By Richard Ray:
Divisiveness is not limited to politics and the Trump administration. Less serious, but not necessarily less hotly debated is people’s opinions on female rappers.
First off, congratulations to Cardi B. Her single “Bodak Yellow” is the first time since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998 that a solo female rapper (meaning without features) has occupied the Number 1 spot on Billboard’s 100. Obviously a Number 1 charted song probably has more fans than detractors but, it seems when it comes to female rappers haters seem in abundant supply and people almost seemed compelled to pick (non-existent) sides.
In full disclosure, when Nicki Minaj first came out I was an avowed hater. My hate was not because she was a female rapper. My hate was because I thought her rhyme skills and songs were trash. I would not presently call myself a fan, but I can admit that Nicki is light years better as a rapper than when she first came out. Not that she was asking, but I have nothing but respect for her improvement as an artist.
What needs to be added, is that while not an initial fan, I was always proud and respected her hustle. I never knock anyone’s hustle (as long as it is not literally hurting someone else) and regardless of personal taste. The same is true for any of the female artists in the Hip Hop game. I wish them all well. Artistically, I judge them all individually and have never understood the need to pit them all against each other. Lil Kim fans should be able to appreciate Foxy like they appreciate Remy like they appreciate Nikki, like they appreciate Azealia Banks. like they appreciate Iggy like they appreciate Cardi B.
I understand the Rap Game inherently is about competition and beef, but as fans you do not have to take such divisive sides especially when it comes to female artists. Even is you are not a particular fan of a particular artist, we should all be applauding their success instead of being complicit in their pitting themselves against each other.
Cardi B, like others before her needs to be applauded. Her come up is real, if not unorthodox. From a stripper to a rachet reality television personality to a #1 recording artist… I know that much of the divisiveness comes from women in the rap games themselves, but as outsiders we need to limit our complicity in any of these so called beefs to little more than entertained observers. Taking sides is petty. Even if you are not a Cardi B fan (and the same can be said for any other female rapper), we should all be wishing them well on their achievements and acknowledging the doors that they may be opening for others to eventually follow.
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