This new directions essay traces the most recent trajectory in the field of hip-hop feminism. To that end, we map the current terrain of hip-hop feminist studies, first by identifying challenges and tensions, then by reviewing current literature and its engagement with these issues, and finally by identifying new and emergent areas for further development of the field. We argue that hip-hop feminism has effectively made space for itself in the broader fields of black and women-of-color feminisms and remains deeply invested in the intersectional approaches developed by earlier black feminists. We also insist that women and girls of color remain central to our analyses, particularly in light of the proliferation of critical masculinity studies within the broader field of hip-hop studies. Furthermore, our discussion of hip-hop feminism contends that within hip-hop feminist studies, hip-hop and feminism act as discrete but constitutive categories that share a dialogic relationship. Rather than treating feminism as though it lends a certain intellectual gravity to hip-hop, we consider how creative, intellectual hip-hop feminist work invites new questions about representation, provides additional insight about embodied experience, and offers alternative models for critical engagement.
See Aisha Durham et al. (2013) and Treva Lindsey (2015) for more on hip-hop feminism, and Whitney Peoples (2008) for the ways in which hip-hop feminism grows from and beyond Black feminist theorizing and hip-hop culture.
In When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down, Morgan explains that she coined the term hip hop feminism because she was unable to fully identify with feminism without acknowledging and embracing her enjoyment in misogynistic hip hop music and elements of patriarchy. Morgan explains that the term hip-hop feminism is used to express the ambiguities and contradictions of being a black feminist who still enjoys certain aspects of patriarchal and misogynistic society, such as enjoying hip hop music that reaffirms rather than challenges misogyny, which she calls "fucking with the greys."
In 1992, R&B singer Mary J. Blige released What's the 411? on Uptown/MCA Records and was considered the pioneer of hip-hop feminism. In If You Look in My Life: Love, Hip-Hop Soul, and Contemporary African American Womanhood, author Treva B. Lindsey documents Blige's diverse musical influences and claims that, "...these diverse influences sparked a sonic innovation that generated a unique space for African American women's storytelling and narrative (re)articulations of love and contemporary black womanhood."
Behind Queen Latifah came hip-hop artist Lauryn Hill who became the best example of hip-hop feminism with record-breaking worldwide sales of her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and has won five Grammy awards in 1998. Artists such as Latifah and Hill mimicked the hip hop rhetoric of males in the scene and generated a massive amount of attention. Missy Elliot was often seen dressed similar to male hip-hop artists and utilized the same body language and aggressive delivery of her lyrics as a means of protest, while still preserving her femininity. Even after losing weight over the years, she made sure that while performing videos the camera were faced to her face and her dancing.
In the 2010s, hip-hop feminists moved past the male rhetoric and doused the genre in feminine prose. For example, many modern hip-hop feminists[who?] utilize their voluptuous figures in a commanding manner rather than adopting male rapper outfitting and lyric style. Aisha Durham writes that hip hop aided in creating a style icon out of the female black body. Durham also stated a solution to the problem of patriarchy, homophobia, misogyny, et cetera that is present in hip-hop: hip-hop feminism. She stated, "[Hip hop feminists] are moving and mobilizing and rescuing ourselves from virtual action blocks ... Hip-hop feminism is the answer (to) rap."
Saunders also uses the word "artivism," which merges "artist" and "activist," in an argument stating that feminists in nations such as Cuba and Brazil, where hip-hop feminism is present, are not given enough credit for the agency and resistance that emerges from their art. Saunders urges hip-hop feminists in the United States to recognize their privilege as a referent for activist movements, and the power, privilege, and responsibility that comes with living in a global hegemony.
Her research help train females get comfortable with cameras and comfortable getting into the entertainment industry. Raimist mainly focuses on "feminist filmmaking, women of color feminisms, hip-hop feminism, pedagogy, and digital storytelling." Among her fine accomplishments, Raimist also taught a class out at the sea and four of the seven continents in a program called "Semester at Sea." Out on her voyage, she taught global cinema, digital photography and women's literature. 2b1af7f3a8