• New Wave

Stop Calling Women In Hip-Hop 'Female Rappers'

Words by Christopher K

As we have stepped onto the new year after just leaving a distressful year. The music is what helped us get through 2020 the most. Having our favorite artist drop new music. Finding newer artists helped us feel connected and helped us cope while trying to follow quarantine rules.

Now as we are in 2021, we need to quit calling women in Hip-Hop “Female rappers.” The idea to some may sound foolish. When those who think it’s just “easier” to refer to Noname or even Chika as “Female Rappers.” When both are storytellers and can be compared to making the same lyrical content as Common. When you tell people, your favorite rapper is JID you don’t refer to him as a “Male rapper” you refer to them as just a rapper. Taking a look back at 2020 to even 2019 women in Hip-Hop have been showing they can go just as hard if not harder than your favorite male rapper. The idea to continue separating a rapper’s gender or sex who happens to be in the genre of Hip-Hop is a bit much. A person’s gender or sex shouldn’t be separated even when being in the same category or genre of music. Women such as Megan Thee Stallion and the City Girls have been having an excellent year. Yet, have been judged and critiqued harsher for either not being as lyrical as male rappers or rapping about the same thing men in Hip-Hop have always been talking about in their music sex, money, and you know the rest.

Even if a woman in Hip-Hop makes the same music as Kendrick Lamar people try to pit them against other women in Hip-Hop. For instance, let’s talk about Rapsody a Grammy-nominated lyrical, storyteller from Charlotte, North Carolina. Rapsody who happens to not make the same music as Megan Thee Stallion. Certain people only bring her up for the fact that she makes the same music as Black Thought. Rapsody has said it plenty of times not to refer to her as a “conscious rapper” or even a “Female MC.” Rapsody does not want to be labeled as a “Female Rapper” she wants to be seen as a “dope rapper.” As she recently dropped her album “Eve” just last year, she pays homage to notorious Black women that have accomplished so much and Black women in her life she credits for who she is today. Rapsody is talked about for her dope lyrics and incredible punchlines but people often wonder where they can find another rapper in the same lane as Rapsody. They simply are not looking. Another amazing artist from Charlotte, North Carolina based in Philadelphia who would be in the same lane as Rapsody would be Ivy Sole.

Women in Hip-Hop are judged far more for making music about their genitals, talking about sex the same thing men in Hip-Hop have been doing for a long time. Often you have those that stand out and may seem “weird” to others such as 2019’s XXL Freshmen Rico Nasty and Tierra Whack. Both in their own way stand out not only because of their music but their uniqueness in their sound and style. Rico Nasty is the Black Alt Girl that continues to prove you can mix your love for Punk and Hip-Hop and fuse them. Rico Nasty proves that you can rap about anything you want within your style as long as you’re happy with that style and you have fans that resonate with your sound that’s the only thing that should matter. Philadelphia’s own Grammy-nominated Tierra Whack with her amazing visuals and short but great songs has a way to catch your ears and your eyes. With her 2018 album “Whack World” we get a glimpse at her out of the box style of rapping. Tierra Whack proves that she is doing whatever she finds to be enjoyable no matter what others have to say. Tierra Whack’s style and sound is incredible as she continues to showcase her creativity and unique style.

You have rappers such as Chicago own’s Noname who recently over the summer traded diss tracks with J. Cole over her tweet about rappers not speaking up enough about police brutality. The “Room 25” artist is a rapper/poet who those claim to want more rappers that are storytellers and poets but don’t ever do the work to look for an artist such as Noname or even Noname herself. The same goes for Chika. Chika from Alabama who was one of the 2020 XXL Freshmen who was quickly met with criticism by those who have never listened to her making comments about her appearance. Comments were made calling her “Rod Wave’s sister.” Chika and Noname are both great artists that are always painted in a bad light for their tweets for calling out those who try to belittle them for speaking on conversations outside of music.

You then have your international rappers like Little Simz to Stefflon Don always showing their unique skills and amazing freestyles. Rappers such as Ms. Banks from Southeast London who’s proving she’s not to be disrespected or to be put on the back burner. ENNY another UK artist who is known for her tracks such as “He’s Not Into you” and “Peng Black Girls” featuring Amia Brave that later Jorja Smith was added to the remix. ENNY has a soulful voice with dope lyrics to showcase she and amongst a lot of women in the rap game don’t be want to be categorized or placed into a box.

For the number of people who continue to drag or degrade today’s women in rap for rapping about sex as well as many other male rappers have done time and time again. It’s not hard to find women in Hip-Hop whose style and music resonate with you. There are more lyrical rappers you can search for when looking for an artist that has a similar sound to Rapsody. Boston, Massachusetts Lyric Jones, to Charlotte North Carolina’s own Ivy Sole. These women in the rap game are killing it to where you no longer need to refer to them as “Female Rappers.” When they should be in the same conversation and category when talking about your Top 5 lyricist or your Top 5 favorite rappers. Regardless of it, all today’s women in Hip-Hop continue to show they have everything you are looking for when looking to find your new favorite artist.

For some, they may prefer Yung Baby Tate, Flo Mili, or even a Saweetie type of rapper. Maybe a Leikeli47 to a BIA, type of sound. Or even Jean Deaux or Kari Faux type of flow. They all may pique your interest in whatever type of artist or sound you are looking for. No matter the gender or sex of these rappers we shouldn’t continue to separate or disregard them because of their sex or gender. Just like when you discovered your favorite male rapper, they all may interest you with their subject matter, flow, and sound. But when bringing them up in conversations don’t continue to call them “Female Rappers” call them your favorite rapper.

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