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LADIES FIRST: WHY IS THE STANDARD FOR FEMALE RAPPERS SO DIFFERENT ?

Last week, Cardi B took to Twitter to express how she feels about criticism for female artists:

And she might be on to something. Since its birth in the 70’s, Hip-Hop has been a heavily male-dominated genre. From Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. to Drake and J. Cole the biggest stars have always generally been men, supported by teams of male producers, managers, and crew members.


Just recently, Cali rapper, Saweetie said she had “PTSD” after freestyling for industry tastemaker Ebro and his radio show cohosts on Hot97. Fresh off her"Icy Girl success", Saweetie was a bright-eyed rising star, simply enjoying her new success at the time. In the comment section of the video people questioned why Ebro was being so harsh on Saweetie especially being that this was her first attempt of freestyling on a public platform. Although the freestyle wasn’t good, the standard set for female emcees is completely different and arguably unfair compared to male counterparts.



The term "female rapper" is the first sign of the blatant segregation amongst talent. Although the distinction is necessary, being that rap is a male-dominated genre, it also highlights a major problem in the Hip Hop community. It's important to consider, what message we reinforce by separating women from the larger pool of emcees. Rap pioneers like Nicki Minaj have spoken out about the inequality in the game, constantly reiterating that she writes her own verses unlike many of her female (and male) peers. In an interview with Hot 97's Funk Flex, Nicki set the record straight about her undeniable presence in the industry and confronted for Flex and his controversial comments about her career.


We can't deny the impact and influence that women have had on Hip Hop. Since its birth, women have made major contributions to hip-hop, from Sylvia Robinson bringing the genre to the Top 40, to Roxanne Shante setting the stage for battle rap. The history of female rappers includes dope femcees such as Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah who paved the way for new age stars like Nicki Minaj, Megan the Stallion, City Girls, Cardi B and more. However, Hip hop’s youngest generation of women has spent the past few years making captivating, genre-redefining music and not receiving enough attention for it. But the ladies aren't letting the critisicim and naysayers stop them. Cardi B's grammy win was major for female rap being that she became the first solo female artist to win best rap album. Megan the Stallion also won a grammy for her hit single Savage featuring Beyonce. Although the standards are different for male and female rappers, one thing for sure, women will continue to break the ceilings and every box society tries to put them in.

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