Music has always been one of the main topics for discussion among scholars. The modern world has brought to society lots of different styles, genres, and directions in music. Hip-hop culture is one of the music genres which appeared in America in the 1970s. There are several ite3ms that create the hip-hop culture: MCing, DJing, graffiti writing, and break dancing. Hip-hop fashion and slang do play not the last role in the hip-hop culture.
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Hip-hop has always been associated with men, but at the beginning of the 1990s women became an essential part of hip-hop. It is not that till that time women did not participate in hip-hop culture, they were not placed on one level with them. “Black women’s involvement in the fostering African-American community development forms the basis for community-based power” (Forman Keyes 2004-267).
The prejudices that the only man can “move the crowd” (Forman Rose 2004-299) have been ruined many years ago. Women create their pieces of music on the same themes as men, they also read rap on racism, physical abuse of women and children, drug addiction and AIDS, teen pregnancy and black politics, and others. (Forman Rose 2004).
“Women artists must be vigilant about keeping the history of their contribution to the art form of MCing top of mind. As the sole female on a song full of male rhymes, Mystic embraces the charge of representing the ladies” (Hess 2007-66).
Non-white women entered the hip-hop culture with four categories of rap music performances: “Queen Mother”, “Fly Girl”, “Sista with Attitude” and “Lisbian”. Four of these categories are mirrors of images, voices, and lifestyle, they “are introduced to rap by specific female rappers or MCs and are considered by the interpretive community in general as representative of and specific to African American female identity in contemporary urban culture” (Forman Keyes 2004-266).
Some people worry that too much sex and violence are presented in rap music. The youth is listening to it and makes some conclusions, they live by this music and the society is worried about their outlook, which is created influenced by rap music. Cheo Coker said that rap is a direct reflection of society, and it will be able to change “no sooner than the populace that influences it changes its audience” (August 2000).
To be honest, we should not blame rap music for violence and sex, all the violence and sex which is observed in rap music are those negative things the rap musicians see in the society, in the country they live in. “Hip-hop can give us the mirror the ills of the society and to tap that potential we need to look in that mirror and work to change the things we see” (Forman Pough 2004-288).
Non-white women were in the male shade for a long time. The hip-hop culture society was not sure whether they will be able to create a great effect by their creations of the listener. But women were not afraid, they took the risk and compete with men and did not fail. Now non-white women’s hip-hop culture flourish, and people consider them to be even better than men in some aspects, dance and body movements for example.
The hip-hop culture increases all the time and the part of women does not reduce, moreover, it increases. Black female identity took a worthy place in rap music performance.
Coker, Cheo. “Who’s gonna take the weight” Essence magazine. August 2000.
Forman, Murray. Neal, Mark Anthony. That’s the joint! The hip-hop studies reader. Routledge, 2004.
Hess, Mickey. Icons of hip hop: an encyclopedia of the movement, music, and culture. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007.