You don’t need a massive preamble do you? Good! On to the music! Here are 12 of the best feminist hip hop and rap songs that you need to hear.
Chazz Le Hippie – Fast Traap
Chazz Le Hippie is a 17 year old emcee from The West Rand in Joburg, South Africa who, quite honestly is already better than many veterans twice her age. She goes much, MUCH harder than she has any right to at her age, and in a country where real misogyny is rife, her message of empowerment is especially powerful.
Missy Elliot – Work it
It’s been long enough that we can call this a stone cold classic right? Aside from the fact that this song crystallises a great period in Hip Hop production, Missy Elliot’s playful lyricism and unapologetic persona made her a beacon of light in an era where the uglier side of raps attitude towards women was starting to surface.
Game Over – Female Takeover
This posse remix of Tinchy Striders “Game Over” features some of the best talent in UK Hip Hop and Grime. It’s also much, much better than the original, with every participant giving their absolute all. In sharp contrast with the Boy’s version, where there’s a fair bit of phoning it in (Plus, Chipmunk is fucking dreadful on it.).
Angel Haze – Same Love remix
Sexuality comes in all colours, shapes, sizes and smells. Sadly, in this genre expression of it outside of heterosexuality are very rare, probably my personal favourite example is Angel Blaze’s remix of “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, where she lays out her experiences as a Pansexual woman and human being in a starkly human in a profoundly beautiful way.
Lauryn Hill – Doo-Wop
A big part of the fight for female equality in the western world is equal responsibility, something that Lauryn Hill lays out in no uncertain terms. While she may have faded into craziness in recent years. Let us never forget that there was a time when Lauryn Hill was the most important woman in Hip Hop
I can feel the knives sharpening… Anyway, I think that this is something of an overlooked classic. In an era characterised by 2 Live Crew and “Btiches Aint Shit.” this presents the women in question’s sexuality channeled through a powerful, formidable figure. The titular Gangsta Bitch is a bad ass. And i’m suddenly a bit hot under the collar.
Snow Tha Product – Bet That I Will
It really is an absolute travesty that Snow Tha Product isn’t Nicki Minaj-famous. She’s one of the most technically proficient emcees in the game right now, and channels it into killer verse rife with empowerment peppered with touches of social commentary
Ana Tijoux – Somos Sur
Chilean artist Ana Tijoux’s Somos Sur is fundamentally a song about rebellion and resistance. It carries the pain of generations of oppression and translates it into pure, perfect party music. This is a song to break shit to. It takes talent to turn pain into sad music, it takes genius to turn it into a joyous battle cry for liberation.
Lupe Fiasco – Bitch Bad
Lupe Fiasco is one of the leading lights of progress in recent years, and this song might just be his masterpiece. Brilliantly deconstructing the destructive effect that modern Hip Hop culture can have on Gender Equality via it’s influence on young people.
Yugen Blakrok – Chatterboxin’
Showing that Women can compete with even the most verbose of vaginally impaired emcee’s, South African Yugen Blackrock is one of the most powerful lyricists I’ve heard in the last two years. Lyricism in general is becoming a dying art in the age of Slim jesus and Young Thug, so finding gems like these excites me a lot more than is probably prudent.
Shadia Mansour –لازم نتغير (We have to change)
The self styled “First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop” Palestinian Shadia Mansour is flying the flag for female empowerment where it’s needed most. This song is a hard driving politically charged masterwork. Bad. Ass.
MC Lyte Ruffneck
THE First Lady of Hip Hop. MC Lyte speaks for herself. Just listen to this shit. Perfection.
Featured Image from Game Over: Female Takeover music video.