When I think about rap or hip hop the image that usually comes to my mind is a group of men rapping in an aggressive way, saying swear words and claiming for some unfair situation or explaining the bad life in streets and the problems with women or drugs. I know this is a topic, but for me -a person completely unfamiliar with rap music- this is what rap suggests to me. To be honest, this is what rap used to evoque me. However, now I have changed my mind due to a new wave of feminist rap that empowers me to sing the lyrics and move my body. This is thanks to some latin women that don’t understand music without its political sense and a claim.
Undoubtedly, the music world is sexist and masculine: women in stages are just a minority, the lyrics are usually misogynist and lots of latin music talks about romantic love and possession. Women are represented below men and in a sexualized way. To prove that, we only have to go to Youtube and listen and watch the most famous current songs. Nevertheless, the resistance exists, and in this article, I’m going to introduce you to some singers that, step by step, are changing the musical scene.
“Neither god nor country, nor husband nor party”
She is an anarchist Guatemalan sociologist, which uses rap to express herself and to talk about the emancipation of women. She started as a poet, her role model is her aunt, who was also a poet and a guerilla fighter. She is an educator and not only uses rap to encourage a critic way of thinking, but she also does workshops. Rebeca understands feminism as the fight of women, for empowering herself individually and collectively.
“Do not be submissive or obedient, be insurgent and a strong woman, independent and brave, break the chains of the indifference”
She is from Chile, her parents had to exile during Pinochet dictatorship so she was born in France. She is one of the most famous Latin-American rap singers, and she has been nominated many times for the Grammys. She started to sing on stages when there were only a few women, and now there are lots more. She thinks the presence of women in hip hop, as in many other spaces, should stop being anecdotal or out of the ordinary.
“I’m desperate, I imagine the future and I see that nothing is waiting for me. I look around, I see the world devastated, worn-out, tied, all boken, so damaged”
She is an Argentinian singer and her songs are full of social criticism: evictions, corruption, and police violence. She thinks it is not possible to fight against capitalism or the system, but we can do little actions. For example in her case, she can decide where to act and where not to, and as an artist, she has to have by the side people who fight. She is an autodidact and thinks music has a pedagogical function: music can change lots of minds.