empowerment


In the beginning of their careers, it seemed like the two would be able to get along. They both agreed to do a collaboration with Total, also featuring Da Brat, and the video is similar to the bank robbing females in the movie Set It Off. It reminds me of that movie, showing the unity of black females and their rebellion against society.

Total feat. Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, and Da Brat- “No One Else (Remix)”

It would appear that Foxy Brown and Lil Kim are on the same team, but the truth is far from that.

Foxy Brown and Lil Kim have had an ongoing rivalry since the late 90’s. Quite frankly, I doubt that most people remember the exact time that the beef began or who is responsible for initiating the verbal attacks. The only memorable thing is that the rivalry has gone on for years. As a matter of fact, the battle has lasted and persisted for the majority of both of their careers.

The rivalry between the two MCs may have started with the artists but was definitely fueled by the media. It began because the two women have approached rap in a similar manner and there can only be one to wear the BEST title. Both have similar backgrounds, growing up in Brooklyn, New York and the two twist the male domination of rap to (more…)

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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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Never have I read such a good piece of writing that compares rappers Lil Kim and Foxy Brown. I found an essay entitled “What is Freedom? A critique of Foxy Brown and Lil Kim.” This essay makes so many valid points on the ongoing debate about who is the better MC. The two rappers are usually compared because of their similar image and style. Both represent a woman that flips the script and acts like one of the boys in rap while maintaining a sexy image, but Lil Kim has had more success. Bell hooks says this about Lil Kim, “Donning blond wigs and getting a boob job so that she can resemble a cheap version of the white womanhood she adores wins her monetary success in the world of white supremacist, patriarchal capitalism and helps her cover up the fact that she has no self-worth.”

This is a harsh and cynical evaluation of Lil Kim but raises good questions about why Lil Kim is so much more successful than Foxy Brown. One theory is that Lil Kim is more attractive by White America’s standards of beauty. She has lighter skin, blonde hair, and resembles white beauty far more than Foxy does. Kim also built her career with the help of the Notorious B.I.G. With such a rap icon as this in her corner, (more…)

Rappers like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown have used their sexuality and bodies to sell records. Unlike MC Lyte and Queen Latifah, Foxy and Lil Kim have promoted their personas as being sexy, naughty, and rough females and embraced their sexualized images. Most of their lyrics reflect similar themes and subjects as male rappers. The obsession with money, power, and respect is manifested in their raps as they struggle to establish themselves as rap icons despite their femininity. The rap game is dominated by men who gain power by having as many women as possible and maintaining a reputation for being desirable and sought after. Females, especially heterosexuals, have to approach rap with an agenda to preserve their interest in men while also having the power to be sexy. It in interesting because many of their verses would be acceptable if they were not women. They choose to rap about the same topics as their male counterparts, but are targeted for being too explicit. Unlike their male counterparts, they put a female heterosexual perspective to “fucking bitches and getting money.” In this sense, the word bitch is replaced with the word “nigga,” but is used to refer to the same type of person. There are actually many different definitions of the words ‘nigga’ and ‘bitch’ but in simple terms, the word “bitch” could be replaced by the word “nigga” to make distictions between gender.

Although Christina Aguilera is not a rapper, her message about double standards between men and women is one that is often talked about by female rappers. In Christina’s video, Lil Kim’s verse (more…)

“Love is Blind”- Eve

“Love is Blind” is one of Eve’s first singles featured on her debut album, Ruff Ryders’ First Lady (1999). This song speaks out against domestic violence and men who abuse girlfriends, mistresses, or wives. The video captures the story of a woman, Eve’s friend, who constantly runs back to a man that abuses her, ultimately causing her death. The story of a woman being killed by her lover is one that has been told over and over again. In 1990, according to the Uniform Crime Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), (more…)

While doing research on Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, I ran across this article by Lori A. Tribbett-Williams entitled “Lil Kim and Foxy Brown- Caricature of Black Womanhoond” that articulates the possible negative affects of having women, specifically Black women, hyper sexualized in the media. The article points out why these images are acceptable and fall into categories that have been set up long before the careers of Lil Kim and Foxy Brown.

KIMfOXY

“Among the most commonly depicted images of African-American womanhood is the image of the promiscuous “temptress” known as Jezebel. The new generation of rappers, through their X-rated lyrics and fashions, breathe new life into Jezebel, a mythical caricature and distorted representation of African-American womanhood….This Note focuses primarily on the racist and sexist social construct known as the Jezebel, and the proliferation of the Jezebel image into rap music, particularly the music of the new generation of African-American female rap artists. Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown are affectionately known as “gangsta bitches” and are credited as the catalysts for the revolutionary sexual persona of the new generation. They have established their fame largely because of their “barely there” fashions. Female rapper BOSS commented that “tight clothes mean ‘weak lyrics.” ‘ That being the case, Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown are saying nothing lyrically, with respect to the social status of African-American women, but talking loud, since they are among the most successful of the contemporary female rap artists. The new generation personifies what has perhaps been the most destructive image of African-American womanhood, an image that African- American women have for centuries tried to “live down.” The Jezebel image, as glorified by emerging female rappers, continues to be resurrected from history and projects a distorted image of African-American womanhood.”

Prior to reading this article, I didn’t really pay attention to how significant female rap artists are in contributing to the few portrayals of Black women in the media. There is no surprise that the most successful female artists are African-American since rap has been tied and so intimately connected to the Black community. Although black women are expressing themselves via music, (more…)

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Lauryn Hill has had an extremely successful career from the start. She had a few acting gigs and completed her freshman year at Columbia University before dropping out to dedicate more time and efforts to building a career in music. Prior to pursuing her career as a solo artist, Lauryn was a member of, The Fugees, a rap trio. She was the only female member and was a huge contribution to the unique sound of the group. Not only could she rap, but her she had an enchanting voice that gave extra finesse to their songs.

The Fugees were conscious rappers and their music reflected their views of society, representing and commenting on Black culture and life experiences. Hill’s image was original, usually known for her dreadlocks and loose fitting clothing, and her raw talent made her so memorable. The Fugees first album, Blunted on Reality (1994), did little compared to their sophomore album, The Score (1996). The Score made history, selling over 17 million copies, and made The Fugees the biggest-selling rap group ever. After their second album together, The Fugees decided to split and release solo albums. The other two members, Wyclef Jean and Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, also went on to release solo albums after the group split after their second CD, but neither was as successful as Lauryn Hill.

Fugees

Here is a video from The Fugees’ first album entitled “NappyHeads.”

 

 

 

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Her debut album was long-awaited and when finally released in 1998, pleased all of her fans. Selling over 400, 000 copies in its first week, (more…)