In her 2011 music video for "Yankin," the rapper Lady does whatever she pleases.
On September 29, the U.S. metal band Mastodon unleashed their video for “The Motherload,” a gratuitously twerk-tastic romp featuring women of color dancing against a Nine Inch Nails-esque backdrop. The backlash followed soon after, and when reached for comment, drummer Brann Dailor said he did not see the sexism of the video, saying that the band sought only to make something “fun” and “bizarre.”
“Vengo, en busca de respuestas con el manojo lleno y las venas abiertas/ Vengo, como un libro abierto, ansiosa de aprender la historia no contada de nuestros ancestros.”
(“I come for answers, with a bundle of full and open veins/ I come as an open book eager to learn the untold story of our ancestors.”)
The first lines of Ana Tijoux’s new album Vengo, which dropped yesterday, set the scene for an album of introspection. In her third full-length album, the Chilean rapper introspectively looks at her life and the world at large in terms of decolonization. But “Vengo” isn’t just the title track, it captures the spirit of the whole album. You hear her vocals dip from conversational and knowing, to soft and thoughtful, then rising in an urgent call to action—all delivered in cadence in Tijoux’s signature expert flow.
Before their set on the second night of a residency at Minneapolis music venue Icehouse rap trio GRRRL PRTY invited nearly a dozen female friends, each in matching GRRRL snapbacks, to dance and take over the stage. This was after a long night of sets from Chicago's Psalm One and Fluff Nasty, and Minneapolis rappers The Lioness and BdotCroc. The night was front-to-back female artists, a rarity for any show but a rarity for a hip-hop show especially.
While I was watching regrettable late-night TV recently, an interview caught my attention: Ultra-conservative Florida Senator Marco Rubio discussing his admiration of the music of Tupac Shakur and NWA.
This isn't breaking news; Rubio has been openly discussing his love of hip-hop since a December 2012 GQ interview. To be clear, Rubio says he only knows about Wu Tang from The Dave Chapelle Show, which I am pretty sure is the main reason why Chappelle stopped doing that show in the middle of its third season.
It's entirely possible that Rubio is just pandering to a younger crowd by proclaiming his love of rap. It's no secret that the GOP has high hopes that Rubio will be their Barack Obama in 2016. Obama loves Jay-Z, so maybe Rubio's banking on dropping Tupac's name to win youth votes.
Spin Magazine recently ran a comprehensive and funny piece called "The 50 Biggest White Girl Rap Moments Of All Time." Being a white woman who vehemently loves rap music, best believe I ate that ish up. Some MCs mentioned were genuinely talented (Dessa, Princess Superstar), others... not so much. There is, as the magazine states, a "checkered" history in white girl rap (cough cough Kreayshawn cough cough Fergie). One artist who didn't make the cut (but certainly will next round) is the one and only Kalyn Heffernan of Denver's Wheelchair Sports Camp.
We're really bummed we're not at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit right now! You can keep up with the goings-on by checking out their LiveStream, following the #AMC2011 hashtag on Twitter, or by browsing their conference guide for more online interaction.
And you? What are your reactions? What have you been reading?
Jay-Z is arguably the most successful hip-hop artist in the world. He owns a sports team, created a clothing line, ran a record label and then started his own, and last year beat Elvis Presley as the solo act with the most Billboard 200 hits. This year, he decided to add "author" to his long list of titles. Decoded is part memoir, part argument in defense of hip-hop, part lyrical analysis of his work, both well-known and unknown, and part printed self-aggrandizement with expensive-looking art design to match—like a microcosm of hip-hop itself. (But with more avant-garde black-and-white photography.)
Kelsey's postings of the "Feminist Rappers" videos drew more than laughs--it had some commenters asking, "But what about the real feminist rappers?"
So here's a genre- decade-spanning compilation of feminist rappers, hip-hoppers, and spoken word artists, from the 90s beats of Yo Yo to the indie crossover of Mirah and Katastrophe. Don't forget to add your recs!
I bring you a collection of songs that represent the spirit of bitchdom; a collection of songs about anger, freedom, violence, jealousy, frustration, fantasy, revenge, pride, individualism and burping; in short, songs about the American Dream.