Before the phenomenon of Nicki Minaj, the female MC had become something like a short flash in a pan in Hip-Hop for quite some time. One or two hits on one album, before disappearing from radio and video rotation, was quite average for the “Femcee.” A large void in the Hip-Hop female perspective had caused the upcoming generation of female MCs to out-sex and sometimes out-diss each other in a fight for the spotlight. Yet, North Carolina femcee Rapsody is reminding her sisters in rap that The Idea of Beautiful is more than raunchiness and finding flaws in your competition. On her debut album, she also reminds that you must first give a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T to the Hip-Hop culture before you can receive some.
The female Hip-Hop movement reached new heights during the 1990s and for a very brief period in the history of the male-dominated genre, women seemed to rule the world. Yet, despite their numerous commercial achievements, the successes of these women were always connected to a web of manipulation by men that eventually resulted in female MCs unknowingly ending their own careers.
The 1980s and early 1990s eras of Hip-Hop fostered various subgenres and styles that ranged from battle rapping to political commentary that reflected the then prominent themes in popular culture. Female rappers such as Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah rose to the forefront of the music scene with their bold messages that challenged patriarchy and effectively gave women a voice in Hip-Hop.
However, by the mid-1990s, a new generation of female rappers had taken control of the movement but this time they weren’t only appealing to the minds of women. Instead, they were also presented as objects to men.
Lil Kim perfectly exemplified that scenario as the ultimate prize of Diddy’s team. Despite claims that her revealing ensembles, overtly sexual lyrics and risque videos were tools to help advance the feminist movement, it was also argued that her actions paradoxically weakened the advancement of women. .