Transcending stereotypes via low expectations
It’s long been a pet theory of mine that all female rappers are either lesbians, or puppets for male rappers.
Queen Latifah, for example, is clearly a lesbian. From what I’ve heard, she’s been known to show up to events out in Hollywood with her “wife,” wearing a wedding ring, but it’s understood that everyone is to pretend that she’s straight. If you don’t the gay mafia would probably put your career on hold faster than you can say “that one ninja from Grey’s Anatomy.” (See, people can’t even remember his name.) It’s not that much of an issue though. Supposedly liberal white Hollywood types love themselves a Mammy figure, to the point where they let Queen Latifah sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl despite the fact that she can’t sing. I saw that shit and I was like, The fuck? The cracked out 2010 Whitney Houston probably could have done a better job – though that would have drawn attention to the fact that she smoked up her vocal chords. Instead, she’s keeping that shit on the low, performing overseas for people who continue to support American artists long after there’s a reason to. I just hope she doesn’t die in the process, like Michael Jackson.
I’d use Lil Kim or Foxy Brown as examples of female rappers who are the puppets of male rappers, but that would be too easy, even on a low expectations Friday afternoon. During Black History Month. Finding very young women with very big boobs and writing songs for them about giving a guy (or a Sprite bottle) a blowski is such a good idea that I’m surprised it didn’t completely take over rap music. The entire country music industry is built on the idea that you can take a reasonably attractive woman (i.e. pretty much any white woman who’s not old or fat), have her perform music that’s inoffensive, if not worth listening to, and it’s pretty much a license to print money. Even during the recession.
Part of the reason rap music is on the way out is that hip-hop has no concept of marketing, apart from Steve Stoute – the low expectations Michael Porter – goading rappers into having themselves removed from the artistic roll call.
Lauryn Hill was supposed to be the female rapper to buck the trend, and even she supposedly had songwriting help from guys who she then tried to jerk for proper credit and compensation. I’m willing to believe she wrote most, if not all of her rhymes, because she definitely had her moments, back in the ’90s, and I hold on to The Score the way Queen Latifah holds on to the closet door, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was like Kanye West, in that she didn’t have what it took to do it herself, but her ego made her insist that she did – when I would have been more impressed with someone who had the sense and the taste to know when to work with collaborators, and the humility to admit when she did. That’s probably why you haven’t heard shit from her, other than that ill-advised episode of MTV Unplugged, since the late ’90s.
The most prominent female rapper these days is Nicki Minaj, who’s a unique figure in that she doesn’t seem to fit very well into my pet theory, which might require some revising for the ’90s baby era, where there isn’t as much of an emphasis on standards. Nicki Minaj is being positioned in the marketplace like a female rapper who you might suspect is the puppet of a male rapper, but I can’t imagine that’s how the TIs found her. She has the body of the woman who used to drive me to elementary school – who was in her 40s. And a school bus driver. I know, from the other times I’ve posted on Nicki Minaj, that some of the guys in the comments section would ride her hard and put her back wet, but I wonder where exactly is those guys’ cutoff point? So Nicki Minaj is your typical sex kitten female rapper, except that she’s not very sexy. But she’s also your typical lesbian female rapper, except that she doesn’t have a man’s MC skills. Probably.
I’ll admit, I’m only familiar with her music from that epic freestyle she kicked on BET, and that time I saw the gay-ass video for “Bedrock” on Fuse, and if I’m lucky, maybe it’ll stay that way, but what little I’ve heard is bad enough for me to believe she wrote it herself. Which would seem to put her in the Queen Latifah category, except for the fact that sexual orientation has been a point of contention. It was rumored that she was the “woman” in that video saying Remy Ma ate the box, but she vehemently denied it. It seems like sometimes she wants people to think she’s a rug muncher, and sometimes she doesn’t. According to a story in Slate, sometimes she’ll rap about how she likes women with big butts, about which she cannot lie, and having a threeway with a guy and another girl, but then she’ll talk about how she only likes guys and will say no homo. I’m pretty sure I read the other day that she was trying to get women to send her pictures of their cans on Twitter. (My idea!) It sounds like she might be a barely downlow muff diver, but she’s trying to front, because that might be bad for business. But I thought lesbians are supposed to be good at rapping, because their thought process is more along the lines of a man? The fuck?