In response to a video about the history of American rap that featured almost entirely male rappers, French feminist site Madame Rap presents forty years of female hip hop, featuring 100 incredible female rappers.
"Madame Rap brings together female rappers from all over the world, from the dawn of hip hop to present day. Because women rap too. Because it's time to hear their voices. Together, let's give them the recognition they deserve."
The Madame Rap site was created in 2015 by ex-FEMEN Éloïse Bouton, a feminist journalist and activist, former hip hop dancer and specialist in African-American feminism and American civil rights movements.
She was later joined by DJ and producer Emeraldia Ayakashi, with whom she founded an organization dedicated to women in hip hop. Madame Rap became "an informative space for alternative education with the mission of celebrating urban feminism, art and culture, giving them real visibility."
The site features over 1,000 female rappers from all over the world, demonstrating daily that hip hop and feminism go hand in hand, particularly when we make female rappers visible and turn hip hop into a source of empowerment.
"A largely masculine, sexist and homophobic atmosphere"
In an editorial about Madame Rap, Éloise Bouton reminds us that the hip hop world is "a largely masculine, sexist and homophobic atmosphere."
"It's not about denying that and pretending everything is okay. Between 22 and 37% of rap lyrics are misogynist and 67% sexually objectify women.
Countless rap songs, relics of gangsta rap, normalize rape culture and glorify sexual violence [...] But this verbal violence is coming out of nowhere. It's a direct reflection of the way women are treated in our society."
Bouton emphasizes, however, that people like Kendrick Lamar, sometimes Drake, and countless female rappers, are making progressive hip hop with an "openly feminist and liberating" message.
So when Chicago's The Hood Internet released a video retracing 40 years of hip hop in four minutes with only three female rappers out of a total 97, Bouton was furious.
The only female rappers allowed in the pantheon of American hip hop were Missy Elliott, Nicki Minaj and Lauryn Hill, despite the countless women who have made a name for themselves in the industry.
"Rap is the only artistic space that gives women total freedom of speech"
"To give them the recognition they deserve and remind us that women also helped create hip hop," Madame Rap released their own video retracing the past forty years of the industry: "Forty years of female hip hop in four minutes, with 100 American rappers we had no trouble coming up with."
It's a nice dose of talent that proves female rappers are just as important as the men in the industry. From 3D Na'Tee to Zay Bella, Dominique Young Unique, MC Trouble, Queen Latifah and Trina, this video highlights the female artists who have reclaimed their power and independence.
Women are quintessential to hip hop and feminism. As Éloïse Bouton explained last year:
"Rap is the only artistic space that gives women total freedom of speech. And that's why I'll continue to be feminist and love hip hop at the same time."
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