AFROPUNK

... the other Black experience

Hey Internet,

As promised, each artist from the EP will be contributing to the blog with their thoughts and updates, this week we will be hearing from Delta follow her on Instagram if you like what she's saying! @delta.don 

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The Importance of Creating an All-Female Mixtape

It’s no secret the rap scene is over saturated with male professionals, as it is in so many industries. To anyone who disagrees with this statement, just try this quick exercise: Name 10 female emcees that are signed to major record labels. Was that easy? Ok, now name 10 female producers signed to major labels. I’ll wait.... Now that we can see how obvious this inequality is, let us consider its ill effects on our Hip Hop communities, and how creating an all-female mixtape/EP is essential to breaking down some of the barriers.

Many can agree that the music industry is spewing rap tracks that only cover a very small number of subjects (i.e., money, violence, drugs, and sexism). Rap is an art form and it would be improper of me to say the rappers shouldn't have the freedom to rap about whatever it is they choose. Money and violence is a real lifestyle for some. It might be true sometimes that “these hoes ain’t loyal” and I respect that. The problem lies in that it there is only a small number of stories being told on a mainstream level. Is it true that all women are hoes, or even that all hoes are disloyal? The hate speech in popular rap translates into very real and dangerous situations that women face every single day. It’s not to say that music is the root cause of it, but it very much justifies violent actions. It’s important that many voices with varying opinions are heard and shared in the mainstream media to encourage an unbiased collective opinion for our youth and even for the older heads. We need to see women in a variety of characters and specifically more women in leadership roles. Creating an all-female mixtape/EP is just one way to do this.

We need to create a team project where all collaborators’ input is considered based on validity and not gender. I can’t even begin tell you how many times I have had dealings with men in the rap industry who refused to treat my opinion with equal credit because I am a woman. Or how many times I’ve attended events and was mistaken for a singer because of the way I look. How many production classes I’ve attended and offered helpful techniques to my male counterparts but was ignored simply because somebody who looks like me must not have any idea. I can even recall several accounts where a teacher completely disregarded my input only to pass the information off as his own. I have been spoken over, and on occasion men have even stood in front to interrupt me while I was presenting. With the creation of the AFM we are also creating a space for women to share information and opinions with equal opportunity.

An all-female mixtape/EP is a chance to connect with and elevate each other by trading talents without any expectation of sex. Have you ever caught yourself wondering who Nicki Minaj had to fuck to get to where she’s at now? And what about Drake? The popular assumption is that male rappers gain respect by their musical talents alone, whereas female rappers must have to be getting dirty on the low. Whether or not Nicki slept her way to the top is not the point. The point is that women- especially black women are hyper-sexualized, and it is the expectation of men that women serve them in a sexual way. Unfortunately, the powerful positions in the rap industry are held primarily by men, and a lot them use that as a means to coerce female artists into performing sexual deeds for them. It is a consensus among us ladies that it’s difficult to find meaningful associations with males in the profession. I can't even count how many times I have been made offers and promises from big name producers, and talent managers in the industry to help me with my career only to find out they had only one goal; to stroke their sexual ego.

Having conversations about the inequality in the hip hop industry is very necessary, but unless we actively construct a platform in which women can amplify each other’s talents, nothing will change. An all-female mixtape/EP is an indispensable stepping stone on the way to equality. We are done waiting to get invited into this exclusive “boys club” we are kicking down the door!

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