Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Mic Sounds Nice

My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop is BET’s first original documentary. It aired last week but I missed it! I’ve managed to find some clips online and hopefully will get a chance to watch the full show. Even from just watching some excerpts, I’ve been inspired to really consider the state of women in hip-hop. First and foremost, this documentary is not about “video vixens” or the models that perform in many rap videos. That debate is well known and documented. This documentary focuses on female MCs or “femcees”.

I’m glad this documentary was made and I’m glad it included the voices of actual female rappers, from all areas of the genre. One point of discussion, to which there are no easy answers, is the sexualization of female emcees and the pressure to be “sexy” in order to gain commercial success. Many artists and industry professionals commented on Nicki Minaj as she is the hottest femcee commercially right now. I found it annoying that Nicki Minaj did not have a voice in the documentary. Maybe they asked her, maybe they didn’t—it could’ve been a scheduling conflict. But it was highly conspicuous that she did not appear.

I just think it’s really easy to sit back and judge a woman with a “sexy” image, as if she is holding women back or simply playing into a patriarchal hierarchy of oppression. There are women who value being perceived as “sexy”. There are women who relate to Nicki Minaj, her image, and her lyrical content. Why do we have to assume she is simply conforming to the expectations of a male audience? I think it’s more conspicuous when an artist who debuts with a more, how do I say it, masculine or androgynous image, and then suddenly transforms into a hyper-feminine version of herself when sales drop. Nicki Minaj has not been out for long, but she’s been consistent with her image. Maybe being sexy and feminine is Nicki being true to herself. I don’t know. Either way, if you’re looking for an interesting look at women in the rap game, go to and check out: My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop.

No comments:

Post a Comment