Slikour OnLife is officially 3 years old today, and while we're about to reflect on where everyone has been over the past 3 years, I bumped into one of the best perspectives I've read from
a sister MC which she penned 3 years ago coincidentally. Ms Supa is one of the dopest MC's of our time and although she may not be known to many or a few, her advancements in fighting for a better industry for the ladies don't go unnoticed. Including this amazing reflection about how women in hip hop are not allowed to be women essentially. How we are not allowed to mature with time, and how somehow we are expected to remain 19 forever with that naive attitude and "hot new kid on the block" tag forever.
Here's what she said:
"I started my journey with Hip Hop 17 years ago and at that time the Female MC's were either rugged and tomboyish or overtly sexy. There seemed to be no middle ground. I fell in love with both sides as I grew and loved anything from Lady of Rage to Foxy Brown.
It was when Lauryn Hill and Eve came into the scene that I saw a place for a "lady" in Hip Hop. Sassy and classy all at the same time. A lady who can love LV but be able to burn up the mic. This period brought some balance and I was able to have various faces of female Hip Hop I could identify with.
I have since grown and am now a fully grown woman who has formed her own identity. I am still in love with Hip Hop and the advancement of female MC's in SA and the world. I still go crazy when I hear KRS 1's *MC's Act Like They Don't Know and consider myself a member of the South African Hip Hop community. But with growth for male or females comes responsibilities, marriage and for women pregnancy. For a culture that claims to "keep it real" we sure know how to sell fake. Of all my favorite female rappers from the US only one has publicly embraced and shared her pregnancy, the rest either don't or fizzle out after giving birth. Why is this?*
Lauryn Hill let us into her world when she sang about Zion all those years ago. She has since had 5 more children and was not shy to share that. Besides her, no other female rapper I have known has written about being pregnant, giving birth, getting married and really GROWING UP. Which is maybe why female rappers seem to have expiry dates because you cannot really be a 40 year old woman who does nothing but pop bottles and smoke blunts all day, errday. As you grow as a woman there are some things that become less important to you.
In the same vein I feel as though Hip Hop does not make space for a female growing up in the culture. Which may cause females to shy away from sharing those experiences in fear of being rejected. The stereotype for a female rapper is still the same as what it was when I started rapping, either tomboy or overtly sexy. In both those cases there is no room to GROW UP. It's either you are or step away and let the young ones do it. Which in turn kills the longevity of a female rapper. It's easier for males to father 5 children with 4 different women and still maintain "street cred" while the woman is judged and told to go back home and look after her kids. Men can still perform and be in the public domain while females shy away from showing their belly. Is that fair?
That being said, I urge females to write and make songs about their experiences as women and share, so that little girls know that it's okay to GROW UP as a woman and still connect with Hip Hop. To know that it's okay to fall in love, get married and still be immersed in Hip Hop. To know that it's okay to take care of a home and still love Hip Hop. To know that pregnancy is a natural thing women should celebrate and embrace and not hide it. To hustle for more shows while pregnant and flaunt their bellies. To help children realise that Hip Hop is not a phase but is forever.
Let us as the lovers of this art help Hip Hop GROW UP!
Get in the comments section and weigh in on the situation.