As avid listeners of hip-hop and consumers of pop culture, people often view women in hip-hop at face value. They are expected to follow a predetermined path, promote certain messages and ultimately entertain us with little depth of personality. Those unfair expectations cause us to overlook the important messages that women in music convey, and we often must dig deeper to unearth and appreciate the value they contribute. Despite that disadvantage, we’re highlighting three unique women in hip-hop and pop culture who use their voices to uplift and encourage women while validating shared experiences.
1. Bbymutha is part of a new wave of creative women who do very little to mask their reality in a world of facades. The Tennessee native often experiments with her voice and draws influence from hip-hop and heavy metal. Her music and experiences tap into the societal norms of what mothers can’t do now that they have children, and what a mother should be considering her children. Bbymutha was blessed twice: she is the mother and primary caregiver of two sets of twins. She knows how it feels to not have time for yourself as a mom, and she’s lived up against society’s pressures and expectations of mothers. People often forget that mothers are living, breathing human beings who can enjoy a moment to themselves, stay out late and have a drink occasionally, and even make mistakes. Giving birth to children doesn’t remove a woman’s humanity. Women, and especially mothers, can have new and fun experiences without living within the confines of a society that wants to stifle and control a woman’s actions and desires. We are unlearning what it does and does not mean to be a mother, and Bbymutha is taking charge as one of the leaders of a powerful movement that encourages mothers to do their best and removes the stigma from single parenthood.
2. Megan Thee Stallion is doing her part to shake up the world of hip-hop by delivering variety from one song to the next. The H-Town Hottie uses alter egos to portray various aspects of her personality, which allows her to spread her wings and try different sounds within a constantly buzzing pool of contemporary women in rap. “Hot Girl Meg” and “Tina Snow” often duke it out to become the inspiration behind some of our favorite tracks on her recently released “Tina Snow EP”. Experimenting with characters and personas provides lots of variety in women’s music today, and allows for more voices to be heard on certain topics. For Thee Stallion, “Hot Girl Meg” lives to meet new people, share fun experiences and turn up with her girls on a frequent basis, while “Tina Snow” aims to educate women on how to navigate relationships and sexual situations with an upper hand and maturity. These two characters allow Thee Stallion to fully express herself on the Tina Snow EP, and gives life to listeners who enjoy watching her progression. Her use of multiple characters within her music also shows us that expression comes in many different forms, and women in rap have no plans of stifling their ideas any time soon.
3. Junglepussy has lived between the lines of creative and artist since her buzz began bubbling on social media years ago. You can’t quite call her a rapper, poet, or anything concrete, simply because her message and persona don’t allow anyone to pigeonhole her into one lane. Ahead of her JP3 release, Junglepussy spoke with The Fader to discuss the creative process for her third project and her source of motivation and clarity in a field that wants everyone to fit the mold. As a musician, JP has always preached a message of self-care, but JP3 shows us that she’s intertwined more of her wants and needs within her music. Avid listeners can attest that Junglepussy has also weaved her thoughts, opinions and desires within her music, but with the recent release of JP3, she’s pushed more of her true personal feelings to the forefront and has expressed her concerns for protecting who she truly is in an industry of mishaps and misgivings. Self-care is a commodity of the highest value in today’s world of social media and unwarranted commentary. It feels good to see another creative woman who unabashedly promotes protecting yourself among an atmosphere of comparison and exposure.
The importance of these lessons lies in the reality that these women are navigating a field dominated by men, while avoiding the land mines of false competition, catty behavior and disrespect. Bbymutha, Megan Thee Stallion and Junglepussy are just three of the many women in music who are forging their own unique path and celebrating their womanhood in the most unfiltered way. Let’s continue to encourage and highlight their strides without attempting to compare them to others who are on similar paths. There’s more than enough room for all women to succeed.
Bbymutha Interviews with The Fader – 2017 http://www.thefader.com/2017/10/17/bbymutha-rapper- interview-rules
Megan Thee Stallion interviews with Hoodrich Radio and DJ Scream – 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDWUXCHDL4c
Junglepussy interviews with The Fader - 2018 https://www.thefader.com/2018/05/24/junglepussy-jp3- interview