Danae Workman | Staff Writer
Flickr User GwendolynLee
In the music industry, specifically in the hip-hop community, it is no secret that men dominate the business altogether. We are often reminded of the rappers that have left a great impact such as: Biggie, Tupac, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne. Female artists hardly make this list even though some of the most impactful people in hip-hop are females. This is not to discredit the work of male rappers, but we need to reflect on how female rappers are treated in this industry.
“Sex sells” has been a popular propaganda among companies in order to attract their audience and promote their brand. We mainly see a woman being exploited to promote this sort of propaganda. Female rappers are told to focus on how to reel the audience in rather than their lyricism. They are told to gain the attention of the audience with the way they look.
Women are viewed as sexual objects especially in this particular community and because of this they are not taken seriously.
According to Refinery29, early female artists dressed in baggy clothes that resembled male rappers as a way to show their seriousness. Women started to embrace their sexuality as a way to show that they can be feminine and still be a legend in the industry. Look at most of the female rappers from back in the day to now: Lil Kim, Trina, Eve, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and City Girls. They are all viewed as attractive women and have been very successful in the music industry due to their strong sex appeal.
On the other hand, we must consider whether female rappers can become successful in this field without the openly sexual persona. The only female rapper in this era that appears to achieve success without this image is Young M.A, but she is just barely making the charts as much as high-ranking rappers like Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. Women have always been the minority of the rap community which makes it more challenging to be as successful as men. The competition to be the best female rapper in the game turns into an unjust rivalry.
As a new female rapper achieves fame, they are constantly compared to other female rappers, but we hardly see these comparisons when it comes to male rappers. As a woman in a male dominated industry, it is essential to support and uplift each other to defeat the barriers that are placed in order to suppress women from obtaining the same success as men in the music industry. Instead of destroying someone’s career in order to remain at the top of the charts, it is more important to change how female rappers are viewed in the public eye and demanding the same respect as male rappers.