As of recent, Nicki Minaj’s actions and lackluster musical performance have resulted in her slipping from her throne as Hip-hop’s Empress. As a result, this past week — armed with spiteful reveals about her ex’s hairline (a blatant low blow in the world of niggerdom) and makeshift Clue bombs — Minaj hoped to channel the spirit of Harriet Tubman to wage war against her perceived injustices and prove why she is still Rap’s “Queen.” But by having a toddler-esque fit due to “struggling” album sales (Queen debuted at Number Two on Billboard’s Top 200; far from a flop) and throwing unnecessary jabs at Travis Scott and Cardi B, Nicki is proving to be more of a spoiled princess soiled in tears and contradiction than an heiress fit to rule.
But while the Barbz and followers of the House of Bardi set social media ablaze with a regal tug-of-war, one can’t help but wonder why these two artists are the only women to be placed in the conversation when there is clearly a better female rapper starting a fire of her own. And that spitter is the Brooklyn-based artist, Young M.A.
Amidst Minaj’s frivolously obvious publicity stunt and Cardi’s quiet summer, Young M.A. has been striking a match with a series of flawless freestyles as well as dropping one of the best loosies of 2018 in “Petty Wap.” Bred in the birthplace of Hip-hop, Young M.A. has undoubtedly grown from 2016’s “Ooouuu” which was a solid introduction in its own right. So, the question is, why is it that Young M.A. is consistently overlooked? Never has her flows or lyrics been in question. And with Hip-hop’s newest infatuation with ghostwriters, unlike Cardi and Nicki, no rumor about her penmanship has come to light.
So, what is it? Why is M.A. being ignored?
After giving this careful thought, my only conclusion has to be Young M.A.’s sexual lifestyle. As known, Hip-hop is an extension of the Black American’s thought process, specifically the Black male’s psyche. And while it is known the Black man is by far more accepting of a lesbian woman than a gay man, making Young M.A.’s path to mainstream notoriety a little easier, the patriarchal mindset that coincides with the Black man (and in return Hip-hop) leads him to give attention to woman he can only objectify sexually. Because of this, Hip-hop lovers will listen to a lesbian rapper, even buy her music, but never will they consider her worthy enough to be the queen of rap as she deviates from the norms they are used to.
This has been historically exhibited. When asking the general public who the most influential female rappers are many will point to Lil Kim, Trina, Foxxy Brown, Eve, or women who are cut from a similar overly sexual cloth. They will ignore the impact of any rapper that doesn’t abide by traditional gender standards or isn’t scantily dressed. For example, in 1994, with her debut album, Funkdafied, So, So Def’s Da Brat became Hip-hop’s first female solo act to achieve platinum success. During her tenure, Da Brat reached unprecedented heights, shifting the way female rap was digested. Yet, her refusal to conform to the obvious heterosexual content pioneered by predecessors like Salt-n-Pepa made resulted in Hip-hop falsely labeling her as a novelty act. Thus, diminishing her accomplishments.
This same logic can be applied to possibly the most underrated rapper ever, Death Row act and Dogg Pound affiliate, The Lady of Rage. In conjunction with the emergence of Da Brat, Lady of Rage helped blaze the trail of feminine-based reality rap (a sub-genre Young M.A.’s content occupies). And although her entertainment skills were unmatched (outside of being a prolific artist she was also a great actor, assuming roles as a regular on The Steve Harvey Show and Ice Cube’s Next Friday), her non-traditional beauty aesthetics made people assume she was lesbian based on how she “looked” while her choice of content resulted in her hand in perfecting one of Hip-hops most mimicked flows (reference the style of Da Brat for proof) being credited solely to close collaborator, Snoop Dogg.
Yet, the most overt example of this mindset would be the career of Queen Latifah. Even though she is the best rapper-turned-actor (male or female) and a lyrical GOAT, many dismiss her prowess for the same reasons they bury the accomplishments of Da Brat and Lady of Rage. Being a crossover success and proven triple-threat entertainer, many would rather focus on her acting accolades or rumored sexuality rather than what she did to advance the woman rapper. Making it so that, despite her name, Queen Latifah will never be revered as the ruler of rap.
The misogynic and homophobic mindset that has become an accepted trait of Hip-hop speaks to the personality of the Black American. Instead of recognizing people — or in this case talent — for what it is, it must fit a mold that is historically comfortable and palatable. This puts rap in an oxymoronic sphere that mirrors the ideals of a womanist who “fought” to have an accused child molester perform with her at the MTV Video Music Awards. Meaning, instead of supporting someone who blazes verses and could potentially advance Black America’s acceptance of LGBT culture because she references her lifestyle (a.k.a. her reality); a genre that praises lyrical content and truths rather give “Bitch it’s King Kong. Yes, I’m King Kong / This is King Kong? Yes, Miss King Kong” a chance to win its heart again.
But, shit, I mean it is just Rap music…