A League Of Their Own: FEMCEES

jean grae

Back in the 1980’s actors were upset because comedians were getting all the good acting roles. But come 90’s, the rappers were taking some of the best roles. In the new millennium a celebrity has to do it all. Look at Beyonce, she sings, models and acts(her acting “skills” are still debatable).

But who would have predicted that video models/vixens/whatever would join the ever shrinking hardly balanced group of female rappers?!

Well-known to those that can still watch a series of hip hop videos without changing the channel, Angel Lola Luv and Vida Guerra have both recently released singles.

You may be thinking…well, aren’t most female rappers merely the star video vixen in their own videos? Hmm….you may be on to something.

Being an “other” hip hop artist, female rappers have the challenge of living up to the black males that dominate the genre by being just as tough as the badmen.

Just as being a badman means the artist has to display a complete disregard for the law. Being a badwoman it seems requires a complete disregard to the traditional view of what it means to be a lady.

Generally, the badwoman finds success in hip hop on a large scale when she is just as criminal minded as her male counterparts and just as overtly graphic and objective when talking about male/female relations, in other words she is the “baddest bitch.”

The reinvention of “lady” to include her many personalities and moods is definitely not frowned upon, some of the bad bitch talk is quite entertaining. However, there are other sides. Where are they?

Well, you can check YouTube because you certainly cannot find them on the charts, on the radio or in your video countdown. Why not?

Well, you cannot address why badwomen want to be their own video vixen without recognizing the beauty double standard in the entertainment industry. Watch the local news. How hot are 90% of the women anchors and how…uncommonly ordinary are 90% of the males?

A not so handsome guy can have fleeting success (ex:Craig Mack) but if you are a woman and you aren’t smoking hot you have to be extremely talented (ex: Missy Elliot).

Not that the beauty double standard justifies raunchy butterfly poses while licking lollipops but it certainly may explain why so few awesome female emcees make it to the limelight…they don’t all want to be poster babes first and artists second.

And being a dang good female lyricist who does not want to be a poster babe doesn’t mean the lady is unappealing or has little to no interest in her appearance. (I would love to mention that Lauryn Hill, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah here but I believe these ladies could fall under the “extremely talented” umbrella along with Missy.) But it often means she won’t get far.

Female emcees sort of have the same problem as the badmen, not much effort is put behind a female artist that is not willing to be well, the next Lil Kim. But we are all, all things and our entertainers, artist, the people we celebrate should represent that. They are out there, are you willing to look for and support them?