: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups
(Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intersectionality )
We hear the term intersectionality
quite often in this digital age of social media and society’s attempt to
promote diversity and inclusion across the board. Whether it’s effective or not
is a discussion for another day.
This week’s focus is on Houston’s latest rap sensation: (notice I didn’t mention ‘female’ but we’ll get to that soon enough) Megan Thee Stallion. Maybe you’ve seen or heard her freestyles or maybe you’ve heard a colleague casually describe how the rising weather temperatures have caused her to have a “Hot Girl Summer” (sidenote: gentrification is incredibly real, people).
If you were unaware, or
in case you’ve been living abroad for some time with little to no internet
connectivity, Houston’s very own uses the phrase, “Real Hot Girl Sh*t” quite
often as an introductory catch phrase throughout her projects, similar to the
way in which Rick Ross uses “M-M-M-M Maybach music”. Megan’s fans are
referred to as her hotties and Megan’s latest successful marketing strategy to
dominate social media is the rise of her catch-phrase “Hot Girl Summer”. The
internet and your favorite auntie loves it.
Of course with success spawns the haters.
You’re a Hot Girl Summer Hater (perhaps
unknowingly) if you feel inclined to post the following to social media:
- “Hot girls down by 200 points in the third
- “ShE cAnT eVeN rAp”
- “ShE nOt EvEn CuTe”
- “ShE dIDn’T
eVeN wRiTe ThAt”
- “Hot boys takin’ over!”
Sir, kindly find your
seat and sit all the way DOWN.
If you’re Realer
than real, first and foremost, please note that Meg has made it quite clear
that she cares little about what haters have to say and that’s evident in the chorus
to her hit track “Realer”:
I keep it realer than real
Fuck all the critics and fuck how they feel
I’m getting money, it is what it is
They wanna know how I did what I did
Don’t worry ’bout why I do what I do (bitch)
‘Cause I ain’t worried bout you (bitch)
Nah, I don’t wanna be cool (bitch)
Still hanging with the same crew (ay)
Listen & Watch: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BlWUh_iOKk)
Translation: Meg don’t
care what y’all have to say because y’all COULD NEVER! She’s collecting her
coin and securing all the bags. This conceited attitude is often the persona
rappers take on and Megan Thee Stallion is no different.
In Your Feelings?
It’s become apparent
that certain men are experiencing feelings of intimidation and confusion by the
rise of women in rap. It’s as if women like Hot Girl Meg confidently rapping
about using men purely as ATMs and for sexual pleasure threatens the elusive
‘fragile male ego’.
For an example of a man
in his feelings, look no further than at what Jermaine Dupri, one of Hip-Hop’s
greatest contributors in the 1990s/early 2000s and Janet Jackson’s ex, had to
say in a recent interview with PeopleTV about the current state of rap music:
“They all rapping about the same thing,” he noted. “I don’t think
they’re showing us who is the best rapper. For me, it’s like strippers rapping.
As far as rap goes, I’m not getting ‘who is the best rapper.’”
Some would agree that the
clapbacks and uproar on social media was well warranted. Many men like Jermaine
Dupri who are So, So deaf are questioning the legitimacy and
capabilities of the current women in rap. They’re shooketh because these are self-assured,
strong, attractive, intelligent women who’ve risen to fame because their bars
are tight and they’ve garnered a sizeable following because of this. These
women in rap promote women empowerment, pleasurable sexual experiences for
women, hard work, determination, and independence. All of these are difficult concepts
for some men to grasp.
‘What? Women can enjoy
‘She’s just using me
for me money?’ headass
‘She’s just using me for sex?’ headass
Yes. Yes she is, sir.
feelings that certain men feel when they hear songs by Megan Thee Stallion, City
Girls, or Cardi B are feelings of disrespect and confusion but let’s be honest:
A large component of what makes Hip-Hop unlike any other genre is the blatant
misogyny and objectification of women’s bodies. The tables have turned lately,
though, as we see the rise of Black women in Hip-Hop now becoming more
These uncomfortable men
are never up in arms when male rappers objectify women’s bodies, promote
colorism, describe lewd sexual activities, or tell stories of slanging crack on
street corners. This has been going on for literal decades!
It blows the minds of
some Hip-Hop heads like Joe Budden when they see spicy women spit nice bars, and
that was evident when Meg sat down with Joe to discuss her journey to fame.
Don’t waste your time watching the interview as it can be summed up as Joe simply
wondering, “But how can you confidently write disrespectful raps about men, possess
a cool ass personality, and be fine all at the same damn time?” (A
Watch the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FZt-Ux9j1g
Growing Up Hip-Hop
Growing up in the South
in the nineties, I was exposed to various types of music through my family and
friends, mainstream radio hits on 97.9 the Box, and the occasional music videos
on BET. Bear in mind that the Internet wasn’t a thing yet so my music options
were quite limited; it’s no surprise that I fell in love with Hip-Hop and
R&B at a young age.
