It’s no secret that women and hip-hop music have a complex relationship. We’ve read and seen various media on this topic ad nauseam. Hip-hop is not the only genre of music in which women are marginalized, yet it is repeatedly treated as the scapegoat. Hip-hop is simply a reflection of the world in which we live. Artists portray their experiences through their music; some are organic, others are manufactured. Mature women strive to combat marginalization by reflecting empowerment and respect for themselves. Despite hip-hop music’s promotion of themes contrary to these virtues, many of us still love hip-hop music. Here are four reasons for that love:
1. We grew up on it
As conscious rapper-actor Common once said, “I used to love H.E.R.” True hip-hop heads know that “H.E.R.” isn’t some fly boss chick but, hip-hop itself. Whether you were the cliché cutie pie or the geek that had to “glo” up, hip-hop was a vital part of your life. Hip-hop music was the soundtrack to our lives as we transitioned from naive girls into experienced women. Those of us who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s were blessed to live through the golden eras of hip-hop. Pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, the Sugar Hill Gang, and Run D.M.C. paved the way, while Salt-n-Pepa, Roxanne Shante and MC Lyte, represented well for the ladies. Artists ranging from Jay Z to OutKast continued the legacy and although there are only a few mainstream female hip-hop artists out today, artists like Lil Kim, Eve, Foxy Brown and Queen Latifah have made an indelible mark on hip-hop history. In all of them, we witnessed immeasurable creativity, determination, perseverance and strength. We also witnessed the evolution of hip-hop as it transitioned from the street corners to the arenas. Today’s hip-hop is definitely not the same as back in the day, but our nostalgia keeps us curious. Thank God that we can use the Internet to find and reminisce over our favorite old-school joints.