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Wildcat Post

The Student News Site of Hazelwood West High School

Wildcat Post

Beyond the Lyrics: Femme Fatales in the Hip-Hop Culture


People have spent half a century listening to rhythm, beats and rhymes. From the vibrant streets of the Bronx in the early 70s, hip-hop made an appearance that would change the music realm forever. People worldwide, no matter their creed, have been tearing up dance floors to the infectious rhythm, beats and powerful lyrics that define this intoxicating genre. The male-dominated music scene filled with iconic rappers such as Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash lacked to see any females in the industry until MC Sha-Rock stepped in and started a chain reaction of OG female MCs such as Da Brat, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill. These artists, and many more, have been trailblazers to today’s icons like Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls and Nicki Minaj, who push the stereotypes with their empowerment. Together, these women have rebuilt hip-hop and left a scar on the cultural landscape, proving that greatness knows no gender and that the power of music transcends boundaries. For five decades men have dominated, but women picked up the mic and made huge strides in the hip-hop world.

Double standards are a main struggle that women have been facing for the longest. Just over 100 years ago, women were not able to be employed and when hip-hop came along and took over, it was rare to see women dominating the stage like men. JT, one of the City Girls rappers, commented on how women are now being heard and that double standards do not affect her and Yung Miami, “These men are going to complain. They want the world to be male-dominated and threatened because right now women are coming up and making their own bags.” – JT

It was once said that education will be the only way to be successful. Many rappers have been to high school or college but have dropped out to pursue their dreams in the world of rapping. High school dropouts are widely known as lazy or irresponsible, that they don’t want to succeed in life. Eminem had to spend three years in the 9th grade and eventually dropped out of high school and does not regret a single second, “I’m glad I dropped out of high school, man. I wouldn’t be where I’m at.” Starting his rap career at just 17-years-old, he is still relevant and living with a quarter billion dollars. That sounds like success. 

Making a name for herself, Megan Thee Stallion is one among those that possesses a college degree. December 11, 2021, Megan went through with her promise to her mother by graduating from Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in health administration. She was able to juggle being the hottest new female rapper and graduate from college at the same time. Megan Thee Stallion talks to Harper’s Bazaar about how she made it through college. “I cannot wait. I’m going to have the biggest graduation party. You fought through the procrastination. You fought through the crazy professors. You made it home the next day from the party and still made it to class, You know what I’m saying?” Not only are women able to do anything a man can do, they are able to do what they love at the same time of pursuing an education. 

Being introduced to Jermaine Dupri, founder of record label So So Def Records, by a couple of 13-year-olds known as Kris Kross. Da Brat was 20-years-old when she left her mark on hip-hop with her debut album ‘Funkdafied’ in 1994. She sold over one million copies that eventually led to her being the first female solo artist to go platinum. Not only did that conceal her mark in the hip-hop world, but it paved a way for future female rap artists. “Go hard and win it. Don’t be timid and shy,” are the words of advice that Brat gives all the future female MCs out there.

Monie Love’s electrifying verse from Queen Latifah’s debut track ‘Ladies First’, expresses the power of greatness of womanhood. “Believe me when I say being a woman is great, you see, I know all the fellas out there will agree with me, not for being one but for being with one. Because when it’s time for loving it’s the woman that gets some. Strong, stepping, strutting, moving on. Rhyming, cutting, and not forgetting. We are the ones that give birth to the new generation of prophets because it’s Ladies First.” Alongside Latifah, Love inspires a new generation of female rappers. She talks all about how women are not just equal but ahead of the rap game, leading the charge in love, life, and legacy.  

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About the Contributor
Andrea Vepley
Andrea Vepley, Staff Writer
Hey! I’m Andrea Vepley and a junior at Hazelwood West High School. I'm from North Chicago, Illinois and recently moved to St. Louis about three years ago. Some school activities I participated in are Writers Week and Special Olympics. I really enjoy doing Writers Week because I am able to write things that many students at West can relate to. And being able to be a part of the Special Olympics was an experience I won't forget. My hobbies are writing poems, reading and sleeping. When I think of something or just have stuff to say, I make sure to get my pen and my notebook, so I can turn it into a poem. I read books rather quickly and sleeping just makes time go away for me.   I’m excited for the newspaper because writing articles about people who can make a difference towards others is just so inspirational! Having a career in journalism is something that I look forward to after I graduate. Hopefully, I will make new connections with others and get to know a good deed about them.
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