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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…)

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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…)

Shawnna

Recently I read an interview with rapper Shawnna who brought up a valid point about female rappers. There are few female rappers who are mothers because it is difficult to be an artist and raise a family. In this interview, Shawnna reveals the hardships that females face when their careers take off. The type of abandonment that Shawnna refers to is not exclusive to female rappers but is a conflict that all female entertainers have to face. “We (Shawnna and Remy Martin, another female rapper) both have kids. Before us, the female rappers weren’t mothers. They didn’t have kids. The industry doesn’t understand how to deal with us. We can’t be gone forever all the time. I had Jeff Dixon of DTP tell me today that “you need to be thinking about just never being home” and I had this conflict with him that there’s no such thing. I have two children, there’s no such thing as never being home. Y’all gon’ have to make adjustments to where the bus is kid-safe or you’re buying additional tickets. There’s no such thing as I’ll never be home.” The problem of leaving the kids home while the mother pursues a career is very common, especially when the job requires the mother to be on the road. This is a dilemma since mothers, like Shawnna ,want to be physically present in their child’s life but do not know how to negotiate their jobs. Not only are the mothers unsure about how to balance their careers, but those who are in higher positions than the artists are also oblivious to the ways that a mother (more…)