Rapsody, Snow Tha Product and others show Jermaine Dupri is So, So Misguided

By Daniel Paiz

Controversy surrounds producer and So, So Def founder Jermaine Dupri’s comments about women in rap today “sounding like strippers rapping”, and rightly so. What Dupri says above slightly clarifies his stance on how if you’re upset with his comments then you aren’t listening to the lyrics. Sure, there are some Top 40 women in rap who do discuss sex and what can be considered promiscuous lyrics (because men never do that).

What’s misguided about his comments has to be the ironic take (if you watched the above video) in that blanket statements about women in rap is misguided.

Why Dupri is misguided

For this Hip-Hop head, it starts off with a basic curiosity of, has Dupri actually listened to women in rap’s bars. Take, for example, the critically acclaimed and growing in popularity North Carolina MC known simply as Rapsody. Let’s look at some lyrics from her last album Laila’s Wisdom, entitled Crown (start at 1:31 to match lyrics below):

I lied to mama one time when I was eleven
Riding in the car she told me something

I won’t forget it
Truth gon’ chase the light no matter

what night that you said it
It make me feel so low
She peeled my feelings back like lettuce
With no salad told me save all of the

carriage for the ballads
Now I’m dropping jewels as if we

gave up on the marriage
I know it’s hard to handle we

ain’t came here in no carriage
The hood is for the rain
And where they throw us is the barracks
Where we learn to master beats

without a panther or a ferret
It came out in the ’80s same as me I was a baby
And what I learned ’bout life is:

Lord is sure is not the fairest

Now I’m no big city, world-leading writer of a global publication that you read after the New York Times and before The Atlantic, but these lyrics don’t reflect what Dupri is talking about. You can claim this is a bit nitpicky but it’s to disprove his point; I don’t hear Rapsody and Cardi B sounding the same at all. Just in case it might seem like a fluke though, let’s look at the boss of that Stay Woke! movement, Snow Tha Product with her newest track, Funny:

Ain’t no fairy tale, ain’t no ferris wheel
You know a bitch was hella thorough,

I was hella real
I was jugglin’ my work, school, and I still made time to make a mil
Breakin’ hearts left and right,

you know I be dressed to kill
I was dodgin’ all the cat calls, and the fact all your boys

ain’t have your back tho, they was tryna dog
All the textin’ and the checkin’ all up on me on the ‘Gram
Hittin’ me with all the “Damn, it’s just too bad you got a man”
And I guess you had me fucked up,

guess you caught me slippin’
Had me drunk and singing

Fuck Love, trippin’ had me wishin’
Prayin’ I could take it back, everything we had
Fuck you and your circus,

go and find a better act

So Snow is talking about a past relationship, sure, but it’s about lessons. Very little sexual content here, despite all the flirtations and game playing. Again, Snow doesn’t sound like Cardi B or other Top 40 women in rap. In fact what’s very strange is that there are a lot of women in rap who are not one topic rappers, but like their male counterparts, discuss a wide spectrum of topics impacting their life. That is where the problem lies with these kinds of comments.

An outdated double standard

Women in Rap are either supposed to sound like this:

Where they are often seen as super lyrical or politically charged (Ana Tijoux is dope and deserves your ears regardless of the topic she raps on), or they are expected to sound a bit more like this:

Which is more in line with what Dupri is encountering and is expecting to be the norm. That’s an outdated problem to have in 2019 when their are men banking off of performing similar stereotypes as shown above. Also, to put things into it’s either this or that binary, as if there can’t be someone like Sa-Roc:

Or Big Freedia:

Or everyone’s favorite new actress, Awkwafina:

There’s really just no excuse in 2019 (almost 2020!) that Dupri and people who agree with his comments can’t use Google to learn that one’s assumptions about what’s roaming the airwaves is wrong. If Lil Dicky and Drake and all the mumble rappers that keep getting notoriety are out there, then one might discover that women in rap are also not a monolith and have narratives that have a broader narrative listeners can relate to.

Also, what strip clubs have their performers rapping? Is that an Atlanta thing? I digress.


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