Archive for December, 2011

NY Times: Challenging Hip-Hop’s Masculine Ideal

Dec 23 2011 Published by under Uncategorized


HIP-HOP is primarily a celebration of black masculinity. Sure, there have long been significant black female and white male figures, but the majority of the conversation in hip-hop is and has always been about the actions, thoughts, feelings and ethos of black men. But this hegemony cannot last forever. Eventually the throne will have to be shared. The world of hip-hop has some diversity: Eminem, Mac Miller and Nicki Minaj now; the Beastie Boys, Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott in the past. We have respected rappers of South Asian descent: M.I.A. and Heems from Das Racist. But what about the American white woman? Could she ever rock the mic for real?

The cosmology of American celebrity requires several blond white women be major planets at all times. From Marilyn Monroe to Madonna to Britney Spears to Paris Hilton to Lady Gaga, our culture refuses to allow a void in the job called America’s Favorite Blonde. (Some might say the woman currently holding that office is Beyoncé.) Given that cultural law, how long will it be until some blonde — or any white woman — rises to fame through hip-hop? I daresay it’s inescapable. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already. Well, it may happen soon. We now have a small movement of white female rappers who want to be taken seriously, including Iggy Azalea, Kreayshawn and K.Flay.

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