Refined and Fly

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Peace. This is a comment in response to an article posted on Hip Hop journalist and radio personality Davey D's page called, "Is the Female Emcee Extinct?" on my myspace page ( my top friends to get to the original article)

Peace. I don't think female rappers are extinct in general. There are plenty of females who rhyme (including myself...check the page for music). There are plenty of female emcees (and even the fact that one has to say"female emcee" shows a double standard...nobody says male emcee when referring to a male) who are skilled and have something to say. It's a matter of what is being promoted. Unfortunately, in this day and time, music is very categorized. I guess the categories are supposed to help people understand who you are and what you do in 5 seconds so you can decide if the music is your cup of tea or not. It's like fast food...Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald's, coming in a glossy stylized package that's easy to figure out so you can choose whatever unhealthy meal you wanna eat that night. So if you don't fit into a category (and I'm sure some dudes have this issue too) i.e. vixen, hardcore, tomboyish, ride or die chick, "conscious," etc then labels feel it's harder to market your music.

This is so related to economics. The easier you are to package, the easier you are to sell...and it's fucked up, cuz this being the case, half the artists who came out back in the day wouldn't be put out in this day and time. That's part of the reason why songs are so formulaic now...not much originality, and the cycle repeats itself. A standard is set and people keep puttin out music according to that standard so their music will sell i.e. the ever played out "club song." I mean how many ways can you talk about going to the got damn club! Can we at least explore a different kind of club?! How many songs about hustlin? How many songs about Bonny and Clyde relationships or fucked up relationships? At the least, the nature of the popular Hip Hop landscape is boring, among other things. I do like some artists that are out though, for varying reasons so I'm not hatin.'

Even Shawnna and Remy Ma for instance...I know they can spit fire and I like them. But their songs you hear on the radio are about sex, bein fly, whatever kind a shit. And say what you want about Lil Mama and her "Lip Gloss", but I happen to like her. She's not rhymin about sex and ass, she's fully clothed in her video dancin havin a good time like a teenager would, and she sounds like she can actually rap....(and if you peep the beginnig and ending scenes of the video with her an her mom in the car, there's a positive message).The nature of the game at this point creates artists and songs who are not memorable. I can't really remember off the top of my head 10 popular songs from 2005. This shit is just kind of all running together. I barely even buy music at this point (why should you when you know you'll here your favorite song on the radio 50,000 times?)

There is a double standard when it comes to being a female emcee. You're expected to be weak off the bat, just cuz you're a woman, and women didn't create that standard, so you have to work harder to prove yourself...write better, sound stronger, come harder. And in this industry, you can't be "unattractive" or considered "overweight" and sell. And that's fucked up cuz the bottom line is that in order for you to be put out as an artist, for people to hear you, you have to be considered, ultimately, fuckable! That's what that shit is about. But shit, look at Biggie! He proclaimed that he was "Black and ugly as eva," but because of his rhymes and general swagger, most people dug it. But I will agree with another person's comment that more and more you see dudes with their shirts off with ripped abs and muscles for eye candy. Even the whole shit about having to put out a "song for the ladies." I mean damn! We would like a variety. We don't always just wanna hear love songs with R Kelly, Ne-Yo or Akon singin on the hook. Sure, I'll admit, a lot of us like to sing along with choruses, but I like hardcore shit or songs with some level of substance just as much as any man. People continue to underestimate female fans.

There are so many female emcees who would crush half of these dudes out. Usually, when people here me, they're pleasantly surprised, and I used to like that...being underestimated by my looks and provin cats wrong. It's a double sided side, because female emcees are becoming more rare these days, when you grab the mic as a woman, you have people's ear cuz they wanna hear what you have to're just not expected to say much. "You're one of the dopest females I've heard" is what I'll get sometimes, and I know people mean well and I appreciate it, but that just shows me that not much is expected from a woman.

When you hear a dude that's a dope emcee, you know what he's called...

A dope emcee. Period

How bout you? Do you or have you underestimated a "female emcee" because she simply is a woman? And don't get it twisted...this question ain't just for the fellas. Women underestimate each other too...


  • At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Peace Earth! I cee you completely, I just recently saw the Lil' Mama video, and though the song is irritating after a while, the truth is the song isn't for me, it's for sistas in her age group and like you said she ain't disrespecting herself and she got a nice flow. I actually really appreciated that she came out like that, I rather the young sistas singing about lip gloss, than being somebody baby mama. Keep doing ya' thang. PEACE


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