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The Femcee Problem

Story time, kiddos. Gather ‘round the warm glow of your computer screens.

A few Fridays before I took off to Atlanta for this year’s A3C Festival, I stopped by the radio show of my good friend who happened to have this small, petite female in the studio as his guest. I didn’t think much of it, because the show tends to lean on the more… debauched side of life at times (word to the show’s “interlude” that features the 40 Ounce Bounce song as its own theme song), so I went about my business while there until the guest – going by the name Nitty Scott, MC – asked for Kanye’s “Monster” instrumental to freestyle over, where she proceeded to blow everybody’s minds with her witty punchlines and fiery cadence.

Fast forward to the A3C festival itself. Despite the overwhelming presence of male rapsters… all right, all right; it was a sausage factory [||] most of the time there… some of the highlights of the entire weekend (that didn’t include Killer Mike screaming at/berating the audience “Mommy Dearest”-style until his microphone was cut off prematurely) were the female spitters who actually held their own against their male counterparts, particularly Jean Grae who absolutely commanded the audience’s attention and respect during her 9th Wonder-backed performance on the first night.

Let’s go a couple days after A3C, where I was the in-house spinster for a release party. The true highlight of the night was when one particular artist brought his own sister on stage, who then outshined her own brother’s entire set with one 24-bar verse as soon as she was handed a microphone.

Let’s now bring things up to the current, where – at any time – I’m subject to a plethora of emails every day from aspiring male rapsters, yet I’m constantly having to dig through either my spam box (where they sometimes accidentally end up in) or throughout the Internets to find their female equivalent who, are in some cases, light years better than their male equivalents. The fuck?

There seems to be this odd trend where there’s only one female rapster that garners the most attention at a time, and once one is somehow able to pull themselves from the muck of the polluted pool that’s the rap world (after waiting through that “couple years” interval most femcess have to wade in before making any kind of noise that isn’t independent), they’re instantly pigeon-holed as a “second coming of an already existing artist that’s likely already fallen off harder than Akili Smith.” Nicki Minaj is obviously that current “people’s choice,” originally only drawing comparisons to Lil Kim and Foxy Brown before somehow transforming into Young Money’s best Black Eyed Peas imitation. Yet, for the rest of us, where the hell are the other femcees who are, arguably, more talented than Onika but lacking the push and financial resources to get out there?

Oh, that’s right; they’ll have to a couple years to get on. Damn, homie.

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