Once I was being interviewed for an up and coming magazine in New York City and the journalist asked me about my moniker "Queen of the Queendom". I explained to her that the phrases wasn't meant to necessarily assert my "dominance " over anyone but to more or less suggest that there are multiple "Queens" within the world of Hip Hop.
I remember the journalist throwing major shade in her article by calling my Queendom "imaginary " or something like that- I didn't take offense, because she lacked the imagination necessary to visualize the world of hip hop with more that one woman reigning at the top.
At the time, the "First Lady Syndrome " reigned supreme in Hip Hop Music. The First Lady Syndrome is basically a time during the archaic rap era when men pushed a part of the Hetero Agenda that forbade the industry to market, promote, praise or pay homage to more than one woman at a time. (I remember my good sis Starrene did a whole article for AOL Black Voices entitled "10 Female Rappers who are not Nicki Minaj", just to break up the boys club journal focus.)
Of course having 10 men signed to one label was completely accepted- but when it came to women- there could only be ONE! This ridiculous notion continued up until the time that Nicki Minaj, after dominating the industry for several years, was joined by Cardi B on the top charts with the release of Bodak Yellow. At that point the women decided, we want Cardi and we're NOT getting rid of Nicki- so you dudes need to figure it out.
Of course the industry tried (and arguably succeeded) in pinning these two powerhouses against eachother. But it took the words and efforts of Gen Z to squash the beef when Queen Meg the Great not only said she REFUSED to choose who's better- but also that she likes both.
(Then, she proceeded to drop records with both sisters in the same year.)
Today, we are indeed living in the Era of Queendom: there are so many women queening up right now in Hip Hop and that's such a beautiful thing. The representation is monumental- nerd rap, sexy rap, empowering rap, conscious records, emceeing, sing songy, Latin Trap, Afrobeats- the women are doing the damn thing and I truly think that it is only the beginning.
From City Girls to Doja Cat, Rapsody to Rico Nasty, Lola Brooks to Noname- I SEE YOU, GIRLFRIEND !!!
Keep your foot on their neck sis, we the next up and the nexus.
There is a podcast that I want to recommend to all of you- "Louder than A Riot" by NPR. I just finished the last episode of the second season and it was phenomenal. Everything is there- all things addressed- and in a journalistic, straightforward way. It's by far in my Top 10.
In celebration of Black Music Month, I challenge you to make space for the Women of Hip Hop. Go to a show, listen to a podcast, download a record.
Because like I said in the book GIRLDRIVE-
People keep saying hip hop is dead, but how you gone have life with one gender?
That was 10 years ago, and now...with more women on the playing field- look how much life is in the building. So now, hip hop, we go together...real bad. 😂