In elementary school Southern rap was a big deal and Lil’ Wayne and the Hot Boyz (Lil Wayne, B.G., Juvenile, Turk ) were budding stars at the time. My friends and I would memorize rap lyrics and recite them in the girl’s restroom during breaks. To this day I can still recite this portion of ‘I Need a Hot Girl’ :
[Verse 4: Turk & Lil’ Wayne]
I like ’em hot, the ones that don’t tell me to stop
Eat dick swallow the cum, and they know how to pop
I need a project bitch, a hoodrat bitch
One that don’t give a fuck and say she took that dick
She a doggy with it, she gonna wobbledee
Then she know I’m d want it with it
Open her legs and squeeze a nigga
Like she want me in it
Now turn around and back it up
Then throw it at a nigga
Until I say, “Ohh that’s enough”
Give me a gangsta ho, one that don’t give a fuck
And that’ll shank a ho
The one that’ll slang still, and keep it on the low
One that’ll do time for me, and say fuck the po’
To all you know
A lil’ shorty in the twat have it hurting and thumping
They be like, “They say he small girl but he workin with something”
I’m the Wayne on fire I’ll smash on your boo before a hot girl bang
What’s happening with you?
I can’t help but wonder
if Jermaine Dupri would qualify I Need a Hot Girl by the Hot Boyz as some
of rap’s best ever. And since we’re here, let’s briefly discuss how damaging it
can be for young children, boys and girls alike, to consume misogynistic music
at formable ages. To be fair, I didn’t understand how damaging a large majority
of rap music created by men can negatively affect a child’s outlook on
relationships and societal standings. It wasn’t until recent years that I
realized how many of the songs I have programmed into my brain,
lyric-for-lyric, were actually negative programming I’ve only begun to dismantle
as an adult.
I also wonder if Jermaine
Dupri is up-in-arms and concerned with the rise and commercialization of mumble
rap in recent years. Where was this same negative energy, Jermaine, for male
rappers like Migos, Blueface, (and he STILL can’t seem to find the beat) 6ix9ine, or Lil’ Pump?
Women in Rap & Black Feminism:
We are still in midst
of the Time’s Up and MeToo movements and women, more than ever,
are taking up space and using their platforms to voice their opinions. Whether
that’s on a mic or on Twitter, the ongoing discussion of women’s’ rights,
particularly Black women, tie into modern-day Feminism.
Black Feminism is
different from general Feminism in that Black Feminism more appropriately seeks
to uplift the Black woman, the demographic once described by Malcolm X as “the
most disrespected woman in America”.
The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.
Malcolm X, Who
Taught You to Hate Yourself (1962)
Take Notes and Pay Attention
Meg and other women in
rap may not recognize it but they’re making history, shattering records, making
it so that in a few years time we probably won’t use antiquated terms like
“female rapper” because any gendered person (or non-binary person) can rap. The
kids won’t care either way.
Hip-Hop has never seen
this many women in rap dominating the airwaves have such success at the same
time, and that’s never to discredit Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Salt N Pepa, Rah
Digga, MC Lyte, or Queen Latifah, most of which used vulgar rap lyrics to
capture audiences and listeners before Nikki Minaj. Whether we acknowledge this
moment or not, the fact that so many people are talking about women in rap
makes this a pivotal point in time for Black Feminism. Sharing information and
spreading content across the world has never been easier, and we are living in
the age of social media, where one iPhone-recorded freestyle uploaded to
Twitter can thrust a person into the limelight or catch the eye of talent executive
in an instant.
The lyrical content of
women in rap is similar to the content that all your faves like the Jay Z, J.
Cole, Kendrick Lamar, or Biggie rap about: money, sex, and empowerment. It’s
also interesting to note women in rap often neglect lyrics about selling drugs.
- Hakuna matata,
fellas. Just because your girlfriend or wife knows all the words to Big Ole
Freak doesn’t mean your woman is preparing to cheat on you. It also doesn’t
mean she’s making fun of your ability to only please her for 5 minutes (or
less) as Megan often describes. If you’re curious about the sexual satisfaction
of your partner, just casually ask you partner.
- It’s okay if you’re a man and you know all the
words to City Girl’s Act Up. That’s my shit, too, friend!
- Like a lot of male rappers, many women in rap
today participate in heterosexual relationships but they’re still talking shit
just like your favorite rappers talk about being in the strip club and possessing
hoes in different area codes. In reality your favorite rapper is tired all the
time, he’s got four kids he takes to school every day and a whole wife at home.
The art of rap revolves around arrogance and storytelling. Women in rap are no
- Let women have their Hot Girl Summers in peace.