We are witnessing an important moment in music and Black American culture: The Black female rap renaissance. For decades, there could only be few Black female rappers around at a time. Most of them didn’t get the recognition they deserved and were held back by the misogyny in hip hop. Seeing all of these talented Black female rappers has me feeling more optimistic about the state of Black music. Hip hop to be specific.
Over the past few years, I started to lose hope and interest in hip hop. It was becoming more white washed. Culture vultures like Post Malone and Iggy Azealea were being pushed to the top of the charts. Unfortunately mumble rap was also taking over. So seeing all of these Black women, like Tierra Whack and Cupcakke, rapping their asses off has given me hope again. These female rappers have respect and knowledge for old school rap. They pay homage and reference the legends in their music. They don’t disrespect legendary rappers like their male and white counterparts previously have.
This burst of black female rappers is testing a notoriously misogynistic and misogynoiristic genre. Hip hop was and still is viewed as a male genre. There could only be a few female rappers out every decade. Hip hop is notorious for its misogynistic lyrics. Referring to women as “bitches” and “hoes” for thirty years and counting. Rap is also famous for the use of video vixens. A woman’s only place in hip hop was being objectified. We have to mention the elements of misogynoir in rap music too. There’s this obsession with foreign women, meaning any woman who isn’t Black or “too Black”. Numerous lines about how much these rappers love redbone and yellowbone women. Some rappers have even insulted Black women and darker skinned women insulted Black women and darker skinned women in their music. Yet they are still respected artists. That’s what makes this Black female rap renaissance groundbreaking. They are challenging the foundation of rap music.
This renaissance has led to the rise of more Black female superstars and trendsetters. Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, and City Girls are a few that come to mind. Now we have hits like “Truth Hurts” and “Act Up”. You can’t go anywhere without hearing someone mention the phrase, “Hot Girl Summer”. It was so popular that mainstream companies tried to co-opt it. Thankfully Megan trademarked her famous phrases.
Now we have a new genre of rap music. Many of these newer rappers have been labeled as “Bad bitch rappers”. Bad bitch rappers have cocky and sexually liberated lyrics. They rap about men the same way men rap about women. Which is why a lot of men are bothered by them, including Jermaine Dupri.
Black women have never had diverse representation, especially in music, until this era. Light skinned women with curvy bodies are no longer the only black female artists put on a pedestal. We have beautiful dark skinned women like Dreezy, Kari Faux, JT, Cupcakke, etc. There is a female rapper for every Black woman to relate to. We have the hood rappers like Asian Doll and Cuban Doll. We have Black Barbies like Kash Doll. “Weirdos” like Rico Nasty and Doja Cat. Earthy girls like Noname. They all bring different rap styles to the table. There’s trap rap like Molly Brazy and Bali Baby. There’s conscious rap like Rapsody. There’s pop rap like Yung Baby Tate and Lizzo. There’s the bad bitch rappers like Renni Rucci and City Girls. Then there’s sexually liberated women like Sukihana. There’s a female rapper out there for everybody. So when you say all female rappers sound the same I know you’re either lying or haven’t done your homework.
This influx of Black female rappers is exciting. These women are doing more than making great music. They are breaking boundaries. They are giving Black women representation. This is what Black Girl Magic is.