Over at the Ms. Magazine blog, Janell Hobson (Women’s Studies, SUNY) writes Can’t Stop the Women of Hip-Hop:
[N]ow that mainstream hip-hop has become corporate, such women have been mostly silenced (most infamously when Sarah Jones was fined in 2001 by the FCC for her “Your Revolution“ dis poem) or marginalized to make way for the video dancers, models and sex workers employed to fuel the hip-hop pornography economy. This is not to say that the women who participate in hip-hop through limited and sexualized roles–whether as video girls or sexually objectified emcees–are not still finding creative ways to assert gender and sexual politics or to push back against mainstream and corporate limitations. Even while Nicki Minaj plays to the dominant gaze, she renegotiates the space allotted her in popular hip-hop. And there’s still room for a Mama’s Hip Hop Kitchen, which puts community activism and local feminism first, or a Janelle Monae, who quietly lurks just below the radar with her androgynous appearance and throwback sounds that signify on women’s funky remix abilities.
Read her full post here.
For folks interested in the history of women in music and hip-hop (and popular) culture generally, Hobson’s post is recommended. And if you like music, it’s a nice trip down that memory lane, too.