Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Remy Ma, and Rapsody have all garnered some level of success over the past few years. These women are the “mainstream” rappers who just happen to be female. There are definitely a lot of other women who are rapping but let me be the first to tell you that there will be even more women in the rap game over the next several years. In the current age of copy and paste every label is rushing to grab a female rapper to add to their roster. Any woman whether she writes her own rhymes, strips, bartends on social media, or is a YouTube star; they all have a chance to get signed. The labels are scrambling so hard they might even be able to market Iggy Azalea and Azalea Banks and make a decent amount of money.
The same way there were a bunch of “Roxanne’s” there’ll be a bunch of Cardi B’s. Remember 22 Savage? Who told the male rappers that hair dye would catapult them to stardom? It’s a look that can be easily replicated and bottled into a persona. The industry has the financial resources to manufacture an image based on what has worked in the past. Who is rushing to take Queen Latifah’s place? Who’s rushing to take MC Lyte’s place? Who’s rushing to take Foxy Brown’s place? Who’s rushing to take Lauryn Hill’s place? Lil Kim’s spot looks more enticing than Lyte’s but at what cost? Who wants to go that route when you can just get pregnant by any rapper with a name right?
I’m not saying this because we’re talking about women because there are plenty of young new male rappers who don’t deserve our ears but we give it to them anyway. Over sexualizing is a mold that is reserved for women only in the music industry as if there’s nothing more to offer. You have rappers like Remy Ma and Rapsody who prove that women don’t have to look a certain way to grasp the attention of men. But guess what…sex sells! The half-naked women will burnout quickly while the artists will earn our respect and our money long-term. The up and coming women of Hip Hop/Rap music need to keep their own eyes open when these labels come to you with their “deals.” Don’t make it this far just to end up back on the pole or behind the bar.
“They call us skeezers and you prove it to the worst.” – Queen Latifah (Heal Yourself)