It’s no secret that women in the hip-hop industry are looked down upon. In an industry dominated by men, women are sexualized and objectified more often than not. In the past, artists like Roxanne Shante, Missy Elliott, and Queen Latifah, were among the first to make a breakthrough in the unforgiving industry. These artists didn’t own their femininity but portrayed a more masculine style to rise to fame. This all changed with Lil Kim, who portrayed a feminine style while matching the profanity and abrasiveness that men radiated. I’m not one to shy away from saying that Lil Kim paved the way for female artists in the industry now. She owned her femininity and sexuality in a way that wasn’t seen by any female artist before.
This behavior was looked down upon by men in the industry, as well as the ones sitting at home listening alike, and some things never change. When women are sexualized by men they don’t bat an eye, but when women take that back from them and own it, it’s “disgusting” and “sad.”
Recently, I feel like there’s been a spike in that strange type of hatred for women in the industry, starting with Megan Thee Stallion. With her recent court case, where fellow artist Tory Lanez shot her in the foot, the need to degrade black women in the industry was back in full swing, although it was never gone to begin with. Men accusing Megan of lying, though that would be a very strange thing to lie about, and even going as far as to defend Lanez after proof and a phone call of him admitting to what he did came out. I honestly think this all leads back to the fact that most men don’t like when a woman is more successful than them.
In Drake’s song “Circo Loco” on his most recent album “Her Loss”, he disses Megan in a very direct way, saying she lied about getting shot, but she’s “still a stallion.” Why would a man who has seemingly been friendly with Megan in the past decide to capitalize on a black woman’s pain? It’s disgusting and says so much about his personal insecurities to diss Megan in a situation he has absolutely no part or place in. Trying to get a word in, which was proven to be wrong, just to hurt a woman who’s already in pain tells me exactly why he has thought about getting engaged 42 times, and still has no wife.
Not only did he diss Megan, but he also dissed a new and upcoming rapper Ice Spice on his song “BackOutsideBoyz.” After Spice’s song “Munch (Feelin’ U)” went viral, she got a lot of attention, some good and some bad. She caught Drake’s attention too, and he went as far as flying her out to join him at the “OVO Fest” in Toronto. In his song he disses Spice, “She a ten tryna rap, it’s good on mute.” To diss a new rapper he had just flown out is once again just strange.
These two were not the only women to be dissed, and will most certainly not be the last. It’s saddening and just gross how women are put down and pitted against each other in not only this industry but other entertainment industries alike. Megan commented on this in a recent interview for The New York Times. “In every industry, women are pitted against one another, but especially in hip-hop, where it seems as if the male-dominated ecosystem can only handle one female rapper at a time,” she said.
On a more positive note, it’s truly inspiring to see female artists work together so well regardless of the backlash they face. Most recently, Ice Spice and pop artist Pinkpantheress collabed on “Boy’s a liar pt.2”. The remix features a verse from Ice Spice after Pinkpantheress released the song “Boy’s a liar” in November. Ice Spice’s career is flourishing regardless of the hate she garners, and it’s beautiful to see. The song is cute and catchy, and has definitely been in my daily rotation.
I truly hope that the hip-hop industry, and other industries alike, will become more forgiving of the women in it, but as of right now I think that they’re handling the backlash and hate in a super mature manner. One can only hope that one day female artists won’t have to deal with this treatment at all.