I saw the nomination list for the SA Hip Hop awards and I was left between horrified and not surprised. As disgusting as misogyny is, I have learnt to expect no less from my male counterparts in hip hop. I have grown up in the hostile and anti strong women environment of SA Hip Hop.
As individuals, some of the men in Hip Hop are beautiful human beings…but when the men are together, they become a completely different animal.
I got this text from my favourite female emcee, one of the most prolific lyricists of our time…
‘…I have no energy to be honest with you. Right now, I don’t want anything to do with Hip Hop.’ QBA
That is the level of female rapper frustration we are dealing with. The female rappers have said,
‘fuck this shit, I don’t want it anymore.’
Now let us get into the reasons why an artist would say,
‘I don’t want to have anything to do with my talent.’
Such words ONLY come from an artistic soul who has been battered, abused and unrecognised in their craft. The ONLY time an artist says such words is when their heart and spirit has been so broken, they have walked away. This is the story for MANY female rappers in South Africa.
Yes, we see the SAHHA organisers jumping up and down to convince us they are for women in hip hop. With only 2 female rappers in the best female category, they have failed us. I also noticed that the other females nominated are collaborating with boys, so they didn’t make it there by themselves….they needed a co-sign from the boys.
The SAHHA organisers create excuses as to why there is no gender equity in their production. They claim that a rapper has to have a complete project to be eligible – what they leave out is that the industry is so hostile towards females, producers do not prioritise us.
The producers want to work with the boys. When you as a female rapper/lyricist approach men for beats it take a very long time for them to deliver, if they even deliver. The boys have turned hip hop into a boys club.
To keep us out, they do free session work for each other and give us females their quotations.
Unless you’re pulling the half naked, sexy card, it is very difficult to get the mrappers attention.
Men will spend weeks on end in studios, working on music that may never even get released, but they fail to put in the same energy on our projects.
It’s like a passive aggressive sabotage thing they do.
Even on the stage, they will shout, scream and urge each other on….but when it’s a female rapper there is silence, pressure and an audience searching for faults.
Sadly, even female producers are unknown because nobody talks about them.
So tell me, in such an environment HOW are women expected to churn out projects?
If you see that your production is faulty, do you not instil corrective measures? The gender question has been on the table for many years in Hip Hop, if you are so pro women….why does it not show?
When white people had ALL the economic power, systems were created to fix the environment. There were Systems such as BEE where every company HAD TO have black people in it.
We did not say that we were spoon feeding the blacks.
We did not say we were changing the rules to suit blacks.
We knew that the situation was unfair and needed correcting. It made far better sense, to have Africans have access to economic power, instead of retaining the status quo of ONLY white power.
That is the situation we are dealing with right now.
It is the responsibility of these awards to create a platform which is not sexist and does not discriminate against women.
What measures have they taken to ensure the empowerment of women? Nothing. Then they have the nerve to call it the South African Hip Hop Awards. That is rubbish…..SA Hip Hop was built by women too.
These awards are just the men patting each other on the back.
The fact still remains though….I know female rappers who are not on that nomination list, who are about 100x better than some of your nominees. Like many women in Hip Hop, I too have stopped giving AF……enjoy the sausage fest.