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U-N-I-T-Y: What the Female Rap Game’s Been Missing?

I know none of them will admit it, but lately I’ve been noticing that the more established female MCs, who have been doing only God knows what for the past few years, are coming out of hiding. My best guest is Nicki Minaj, the self-proclaimed “rap bitch nightmare,” has something to do with it.

I’ve been wondering what the game’s been missing since the days “Best Female…” hip-hop categories dropped out of award shows and I think it’s Nicki, or more specifically, the competition. No girl wants to see another girl on top, and like children in the playground now that Nicki Minaj has stepped up to pick up the female rap game, left abandoned and almost forgotten, all of a sudden everyone else wants to play too.

The Diamond Princess is dropping Amazin’ this year; Eve, who hasn’t dropped a project since ‘02 (!!!) is working on Lip Lock; and Rah Digga, whom we haven’t seen since Dirty Harriet almost a decade ago, among others…

I’m just hoping that the competition stays friendly.

Remy Ma, who recently spoke to Jenny Boom from jail, highlighted the generational problem: “The girls in this game have it twisted like, they feel like it can only be one girl… and the guys are not really like that. The girls before me I think they had it that there can only be one and they were like, We’re not doing songs together, we’re not doing photo shoots together, we’re not doing anything together, and I think it’s just real catty and real corny. I think if you an ill chick and you know you about your business you can congratulate on what she’s doing and don’t have a problem with it [or] feel like she’s trying to knock you or hate on you.”

Nicki, who’s friends with Remy, rapped about it in on “Still I Rise”: “Bitches is like crabs in a bucket/You see a bad bitch gettin’ shine you should love it/Cuz every time a door opens for me that means you/Just got a better opportunity to do you/They don’t understand these labels look at numbers and statistics/I lose, you lose, ma, it’s just logistics/Anyway, real bitches listen when I’m speakin/Cuz if Nicki wins then all of y’all gettin’ meetings.”

This is a far cry from the Foxy Brown’s and Lil Kim’s (both rumored to be working on projects) of yesteryear who, even today seem to be still harping on old unresolved issues. Foxy recently came out of nowhere taking shots at Kim again on “Off the Muscle” and “Let Em Know,”  stirring up decades old beef, that I’m not even sure anyone cares about anymore.

And Nikki D, the first female artist to sign to the legendary Def Jam label, has been none to friendly either. In an interview a few months ago I asked her about the current women in hip-hop and she told me: “There aren’t any out! Who’s out? You mean, Nicki Minaj? That’s not a rapper. That’s a girl with her ass on the screen. Nice hairdo and she’s saying some things but she’s not a rapper. She’s not an MC. She’s an artist. She’s an entertainer. There’s a difference. She can go out there and open her mouth and say whatever but people ain’t listening to her. They looking at her. And rapping is about the skill. It ain’t about your fat ass. It ain’t about your set of titties. It ain’t about that long-ass weave.”

While we’re all entitled to our own opinion on artists, I’m just pointing this out because I’m not necessarily feeling the love. However, as I said before, it seems the newer generations are on a different page and I’m hoping this holds up, especially since the stereotype that women (rappers or just women in general) can’t ever get along, is getting kind of old.

Guess I spoke too soon, some random female rapper from Baltimore named Keys started poppin’ smack yesterday with her own diss track.

If nothing else, maybe Ludacris’ “My Chick Bad” (and it’s remix) featuring Trina, Eve, Nicki and Diamond is a good omen… although I can’t help but notice Kim’s noticeable absence on what appears to be unity track. But who knows? Here’s hoping for the best. —Brooklyne Gipson

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