criticism


Lil Kim is extremely explicit and most of her music glorifies women like herself, who gain control by their sexual power. She proves that a woman can be as sexually explicit and graphic as men and get away with it. Her entire persona embraces her image as a sex object, yet she is ironically powerful and dominating. On her second CD, she has a song entitled “Suck My Dick.” The lyrics of this song reveals Lil Kim as a being that only thinks about sex; oral sex in particular is focused on and repeatedly mentioned. Although she has not released an official video for this song, someone on youtube took the liberty of posting the video, using pictures and snippets of Lil Kim in her other videos to provide the visuals. The male voice in the video is 50 Cent, a very popular male rap artist. It is interesting to compare the images of Lil Kim and her male counterpart, 50 Cent. This visual representation adds something to the lyrics of the song.

The chorus of the song is especially captivating:

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Since we are talking about female rappers, let’s also take a look at women in rap who are not behind the mic, but are in front of the camera. These women are usually referred to as video vixens and have become a crucial component of rap videos. A rapper is not legit unless he has dozens of beautiful women crowded around him, at least in his videos. Part of the game is attracting gorgeous women and so rap videos would be incomplete without the video vixens.

The Game featuring Kanye West- “Wouldn’t Get Far”

A video vixen is a woman that is featured in a video to be eye candy for the viewer. Her only purpose is to show off her body and face for the pleasure of those watching. She rarely has any lines but instead uses her body to speak to the camera. Rappers, The Game and Kanye West, reveal just how far video vixens go to become famous in this song. Just like in other rap videos, there are countless attractive women prancing around in front of the camera with just enough clothes on. As you can tell from the lyrics, The Game disapproves of these women. He specifically calls out a few of their names in this song, dissing them for doing “whatever it takes” to gain a position in front of the camera.

Some women have made careers from being featured in rap videos. If you watch enough of the videos, the same faces start to show up. The Game cynically criticizes video vixens for exploiting their looks and bodies yet he hires many to appear in his video. The irony…… (more…)

I thought that it would only be right if we examined females’ participation in rap music early on in rap’s history. Starting with the 1980’s, female rappers have taken the mic with something to say in response to how they are viewed and talked about by men. The most prominent female rappers from this era are Sha Rock, The Real Roxanne, and Roxanne Shante. These rappers came before the well-respected and memorable MC Lyte and Queen Latifah.

I found this clip that gives the history of one of the pioneers of female rappers, Roxanne Shante, from Queensbridge Projects in Queens, New York. The clip takes about 20 seconds to start so please be patient.

After hearing this story, it seems like Shante may be partially responsible for igniting the rap battles that are so popular in hip hop. Even if she isn’t, (more…)