On Black Women x Hip Hop x Feminism in 2014


I am going to be @ UDC doing a panel on Hip Hop and Sexuality as a part of the One Mic DC Festival. If you are in the area, please stop by, I’d love to see you.

Feminism and social media has hit a tipping point of sorts over the last 6 months with regard to online conversations. As a person who has been blogging/writing about the intersection of hip hop and feminism for nearly, gasp, ten years, I have a unique perspective.

So here is what I am thinking about. Boom Bap. Feminism and the Political/Politics of who gets in the archive.

  • There is a post right now on The Awl about Women of Color and boom bap, as it pertains to the documentary series “The Tanning of America.” These conversations are peculiar to me because the elephant in the room is that SOME people just are not interested in hearing what Black women have to say. Now a lot of folks won’t say that shit out loud, BUT, I think that that is the subtext to a lot of these conversations. This blog post which addresses gender and why some men CAN’T listen to Nicki Minaj underscores it.  Furthermore, Choosing NOT to listen to someone is an act of power. It isn’t also lost on me that Black Girl Emcees are underrepresented in the documentary “The Tanning of America.” In fact it underscores a clear pattern with regard to the treatment of Black women and girls. Black women solidly voted democratic and for president Obama, we are a key part of his base. However his most recently policy chooses to focus on our brothers and our sons, but we street teamed for him in ways like no one else did. The data shows this. One of the central jobs of Feminists in general and Black feminists in particular have been writing Black women back into history even if we have to do it in the crevices; for now. Choosing to write yourself into history is an act of power as well.
  • So I have been thinking about Nas and his feminist mafia tweet. Nasir Jones’ Illmatic has been central to my identity since I was as a teenager. Especially as a teenager.  So has Black feminism. See this blog post “Michele Wallace and Illmatic.”I had been going back and forth with Britni Danielle about Nas and that tweet and I came to clear conclusion. I am not really invested in what Nasir Jones thinks about feminism unless and only if he is using is platform as a space to interrogate healthy forms of Black masculinity, and toxic Black masculinity!!! The hood needs it. AND, I really think it would be interesting. This is no shade to Britni, she is my homegirl we’ve been in this internet game together for a hot minute and if all goes well we will be doing a book reading in LA next year. However, I needed to untangle, and mark my concern OR lack of investment in what he has to say about that topic. I think the other things is, two Black girls, queer Black girls were murdered two weeks ago ostensibly because they were a couple.  In fact, Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson may have been murdered by Britney’s father. They were killed and left near a garbage can. The fuck? And Relisha Rudd is still missing. I think that questions of state violence against Black people, and violence against Black girls in Black families presses ME more right now.
  • I just want Black girls to be free. Not just the sons. If I ruled the world. <—You see what I did there? #blackgirlsarefromthefuture.
  • All this being said. I am happy that there is a lot of theoretical energy invested in Black feminism online. I think it is the work of 100 years of often unacknowledged/ under acknowledged work by Black women and women of color.

What do you think about hip hop and feminism and 2014?

Is the issue really that some folks don’t give a shit about what Black women have to say?

Or is the issue that I am tripping because we can care about Relisha, Britney and Crystal AND Nas?

Oh and I LOVE my Ice Cube meme. I am winning!