Female Rap = Women Empowerment

Shuffling my “Rap girls” playlist in order to not feel lesser, whilst doing the dishes and Megan Thee Stallion ‘Neva’ comes on. Her powerfully playful lyrics reminded me of a relationship I recently untangled myself from… “I could tell these bitches spoil you, but I’m a player so I see the toy in you”. This is one of her many songs that make you sit back and reevaluate your dating life. Although men love to reduce Meg to “being tall and twerking” she is clearly multifaceted as she’s managed to achieve greatness in her early career. Holding two major collaborations with Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé under her belt. The unification of many of the rap girls would not have been probable without her hand playing a part. She’s displayed a handful of talents despite the exploitation she has faced from men and media. Her male counter parts in the hip hop game could “truly never” hold their own the way she has.

Megan’s music is a source of female empowerment for many women because of the way she owns her sexuality and isn’t afraid to prove that she is also more than her body. We have been allowed to follow her journey through her music and via her social media, she’s controlled her own narrative. An underrated personal favourite negro spiritual, Meg sings about having to be the bigger person, as she’s ‘Crying in the car’ she asks God to not give up on her whilst she goes hard.

The Hip-hop industry has made it very difficult for multiple women to be in the game at the same time. Many girls succumb to all the pressures put against them, such as placing things like aesthetics, visuals, wig and makeup stylists above the relevance of their message. The power of their words or the weight that a good Rap holds gets lost in sauce. On the flip side there is an abundance of outstanding talent today, the female rappers are carrying the torch because they are delivering bars with meaning.

These past two years a number of Rap girls have risen and dropped projects back to back, that have made huge impact. The girls are all offering a plethora of flavours, personalities and sounds in Rap, you can be any kind of girl you imagine — a Barb, Bardi gang member, Hot, Icy or even a City girl.

To this day Azealia Banks Movin’ on up & 1991 are songs that have gotten my right back on track when I felt I’d forgotten my purpose. From Love beats Ryhmes, AB talks wanting to be a girl that is secure in her femininity and explore self-love. She is one of the early girls to incorporate a sing and rap flow that works.

Tempo featuring the iconic Missy Elliott was a song that I enjoyed despite how clear the message “slow songs they for skinny hoes, can’t move all of this here to one of thoese I’m a thick bitch I need Tempo” was aiming for. It’s the inclusion of all body types for me.

Lastly my ultimate favourite song of the month ‘Little Nokia’ by none other than homegrown star Bree Runway. The song empowers girls to leave him, yes that drug dealing, nokia pining, “boy who’s stress”. This artist has been grinding for long it’s criminal that she’s not highly acknowledged in our mainstream charts, her songs explore various sounds, her skill is that she is versatile and she serves a creative visual. She is absolutely the moment.

It’s entirely possible for ones playlist to be filled entirely of just the female Rap because of their versatility today. The Rap genre has long become mainstream and the girls who rap encourage larger audience to unapologetically be themselves. The united front the girls created, has allowed for refreshing collaborations to occur, one of the reasons as to why they’ve gained so much popularity and are received with high praise and recognition. Not too long ago, only a small number of female rappers held it down in the industry. It quickly became public that labels forced “beef” that pit women against each other for the sake of numbers. The result? Top artists at war and a lack of musical diversity. But the girls are seeing more success every year as there has been a steady rise of female rappers taking over the game. Some could also argue that the impacted success of African-American women rappers topping streaming charts has influenced our own homegrown talent to follow suit.

Each girl empowers her fans in different in ways, if it’s to stay in school, ensure independence from a young age, pursue their dreams. The girls are a lot more creative with their image and their art they aren’t afraid to aim big and collaborate big — all these moves are incredibly powerful. With apps like TikTok with 800 million users, songs like Savage and Say So (even unreleased New Body by Nicki) have widely spread and blown up on the charts. Both songs’ remixes battled it out for number 1 on Hot 100 creating history due to their huge collaborators. This marked the first time that rap tracks by female artists have secured the top two spaces, something stan twitter was sure to inform me about.

As we look forward to more from the girls the rest of this year and 2021, If you’re looking to find an empowering Rap Girls playlist look no further:

UAL BA Journalism Grad: carlaaureliem@gmail.com

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