Women in Hip Hop

09/23/2009

Women in hip hop remain a minority, pit fallen by sexism and hetero-normative beliefs of female roles. Like reverse racism in hip hop, where races other than African American are considered less legitimate, women are separated and disregarded as lesser equivalents to males. Though the Beastie Boys were the first celebrated white rappers, it wasn’t until Eminem that unanimous praise and respect was given to a white emcee. The same can be said about Latin rappers until Big Pun and Fat Joe. Though we’ve entered a new millennium with an African American president, we still have yet to see a male supported, empowered and ubiquitous female emcee. Here are some thoughts from Melly Mel, Murs and MC Lyte on the topic of women in hip hop:

Melle Mel

Melle Mel was one of the leading pioneers of hip hop as a member of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. In this interview he states: “They [women] need to come across as women. They should write a song about having a kid…In my opinion, women try emulate dudes. I barely want to hear dudes rap…[people] are going to respect it cause everyone has mothers.”

Murs

Murs is an LA emcee who became popular first as a member of the Living Legends. He is always been more underground. In this interview he states: “You can’t expect women to feel comfortable in an art form that is so degrading…If every song you heard growing up is about ‘bitches ain’t shit..’ it’s hard for a woman to grow up and want to take part.”

MC Lyte

MC Lyte is one of the few female emcees to ever receive general respect. Other emcees include Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill. In this interview she talks about being a female emcee: “I think women bring the sweeter side of life. Men are driven by testerone..Although you have some women, like myself, who can bring it hardcore.”