Back in March, Da Brat made public that she identifies as part of the LGBT community after a 20+ year career in the public life. “I was always told you want to be f-able to men and women to sell records-” said the 46-year-old rapper when she confirmed her engagement with Jessica Dupart, of Kaleidoscope Hair Products. Since her officially coming out, she been getting a lot of positive feedback from fans.
Far too many times, a woman’s sexuality can be scrutinized in hip hop. Da Brat’s hesitation about her sexuality is understandable because sex can be used as a weapon against women in so many ways. If you’re too sexy they discredit you as an artist; if you’re not sexy enough you get almost no attention. So many female rappers like Da Brat had to deal with this struggle, but with the new burst of female MCs on the rise, we may have an environment where women can truly be themselves.
It was around this time last year when JD came at female rappers talking about their sexuality. “I feel like they all are rapping about thing same thing. I do not think they’re showing us who’s the best rapper. For me, it’s like strippers rapping.” Artists like Cardi B, Doja Cat and many female acts came rallying to the defense because these top selling ‘stripper’ rappers had bars and that’s not even the full range of female rap.
“There are women that truly love hip hop, but the industry makes it seem like its one in a billion!” said Commander Flame, @CommanderFlame a soulful rapper who expressed her opinions on how men tend to influence female rap and female artist careers. “They don’t allow more women in. Part of me feel like it’s an ego thing. This industry is more of a patriarch.”
Da Brat was the first female rapper to go platinum and worked with JD for years. “When I did Funkdafied with JD, he was like, ‘Okay, look Brat. I’ma tell you now — female rappers pretty much only go gold,” the rapper revealed on The Mo’Nique Show. “It was absolutely my decision. I mean, you saw what happened to people like Ellen: Remember when she lost her TV show, and all these horrible things were happening? People were totally against it.”
When women can’t truly express who they are it is almost oppressive. Fortunately, we now have more of an acceptance of sexuality living in the same space as respect (maybe in thanks to so called ‘stripper rap’). Today we have up and coming Trans artists like Genuwine Beauty @Genuwinebeauty that are changing the landscape in the term of female rap.
“I don’t follow the norm of how a trans woman should be. Always extra feminine, dating a guy, the big boob surgery, the big booty surgery and a whole bunch of stuff like that…” says the rapper who has received props from Mr. Cheeks, Murder Inc., and been featured on DJ Clue’s She Got Next. “Music is entertainment and [trans women] live a hardcore lifestyle! I just feel like a lot of people put limitations or labels on things but anybody can be anybody. You don’t have to be a thug to own a gun. My trans sisters have registered automatics!”
It’s refreshing to see women in rap not afraid to fully express their sexuality in all their ways. Whether its representing the LGBT community out loud or being a fully sexualized woman without seeking the approval of men it’s clear that female MCs can represent a wide gambit. Especially when they afraid of being policed by men.