Hip Hop Feminism

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To me, hip hop feminism is defined as women empowering women and advocating for gender equality through their love of hip hop and all of its elements. "Is Hip Hop Feminism Alive in 2011?" described it as "loving an art form that is reluctant to love you..." After listening to the music of MC Lyte and Queen Latifah and dissecting their lyrics, this description seemed to fit somewhat perfectly. These two female MCs of the hip hop generation embrace the opportunity to use their artistic talent to advocate for women's rights through their lyrics. Each rejects the idea of women being nothing more than their exterior and attempt, quite successfully, to make the invisible visible while denying any accompanying stereotypes. They discuss the undiscussed. They send the message that women are strong, powerful and independent. One of my favorite lines from Queen Latifah's song "U.N.I.T.Y" is "I'm not your personal whore, that's not what I'm here for and nothing good gonna come to ya 'til you do right by me." Here she is demonstrating her strength as a woman. Previously in the song she discussed that she thought she needed a man in her life and that she didn't know how to let said man go and move on with her life. But as the song continues and she reaches this line, the message rings clearly. She is speaking out against sexual objectification and violence against women. She wants listeners to know that she, and her fellow female followers are intelligent, capable and strong independent individuals that are speaking out against injustices and the misrepresentation of women in hip hop.

Here in the Twin Cities, there is a multimedia festival that "challenges and changes the perceptions and roles of women," through reveling in the influences of women in the hip hop genre - B Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop. For seven years, this program through Intermedia Arts has been dissecting the contributions of women to hip hop and it's culture, while critiquing previous misconceptions through MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti. I believe the program is open to any youth who wishes to create a more positive understanding of women through music and movement. I have also heard of two girls who formed the Nancy Drew Crew, that were actually students at the University of Minnesota and are queer, feminist-activist women with little to no background in hip hop. They started rapping to speak out against the misogyny of the music of their youth as well as the capitalistic ideals that were strongly represented in hip hop. They are now doing tours of their production out West.


nancy drew crew.jpg

http://intermediaarts.org/b-girl-be1
http://www.lyricsfreak.com/q/queen+latifah/unity_20801548.html
http://www.theroot.com/views/hip-hop-feminism?page=0,1
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/08/21/interview-nancy-drew-crew-feminists-and-activists-mic.html

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This page contains a single entry by jen published on October 3, 2012 2:35 AM.

Hip Hop and Feminine Unity was the previous entry in this blog.

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