sexually satisfied.  She also classifies as bisexual and appeals to the bisexual and trans community in many of her songs.  Much of her lyrics, “You can be the king but watch the queen conquer” for example, are empowering and super badass and this is the goal of these hip hop feminists.  They are showing that they can be as dirty and raunchy as the male rappers who exploit them.  They are showing girls that freedom of expression and freedom of sexuality is necessary in today’s society and that they too can use rap or poetry or art or writing to express the feeling that they keep in the silence.  Yeah, Nicki is a HUGE female rapper on the hottest of today’s rappers tracks but who says others can’t follow in her path? Others may not be able to follow her all the way to the top but they can make an impact, even if it’s just an impact on oneself.

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