Vamp Tracks: Women in hip-hop

I sometimes find it difficult to reconcile my love of hip-hop and self-identification as a feminist. It’s pretty clear that hip-hop has deeply rooted itself in misogyny and a flagrant hatred of women. It’s not just my opinion, it’s something that has been discussed within the community for decades.

Yet it’s something that I love, and something that I will continue to enjoy and participate in. I’m still a huge fan of Drake despite Hotline Bling controversy, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and many other mainstream artists who took a page from the OG rappers and continue to refer to women as “bitches” in every song. While I enjoy it, I also understand how deeply misogyny is rooted in our culture, and that translates into our music.

Women in hip-hop have recognized for a long time that the community they contribute to often doesn’t treat them with respect and kindness. Songs have been written, activism has ensued, and as a result, women are a growing portion of the hip hop and R&B scene.

While not all women in the genre are necessarily creating songs that are considered feminist, in such a male dominated industry, the existence of female artists is a revolutionary act in itself. To appreciate these women, I’ve created a playlist. A mix of old and new, popular and little known, this is a playlist I like to listen to when I don’t feel like listening to the often misogynistic lyrics male artists provide.

Track list:

  1. Bad Girls – MIA
  2. How Does It Feel – Kamaiyah
  3. Nah – Junglepussy
  4. Pussy Ate – TT The Artist
  5. Feelin’ Myself – Nicki Minaj
  6. No Scrubs – TLC
  7. Bossy – Kelis
  8. Werkin’ Girls – Angel Haze
  9. Try Me – DeJ Loaf
  10. Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera & Lil Kim
  11. Work It – Missy Elliot
  12. U.N.I.T.Y – Queen Latifah
  13. Brutus – Buttress
  14. Doing Fine – Snow Tha Product