While hip hop’s a culture that embraces the diverse contributions of every people, beyond boundary or border, its roots and native blood lines trace us back to the black and brown barrios of New York City, particularly to the South Bronx. While aware of hip hop’s global appeal, when we speak of the hip hop community, we acknowledge the impact of original people at the very heart of our community. In essence, nothing happens in hip hop that does not coincide with the lives of black people. Women play a unique and unequal roll to that of the men in hip hop. Hyper-sexualized or otherwise de-feminized, refined women in hip hop have become the exception and not the rule. How does this effect our generation and the black nation? After all, when we speak of women in hip hop, the first mother, a black woman, is the one we’re looking up to.
It’s paramount that we remember that, “No nation rises above the level of it’s women.” It was The Honorable Elijah Muhammad who stated that 75% of his mission is with the female, just as The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) told us that the mother is to be honored three times before the father is honored once. By and large, the de-feminization and sexual exploitation of women and girls is an unacceptable factor in hip hop as well as in modern society. It’s marketed as “cool” and presented as the norm for our women and girls to be treated merely as mistresses, bitches, hoes, jump offs, trophies and prostitutes. However, so long as we do not correct the status and treatment of women and girls in our culture and society, neither the black nation, hip hop nation, nor any nation will ever rise. Women in hip hop: what are our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers worth?
Stay tuned for my forthcoming column in Hip Hop U Multimedia Magazine highlighting the value of women in hip hop culture.