Mar 1, 2018

Abolish the Femcee by @RamseySaidWHAT

Happy Women's History month! Awhile back, I scrolled through my twitter TL and saw a couple gems in my likes. Among the gems was a particular set of viral tweets by famous people. Let's just say it stirred my creative stew and this article was conceived.

In 5 Reasons Your Local Rapper's Album Flopped, I briefly talked about burning bridges while you still need people. It's true, there's no need to create enemies. There's one thing guaranteed to accompany success, hate. Since there's always going to be people rooting for your demise you don't need to add to the list, especially when the aforementioned hate is shortly on the way.

Okay, let's get to the meat of this article. Abolish the Femcee. The week of September 25th, 2017 was a special one in hip hop. It was the first time in years a rapper of the female gender topped the Billboard Charts.

Cardi B's Bodak Yellow was on top. Whether that's your mug of earl grey tea or Hennessy in a red cup, the song was what it was: a banger (it still is). That was the first time since Lauryn Hill that this feat was accomplished by a lady. In that same week, Rapsody had also dropped her second full length, Laila's Wisdom. If Crown was excellent, the second album was magnificent. I remember sitting in a Barnes and Noble trying to pay attention to a new book sipping a tall maple pecan frappe. I imagine I startled the elderly couple staring at me because I kept grunting making ugly faces because of the sixteens dished by the Snow Hill native. It's safe to say I didn't get far into the novel I was reading because I was hooked on that project. I mean really, she's a superb emcee that doesn't need to sell sex (sidebar, she is one of the most humble artists I've ever met and she told me she liked my fedora once). I decided to see if the streets were talking about Rapsody too. Scrolling along I saw a tweet 9th Wonder reposted to his timeline.
You know what all the aforementioned artists have in common? I'll give you a hint: it's not their ovaries, but they are all Grammy Nominated Musicians. That is the words that should come before their surname, not female rapper. The moral of this story is there is plenty of room at the table for everyone to eat. No crabs in a barrel metaphor here, let's do the right thing. Thus I hate the word femcee or female rapper. Sure I'm an equity feminist or whatever but we time and time again say "(insert rapper here) is just as good as all the men in the game." If the men are compared to other men and the need to establish their gender wasn't necessary why should we split the genders. That week I remember with the exception of crazy a** Azealia Banks, the ladies of hip hop really embraced Cardi B's success. From Nicki Minaj to Missy Elliot, they all shared genuine joy. Even Taylor Swift had a nice gesture (not that that really matters). As seclusive as he is J. Cole even logged some tweets of advice to the NY upstart. Long story short they all did it because we have to in this culture. We shun and segregate each other on a daily.

Imagine we lived in a less patriarchal society. One were the genre wasn't as deeply rooted in the fallacies as well. Let's face it rap has been degrading women from jump street and that was long before the Tip Drill video. I'll stop there because that's an entire 5 page chapter in my senior thesis. I'm sorry this seems like an essay from my Women's Studies classes. I probably should have left this to one of the female authors of WTM to write, but here's my male perspective: Over and over as men we have this narrative of, "We gotta do better." I'm sure the ladies are tired of hearing it. Let's stop talking about it. Let's just do it. Instead of conditioning ourselves to only support lady rappers one at a time listen to them all. Abolish the Femcee isn't to separate them but for acknowledgement. So from yesterday on, they aren't female rappers. They are just rappers, and in most cases, waaaaay better than your favorite (your fave could never, right?).
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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