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July 01, 2005

IT'S THAT F-WORD AGAIN


I Might As Well Tell U Who I Am...>

I wanted to post this brief question and answer session for ya'll. An educator by the name of Tracey Salisbury, who came all the way up to B-Girl Be from the University of North Carolina, is putting together an online course on Hip Hop for the fall semester. She's dedicated an entire section of the curriculum to Women and Hip Hop, and has her tech team putting together a "Hip Hop feminist/scholar" virtual roundtable as we speak! Her students will be able to click on each scholar's name, and in my case, they'll be linked to some of my online articles and editorials, as well as P2P. I love that she's doing this because she's one of the few people who acknowledges the Hip Hop scholars who DON'T have PhD's, as well as the ones reppin' Hip Hop for what it's worth within the "Ivory Tower". DOPE SHIT.

Without further pontification...

What is your view of hip-hop feminism?

I embody Hip Hop Feminism because of my politics, activism, and heritage. My Grandmother, Audrey Tuffli-Fuss, founded the first "ad-hoc" women's studies department at CSU Long Beach which eventually became one of the first women's studies departments at a University. I am a staunch activist when it comes to preserving Hip Hop culture, and as an editor and writer I've strived to portray artists and their work in a manner that is historically accurate. Hip Hop is my culture, my life, and my family. Within that culture there lurks a dichotomy and often a disconnect between Hip Hop and Rap, men and women, Commercialism and Consciousness, and even Black and white. As a woman who comes from a generations-long herstory of feminism, I am careful to include women in Hip Hop whenever and wherever possible in articles, book chapters, lectures, discussions, my blog, and even personal conversations. Women in Hip Hop are responsible for SO many "firsts" and half the Herstory will never be told. But for the other half, I've dedicated the better part of my life to Hip Hop, to feminism, and to supporting the growth and development of women within the Hip Hop sphere. I consider myself a wise woman warrior who's fighting a war against silence, misogyny, misrepresentation, sexism, rape, harassment, discrimination, and historical genocide. By any means necessary, through my words and actions, I support women who are working toward this common goal.

What is the greatest issue concerning women and hip-hop?

From my perspective, the greatest issue concerning women in Hip Hop is that misogyny and sexism are rampant throughout the music business and the business of music. Furthermore, this has been a problem for upwards of 20 years; so there is much work to be done to clean up the dirty history and misrepresentation. Images of women in Hip Hop have hit an all-time low, with the only slots available for female MCs falling under the category of Hoe-Hop and Stripper Rap. As women, we must financially support ALL female Hip Hop and Rap artists who do not fall into this "tender trap". Furthermore, we MUST NOT support those artists, male or female, who serve the other side and rhyme to reinforce stereotypes, perpetuate misogyny, and/or hoard wealth for themselves. By this I mean a total Girlcott of radio, TV, CDs, DVDs, films, and any other consumption where women refuse to spend their hard-earned cash supporting those who are against women, against Hip Hop culture, and against women in Hip Hop especially.

What is the future for women and hip-hop?

The future is brighter than ever from Women in Hip Hop. With ongoing movements encompassing the Spelman College Nelly Girlcott, Essence Magazine's Take Back the Music campaign, the Feminism in Hip Hop Conference at University of Chicago, B-Girl Be: A Summit For, By and About Women in Hip Hop in Minneapolis, and a rise in women in power at CNBC, MTV, and BET; change is in the wind. Feminism is the new F-word, and every woman knows somebody who knows something about it. Artists like Jean Grae, Mystic, Psalm One, Desdamona, Goapele, Misundastood, Rayna Shine, Jewel Brown, DJ Kuttin Kandi, The Anomolies, Earth Everest of Black Elephant, D-Lo, Invincible, and so many more may or may not consider themselves feminists; however they are creating the music and lifeforce to sway Hip Hop back to the days when we were Queens and Ladies, not bitches and hoes. Whenever any of these women picks up a mic, they inspire a younger generation of B-Girls on the rise to do the same. It will be these "fourth-wave" B-Girls and Hip Hop feminists to whom we'll pass the baton; and trust me when I say that they'll be rough, rugged and raw when it comes to respecting and protecting the legacy of Women in Hip Hop.

Peace,

Miranda Jane
http://pyramids2projects.blogspot.com/

17 Comments:

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Gully said...

there is a dier need for more "REAL" hip-hop women. Not those that have to show something in order to sell something. Remy Ma is a joke, also the heifer looks like a meekrat with that blonde highlight track across her hair.

PEACE

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger DVD said...

