Hip Hop and Feminism: From One Broken Soul to Another

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Author’s Notes:

  • ‘Womxn’ is used in this article for ‘women’ as a reference to the movement of defining women independency from their -men or -man counterpart as this would be the focus of the connections to be made. Manifested by feminist movements.
  • Before reading this article, please establish understanding with basic feminist and hip hop principles in order to understand some connections that will be made unannounced. Search engines are your best friend.
  • Most importantly, keep an open mind. References and terms are pre-existing in struggles of marginalized groups and refer to their oppressors; including those who are pretentiously and continuously ‘unaware’ of their struggles. It may not be your struggle, but it exists. Do not be ‘that’ person.
  • This is not a scholarly article but an opinion piece(as all of my articles are), but will not offer to cater to the idea that any xenophobic or misogynist viewpoints are arguably correct. 

The light of this world is bittersweet. Sometimes the light of evolution and modernization brings great pleasures, yet new struggles. It is unfortunate, the divisive connections we can make with many great things such as astronomically technological innovations to the discovery of self-love and food. During the era of colonizing the America’s, the modern world was made open to the sustainable creations of aboriginals who invested thoroughly in upholding modern society and innovation. Simple things, such as corn, became long-held standards for enabling communities to thrive and pursue new innovations. In today’s time, we constantly battle the difference between enabling oppressive behaviors which erases legitimacy from our history and ably constructing the required blueprint for appreciating cultures without suppressing the people who have gifted us with innovation. More things such as yoga, clothing, technology, and food have been the topics of micro-aggression in this millennium.

But what happens in the long run when the victims of these tribulations find the strength to fight back and contend with their oppressor? There is so much room for oblivious errors that have resulted in even more micro-oppression. It is especially due to the fact that the oppressor has claimed victory over eternal-global statehood of all society that we must now have to go lengths to reform the damage that has been done. The extension of even having to distinguish between what has been established, what is experienced, and what is tangibly forming is something that is required in order for one to interpret a composition of reflection without error. It is no question why many souls nowadays have decided to give up engineering change altogether or reflecting on themselves for greater days; it is too deconstructed and the oppressor has won.

If we were to look at the case in which womxn have been treated throughout history, we see the seclusion of all things forthcoming for their equal worth in society. It is apparent in all continents and even this statement comes from some form of privilege. Nevertheless, the fight for equal worth continues harder than ever. This turn of events were led by some of the greatest womxn activists of their time in some of the most misogynistic eras ever to challenge them. It is equivalently why the fight must continue — because of those who have given their lives for this movement. To take this lightly would be to make mistakes and allow an oppressive, elitist regime to walk over tombs of men and womxn who have formed the first initiatives of equality for all peoples. It is only the tombs of these men and womxn that we are able to comfortably go on our day to chase our pursuits while having the leniency that our daughters, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers can freely go out and in of their own homes without persecution; yes, that word.

Other oppression that have lasted one day too long is the story of the colored peoples of the world, especially focusing on those whose story has entailed the birth of modern America. After centuries of struggle and enslavement, the black struggle is one of many heartbreaking stories tied to American involvement. So in it’s uprising, black struggles and their people shaped modern American through what was available to them; music. This is an utmost interesting and contemptible story of survival and existence through oppression.

In correlation to the conditions that existed for Black America in the 20th century, arose a golden dragon of influence which rises to be named as Hip Hop. Though there are tons of information to go through in regards to Hip Hop, we are aiming to define the connections between Hip Hop and Feminism in the modern diaspora. What came for Black America by it’s oppressors in today’s society feigned the idea that black men are ‘arrogant’ or ‘inconsiderable’; all created by the envy of the ‘white man’. We cannot pretend that by music, the black man was able to become his own without struggle, though it was a driving force of morale and weaponry for him. All modern pretentious depictions of black men stem from the envious, xenophobic man who feared the equivalency of black men. In turn, they stripped the black man of his status and desirability, and defined his beauty for others to comprehend so they can destabilize the idea that a black man could be equal to them in terms of evolution(we’ve seen this challenge to the elitists before, such as the suppression of womxn’s basic rights).

