Thursday, August 5, 2010

For the Ladies - In Rap, as in Life

I've been re-listening to Biggie, especially some of his gems on Ready to Die and came across some of the Junior Mafia tracks that features Lil' Kim. It got me wondering about Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. And, for a hot second, Jay-Z and Foxy Brown. All the female proteges were hot rappers on their own, but word is Weezy writes some of Nicki's stuff. Ditto for Biggie and Kim. I'm not sure about Jay and Foxy (was in Nigeria at the time, and I was a kid) but I bet there was talk of that, too.

Seriously, what's up with that??

It's not like these ladies can't rap. Before Nicki put on so much plastic she's now somewhere between Terminator and Barbie, she was actually a sick rapper (OK, still is). I heard her rhyme tight on that "Warning" remix she did back in the day, and if that was any indication, she does NOT need anybody writing for her. Even for Kim, when you hear her stuff after her Biggie, you can see she's a dope rapper. It makes you wonder why the hand-holding was necessary.

Rap is obviously very much a testosterone-filled industry mostly catering to young guys with a need to let their id run wild. My point is that if you're going to have a female rapper, then have a female rapper who's dope, who can slay anyone in front of her in a battle, who has earned her place.

I refuse to believe that overt sexuality among female rappers precludes them from being toe-to-toe with other rappers male AND female(Of course, Eve definitely tones it down more than, say, Kim or Nicki). Someone should ask the more popular female rappers what they think the relationship between them and the male rappers is. And if its not the sexuality holding them back -- and I don't think it is -- them what is it? Why do they feel as though they have to split the playground and separate the players by gender? I remember how annoyed I was by Busta in that "Touch it" remix he said "I'm not even gonna talk to y'all/I'mma let the queens of the game get at y'all" (What, you're too big to talk to haters, so you'll send your minions after them?). It's especially grating when Eve or Trina or whoever else talks smack obviously directed to other female rappers. I know the Busta thing is just one instance - look also at Ludacris' "My Chick Bad" remix with all the female rappers in attendance where he played the magnanimous host to all "his chicks". These women are seen as being no threat.

My suspicion is that if you were good enough to take some prominent rappers down, you'd never make it anywhere near mainstream. By and large, female rappers make it to the top by proving that they're not coming after the Kings of the Game and are only comparing themselves to fellow female rappers. A woman, the minority in this case, has to prove that she's no threat for her to be acceptable to the larger fold. And in that way, being a minority in rap is just like being a minority in every other field in modern life.

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