From its conception four decades ago, hip-hop as a subculture was originally a medium to raise social consciousness, a solution to the problem, so to speak. But come the 80s and the 90s, the subculture has become part of the problem it was trying to solve; for as the music became more mainstream and accessible, the demand for it to become sexual increased, for sex sells, as it has always been.
And as the music became more hypersexual, so did the prevalence of misogynistic lyrics and music videos, where the females are overtly objectified through the relentless show of flesh, the overemphasis of bodily curves - almost leaving nothing for the imagination - and the use of insults and other slanderous terms that reduce them to derogatory names such as bitch, slut and whore, terms that would never make it to the airwaves due to explicitness.
In a subculture and music genre dominated by men, all of whom greatly capitalize on reducing women to negative stereotypes even those of their own color, their female counterparts fought their way in through various maneuvers - by colliding head-on against the unfortunate but accepted norm just like what MC Lyte, Salt N' Pepa and Queen Latifah did in the 80s, or through reinvention, innovation and role reversal (yes, Missy Elliot we're looking at you), by going back to basics as what Lauryn Hill did, or by simply owning up to the stereotype the fantasy, the sexual object but instead of playing victim, artists like Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, Trina and Nicki Minaj rose to the occasion by packaging and selling themselves as the personas their predecessors have been trying to shut down and change for decades.
[...] Lauryn's music reminded listeners of what hip-hop is and what is it all about. Her critically acclaimed and commercially successful 1998 release Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” featured a fusion of genres such as neo soul, hip-hop, jazz, funk, gospel and pop, while its lyrics resonated among women as it spoke about relevant issues such as motherhood, family and the demise of relationships and it encouraged spirituality and female empowerment. Her album represented the core of hip- hop: an artistic avenue for expression that's urban and soulful rhythmically, and profound and relevant lyrically. [...]
[...] Sistah, You Got Game: The rise and role of women in hip-hop over the last 30 years From its conception four decades ago, hip-hop as a subculture was originally a medium to raise social consciousness, a solution to the problem, so to speak. But come the and the the subculture has become part of the problem it was trying to solve; for as the music became more mainstream and accessible, the demand for it to become sexual increased, for sex sells, as it has always been. [...]
[...] She had a complete arsenal of talents and an unparalleled musical vision that not only leveled the playing field, it challenged the norm head-on. A “triple threat”, as Swizz Beatz describes her, people attribute her success and legacy to her ability to perform, produce music and write songs, both for her and other artists. What it Means to be a Female MC Today Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliot changed the landscape of modern hip-hop. They did leave a remarkable imprint but their departure (Hill) or current inactivity (Elliot) also created a vacuum that left their contemporaries with nothing to hold on to but the prevailing misogyny that's unfortunately feeding hip-hop if they wanted to stay in the game - it was a “sink or swim” situation. [...]
[...] They were also liberators, equalizers, and for a few, there were some that can be considered as baffling or misrepresenting. The problem that impedes the emergence, prominence and success of female rappers is not only misogyny, double standards and capitalism, but the fact that they are outnumbered and diverse. Diversity can be a good thing, for it breeds the further propagation of the art and culture of hip-hop through variation, which is why some artists go underground while others attempt to break out in the mainstream scene. [...]
[...] Back then, it was all about the game and the rhyme, and less about the sexiness and the style, unlike today. From the Talented to the Titillating: the “Hypersexualization” of Hip-Hop (Mid-1990s to Present) Halfway through the hip-hop music was becoming a household name thanks to the popularity of 2Pac, Biggie, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre to name a few. The male dominated genre was gradually leaving the streets and moving to the studios; the music and the culture were becoming mainstream and major record labels started to take notice. [...]
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