Picture a beach with a beautiful boardwalk and walking along it is a young black man, simply walking to his next destination, wherever that may be. They leered at him when he had a wide smile showing his pearly whites while scanning the beauty of today’s beach skies; so he walked with his arms in his pockets — eyes forward, shades on, hoping not to draw attention while he replayed the latest tunes’ chorus in his head to calm himself though this wouldn’t be a new experience. But this idea that he was to be quiet and play his ‘role’ would last only so long until he needed to smile his ancestor’s gift to him and reconstruct his masculinity, hence a gift Hip Hop constructed for him.

Originally, Hip Hop was a communal act of engaging in a movement involved with happiness and creation. To become something from nothing, shut the world out, and have fun with your own creations. All elements of Hip Hop gave Black America something to be proud of, something to call their own. But remember that the oppressor is a powerful giant wielding the weapons granted by the oppressed throughout centuries of subordination. So whence womxn entered the Hip Hop diaspora, the idea that a womxn could be in Hip Hop was somewhat of a double-edged sword as she had to battle a criminalized group of the oppressed who were looking to reconstruct their masculinity, yet trying to determine their values with the components they had left in order to validate their status.

A lot of Hip Hop songs often become the sample of their critics and to feminists alike for the content of their products(specifically towards MC’s and rap). Hip Hop is something that is hard to understand without understanding the struggles that made the recipe for it’s conjuration. The emasculation of colored men by his oppressors contributed greatly to the unfolding of this mishap of two oppressed parties. As colored men started using Hip Hop as a foundation to regain his worth, the idea that being desired by many sexually and against the authority that confined him made him feel powerful and comparable to his oppressors. He no longer felt the shackles as he spoke against his oppressors and acted freely upon his love. The black man who was merely walking head-forward at the boardwalk now was singing his favorite tunes out loud and smiling as his confidence shone over his enticing personality. He wanted to show the world he had the drive, the confidence, and the strength of a man unlike the picture painted for him by his oppressors. He wanted to be more than comparable to his once-oppressors. So he preached about his strengths and boasted about his greatness in the songs that he created; his newfound confidence.

It was difficult for his counterparts to understand as it introduced new waves of imagery that were all too familiar to womxn who had already been fighting their never-ending fight for equality. It required a bit more refinement and would come to include the upbringing of womxn Hip Hop entrepreneurs who would collaborate with the Hip Hop community to redefine Hip Hop as a whole to represent all who are oppressed. So Hip Hop eventually reconstructed it’s dictionary and those who had the knowledge of words and wisdom helped others to comprehend the complicated definition of one oppressed party to another.

Womxn in Hip Hop pioneered powerful new diasporas for the role of all womxn and even evolving what feminine means to womxn and men. The constant development of womxn in Hip Hop included artists like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah which challenged the corrupt image of black men and womxn as dangerous felons depicted by the media. In turn, colored men were re-attaining their stripped masculinity by powerful vocal dialogues through Hip Hop. This confusion of alignment were all profounded by the establishment of the oppressor who successfully created such misconceptions and many more between oppressed groups. This ultimately pushed a patriarchal agenda which honors them at the top while creating absurd conflicts to those below them.

There are still many ideas to discuss but as this blog introduces perspectives between two topics, we will hamper this until more people push for dialogues between each other. In time, we will develop a second and perhaps, a series, for discussing and connecting the anguish of many marginalized groups. These topics are not discussed as often because society is pushed to adeptly accept that they do not exist. These discussions are difficult because they have been made to be top tier laborious to discuss between marginalized groups made possible by centuries of oppression and subordination. As this causes distraught between people, it is becoming impossible to discuss these ideas with acquaintances. It is difficult finding the interest that sparks the change needed for these movements because of this status quo of embedded development from birth. It is easy to be oblivious while others fight the fight but no matter your color or orientation, there will always be challenges that marginalized groups will fight which might one day be someone you know; or perhaps yourself.

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