Female Rappers: Taking Back Stereotypes Against Women

Rap originated in New York in primarily African American communities. This genre has a lot of layers and this hip-hop movement also includes rap, deejaying, graffiti, and break dancing. It is important to note that rap originated within the Black communities of New York where DJs during block parties started to play with isolations of already existing music, thus the introduction of rap. Like many other industries, it has mainly been dominated by men. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were some women in rap, for example: Missy Elliot. Through the years though, there has been an increase of women in the industry, some examples being: Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj to name a few popular names. Misogyny has always had a problem in the media, constantly sexualizing and degrading women with the old jokes of “Go make me a sandwich” to referring to women as "b*tches" in music. Headphones Photo by C D-X from Unsplash

In recent years, much of rap music has sexualized women by putting false beauty standards on what is desired by a man and what it means to be sexy. This does not only apply to rap, but many other genres too. In other genres, though, there is a higher percentage of women, while in rap, the top 97% of all rappers are all male. This is a cause for concern, but as of late, women are taking over the industry and their own sexualities — rather than just being a b*tch they are taking that word to their own and being bad b*tches instead. Rather than feeling demeaned by sex, female rappers are empowering their sexuality through their lyrics telling the world that women are also allowed to feel sexual, without being called names.

Woman wearing white headphones and dancing Photo by Bruce Mars from Unsplash

Also, rather than conforming to what a woman’s role is ,female artists are taking those stereotypes into their own hands like in WAP, by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they say, “I don’t cook, I don’t clean.” A woman’s role in life should not be predestined by a man and his expectations. It should be chosen by her own will of how she wants to look and portray herself. This goes back to the age-old question of: Why is it okay for men, but not for women? It’s because as a society, when we listen to this music, subconsciously we begin to think it’s okay because “it’s just lyrics.” But no, these aren’t just lyrics, these are messages which, whether or not we are aware, we consume on almost a daily basis. These messages are then the principles in which we view women and teach new generations to view and talk about women too. The rise of female rappers gives me hope, a hope knowing that female artists are taking the industry into their own hands. Hope that women will no longer just be eye candy or a sleazy lyric about how a woman should act, but instead, women will be the bad b*tches that we were born to be, and as Megan Thee Stallion says, “F*ck being good I’m a bad b*tch.”