So we often hear (usually from racist, white “feminists”) about how HipHop is filled (FILLED, I SAY!) with sexism and misogyny (from people who readily listen to Rock, Alternative, Country and other genres that are filled with sexism — with NO sense of hypocrisy about this). I thought it would be helpful to highlight some progressive, sex-positive and subversive songs from HipHop artists. [In no particular order…]
None of Your Business - Salt N Pepa
Oh that’s right, there are women emcees! Yes, yes racists, there are women emcees. I can’t say anything about this song that couldn’t be better relayed by the chorus “If I wanna take a guy home with me tonight/ It’s none of your business/ And if she wanna be a freak and sell it on the weekend/ It’s none of your business.” Got it? Good.
Brown Skin Lady - Black Star
Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (the artist formerly known as Mos Def) brought us this wonderful smooth song challenging the notion that lighter skin is more attractive. The intro is a clip from Chameleon Street, an 80’s film about a con artist from Detroit. From beginning to end it is a celebration of darker skinned women that addresses light skin privilege and eurocentric beauty standards.
U&Me&EveryoneWeKnow - Jean Grae
In this ill, cathartic release Jean unpacks the challenges of a relationship that’s not working to get to a point to let go. Relatable lyrics that show how we can get caught in cycles despite our best intentions of making things better. In the end she is able to acknowledge her love for him without compromising her love for herself. Looking forward to when she releases Cake or Death.