Writer’s Note: I’m not saying any of this to take away from whatever challenges women face in hip hop but that’s a separate issue from something I feel affect artists in general; having some receive mainstream success over others who could arguably be better musically. But qs DJ Booth once quoted, “who has the followers?”
As I read this quote by billboard’s ,
“But hip-hop culture will suffer if only a small handful of these artists are showered with the bulk of the attention,”
If you take a look at Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 chart, it’s abundantly clear that hip-hop was the dominant genre in 2018. But dig a little deeper. Beyond the ubiquitous Drakes and Post Malones of the world, there were only two female rappers who claimed their stake on the coveted chart, with a combined 12 appearances between them.
I couldn’t help but ask that question in the headline.
Within the article it mentions a bunch of artists (surprised that Rocky B or Dreezy’s name wasn’t included), which is cool, but they’re going to run into the same fate like many of their male counterparts. Why? Because you’re talking about mainstream success and thinking all of them will get their due? And in this era, an era more personalized than before thanks to streaming and the internet? Of course they’re going to work their asses off and more than others because it’s not the same game as it was, but that’s to their betterment in more ways than not.
Just think, how many talented artists you know, men and women, that should be talked about more or had their music more popular but it ain’t happen like that? I use Big KRIT as one of many examples. I for one as a Lupe fan was tight that his music wasn’t accepted more, but then you understand that’s how it is when you’re talking about mainstream music. Only a select few reach that level.
But I think women got a lot of good looks this year, especially with BET’s cypher.
I imagine if more and more opportunities for people to get exposed to these artists, and not just the ideal ones, then the better. You can’t just shout out women names and expect them to simply float to success because they’re women though. It shouldn’t be that way anyway long as we’re providing the platform for them to get more exposure (like the article mentioned by putting them on more songs, tours, etc). That’s a start but these women need to have their A game on because if they’re already being counted out from the jump, then it’s best to tighten up. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work neither, so making connections and pulling a few strings is paramount.
Thinking long-term, just make dope music and let as many people hear it as possible is where a lot of these women need to go cause I’ll tell you this. I just heard of Naru not long ago and how many people you think are talking about her or will be moving forward?
Naru released her newest album The Blackest Joy earlier this year – her first project since The Miner’s Canary in 2015. Both of these albums have been distributed through Naru’s own independent label, The Urban Era, which she founded.” #hiphop https://t.co/h188Is5OSW
The Club Route
“There may be a lesser-known woman who’s not necessarily the most popular, but if she got a record that is good for a club, just throw it on.”
I’m telling you, how can you expand the role of women in hip hop if their success is measured by having a good club song or not (a problem not foreign to male MCs)?
I get it though. I hate it’s like that because you’ll have a bunch of women all trying to follow the same format to get themselves noticed instead of making quality music independent of one. If that’s the advice we’re giving to current and future artists, then how many you think will thread that needle?