A meerkat?! Ha! That's hilarious. I'm gonna call her Timon from now on! Yeah MJ, I feel you, but just like UGK is your guilty pleasure, for some girls, UGK is their way of life. Even though we're universal, most of the country and the world is very regional. Some of us universal folks miss that because like minds attract each other so even when I go to Atlanta or NY, I meet up with people who think and act like me. But there is a whole slew of people who don't see beyond the mirror, or beyond their block, or beyond the tv or radio. You can't tell them that 3-6 Mafia ain't the hottest shit on the planet. We do need more female representation period, so there's more of a balance. I understand what you're saying about the slots that are open, and right now strip hop is hot, so it seems like you can't get a spot if you're not hoeing, but I mean folks like Latifah, Lyte, Shante, etcetera, these women aren't broke, aren't helpless, and are hip hop heads to the fullest. It just takes someone to pool these resources and bring them together to do something phenomenal when it comes to female rap. Master P didn't come up because he was hot, he came up because he had the money and ambition to come up. We all know it just takes some dough and ambition, especially if you already got all the connects. I'm not opposed to women doing a girlcott or anything else for that matter, I just feel that balancing the scales is more effective.

 
At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is so entrenched and goes beyond the word themselves. How can I not support my sisters irregards to if I like or dislike their lyrics? What I have done is too form my own Entertainment company were as a female would be offered a solution as opposed to trying to "fix" a problem. I cannot in good faith knowing who I am also point the finger and become another Bill Cosby. Some of us have had opportunities and access to knowledge of others and thus fostering knowledge of self that some of my sisters and brothers have not had. I cannot reach back into a community that I am from and currently in. We have to as a people take more responsibilty for our images that are reflected to the world. If I am not going to buy a CD because of the lyrics or identification of "stripper music" then I most certainly am not going to support Destiny child as they sing and make money off of and appear on Oprah with "I need a solider" or do a lapdance in front of 4.1 million viewers. please so until we start coming up with some real viable solutions and practice what we preach and not to those who are apart of the choir then it shall remain as is I truly do believe.

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous SHEE said...

I respect what you are trying to do.

Its unfortunate but female emcees will never be viewed on the same scale as men. Over the years we have learned to love some male rappers, many of which are the most hideous creatures to cross the face of the earth. Hmm, let’s think – a “juicy” yet morbidly obese brother with a lazy eye managed to “hypnotize” me, while another with crater faced acne spit “flava in ya ears” and another cat with a nose the size of Broadway taught us how to be “criminal minded” – let’s not forget the let’s say…interesting character that told us why “911 is a joke”. The list goes on and on. Joe Camel had us brushing “dirt off our shoulders”, another rapper from the raccoon species made us “holla, holla” etc. When does the insanity end? There is another rapper who’s face makes me wanna “run girl”, but he’s “like a pimp”, even a bifocal rocking nerd can be a “pimp in his own mind” and teach us all about “sex appeal”. If there were a female rapper that embodied any characteristics of the aforementioned rappers, her career would be over before it begins – it doesn’t matter how tight her lyrics are. People form an opinion when they see photographs.

I’m an independent female hip-hop recording artist and I’m personally embarrassed by the nonsense. There are opportunity postings for female emcees and get this…they request jpegs before mp3s. Someone forwarded me info about a female rap battle that was scheduled to take place. They requested an application be filled out for consideration…this application asked nothing about your accomplishments as a recording artist – it did however ask for your height and weight, measurements, bust-size. I’m not heavily afflicted by this – I’m caramel complexioned, with long (real) hair, oriental looking eyes, and a phat ass – men are generally receptive…but are they listening to what I’m saying??? The world may never know.

Holla.

 
At 11:06 AM, Anonymous v.i.n.o.d said...

lloyd banks shit is tha hottest mayn...he got tha flo of tha century.he is one of tha youngest but illest rapper around.ur lyrics r hot and tha shit u present is hot too....50 u r smart cos u got banks..
holla back

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey way to be ignorant!

 
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At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feminism SHOULD BE ABOUT WOMEN BEING PROUD TO BE MOTHERS AND NURTURERS.

After the abortion comment attributed to a hypothetical made by Bennet, I AS A BLACK MALE HAVE DICIDED TO HAVE TEN PURE BLACK CHILDREN AND GIVE UP A NEW ESCALADE, BLING-BLING, WASTING MONEY.

I see 'feminists' promoting abortion and genocide through abortion AS THE GREATEST ENEMIES OF BLACK PEOPLE AND OF HUMANITY.

As a Black male, my objective is SELF-PRESERVATION AND MORE OF MY TYPE SO WE SURVIVE. Hence, I am going to have ten children and raise them all to be conscious, nationalistic and proud to be BLACK AND PURE.

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