Opinion: Stigma of Women in Hip Hop

Val Boreland

Should Women Be Concerned with the Stigma Made Against Them in Hip Hop

By: Annice Brookins

By the title of this article, I’m sure you’re asking yourself this exact question and hopefully calling your girlfriends to discuss the topic. It isn’t a secret that Hip Hop is a male dominated industry. Most of the time, women name males when discussing higher ups as their role models. Of course, that isn’t an issue because who doesn’t admire the brilliance of L.A.Reid or Nas’ Illmatic word play? However, women need to become familiar with the ladies of hip hop who play just as an important role as men.

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend an event in New York City put on by Dolly Wolf Enterprises, LLC. The One Day Immersion Media Conference was geared toward “millenials,” or the generation, born from 1980 onward, brought up using digital technology and mass media; the children of Baby Boomers (Dictionary.com). Shoutout to all my millenials, we are now a trending topic. The conference aimed to expose young adults interested in the enterntainment industry to management staff of companies like HBO, REVOLT TV, SIRIUS XM PIVOT TV etc… I highly recommend that anyone remotely interested in the industry attend this conference because it gives you the opportunity to shake the hands of executive staff members of companies you wouldn’t have otherwise met under any other circumstances.

Now, after that fantastic free plug for ODIMC, I’m sure your wondering what does it have to do with Hip Hop. I’m getting to that, you know women love to talk about themselves and their fabulous lives. However, I was fortunate enough to meet the Executive VP of Programming for Revolt TV, yes, that is Sean “Diddy/Puff/Puff Daddy” Combs’ television network, and ask her a very important question: “As the individual who is responsible for bringing both Comedy Central and Lifetime Networks to their highest ratings while employed by them, how did you deal with being a women in such a high position of a male dominated industry?”

Her response was so well crafted that I even tweeted it. She said, “Don’t look at is a feminist issue, but more so, the complex of human competition.” We often try to pin our problems on characteristics that we didn’t get to choose, such as being a woman or being a minority. Yes, you may be all of those things but it all boils down to the quality of your finished product and the work ethic you exhibit. Any individual who is not working to their full potential will always be jealous of another individual who is because it reminds them of what they are NOT doing.

There are countless stereotypes that have been formed against women in hip hop since its creation, but why be offended by something that doesn’t apply to you? Yes, I am a woman who is in the entertainment industry, specifically Hip Hip, but I am defined by the quality of my work not the ridiculous idea that all black women with big dairy airs are expected to shake them for a man’s pleasure. Val Boreland, Executive VP of Programming for Revolt Tv, gave me three valuable tips:

1. Your quality of work will always speak for itself, regardless of what personal feelings people have toward you.

2. Be able to hustle as hard as men, but have an equal balance of femininity to you.

3. Never let them see you cry, no matter how bad it gets.

As a woman making her way through the industry, I am passing this piece of advice onto my readers to give you reassurance about the workplace and a peace of mind through your career.

With all my creativity from me to you.