Updated: Apr 15
I woke up one morning around 8am, to the sun warming my entire tiny apartment bedroom in Austin, Texas. It was a Thursday morning and I didn’t have class until 12. I went through my normal morning ritual of one solid hour watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire on MTV, and using the commercials to think about what I am going to wear; ya know, when I actually do get up. I was snapped out of my empty thoughts by a familiar beat but an unfamiliar message.
“U-N-I-T-Y… Who you calling a B—-!”
It was Queen Latifa’s birthday and MTV was celebrating by reminding us of one of the powerful black women that used rap as a way to uplift women. The video also helped me decide what I wanted to wear that day. I put on my black turtle neck sleeveless sweater, hopped into a pair of jeans and was jammin’ UNITY in my head the rest of the day.
Many female rap artists walk that very fine line of degrading and uplifting women. Some will argue that UNITY does the same, but compared to today’s popular female hip hop artists, UNITY is a gospel hymn.
I question where we got lost. Not where the music got lost, but where the people, and the fans got lost. Where did we get lost in what we celebrate? Or did we all just conform. When in Rome do as. I cannot think of one recent female rapper, although there aren’t many, whose music uplifts women for more than our physical features. In fact, I hear more understanding of women’s need to focus on our physicality for empowerment from male rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole. (But I may be skewed based on the male artists I listen to… ie. Kendrick Lamar and J Cole. lol)
Check my facts, but I would argue that when male artists are degrading the women as nothing but bitches and hoes, we have more female artists emerge to combat that message. But, looking at today’s music, when we have male artists telling us to love ourselves for who we are, we have more female artists telling us to have bigger butts and twerk something for our power. Where does the real power lie?
Now days we would say, “Don’t call me a Bitch! Call me a bad Bitch.”
But, are you still a bitch?