I’ve always loved Hip Hop music for its crazy beats and intricate lyrics. The way the genre has been able to go from club bangers one minute to making pointed political statements the next has always garnered my admiration.
Despite my huge love of Hip Hop from everyone from the old schoolers like N.W.A to the best rappers of today like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole, there’s always been a voice screaming in the back of my head; where are all the female rappers? And although now we have the likes of Cardi B and Nicki Minaj taking their music to the mainstream, the rivalry stirred up by the media between these two musicians has, at times, overshadowed their music. Not only that, but Hip Hop has forever been tainted by its links to misogyny through its lyrics and the sexist behaviour in this male dominated genre. However, the tides are changing.
Not only are there more and more emerging female rappers rising up the ranks from across the pond (check out Noname who is a personal favourite of mine right now) but right here in the UK, one of the greatest celebrations of female Hip Hop artists is happening right now!
The Queens of Art Tour
London rapper Shay D, alongside DJ Ellie Prohan and MOBO supported artist Trumendous are teaming up with local female rappers in each city of their tour, to recognise sisterhood and the talent of women in this field. Within the Hip Hop community, its well known that men support and collaborate with one another, often leaving female artists as the token booking in shows and in line-ups, if at all. But this tour is the first UK tour to feature a female line-up of rappers, musicians and DJs for every date. Shay, who has just released her album Human Writes, chose to opt out of touring solo and instead used this opportunity to bring women together to fully empower a collective of female rappers.
The tour has already kicked off in London and was a massive success! But don’t worry you can still catch the tour in seven other cities; Glasgow (6th April), Birmingham (12th April), Leicester (13th April), Brighton (17th April), Southampton (19th April), Bristol (25th April) and Glasgow and Cardiff (26th April).
If, like me, you’re sick of this amazing style of music being monopolised by men and you want to see some amazing talent from people from a diverse set of backgrounds and from the LGBTQ+ community, make sure you book your ticket!
Not only is each gig a great night out with some amazing performers, but Shay and the team are hoping that this tour, which is the first of its kind, will send a powerful message not only with the music but with its existence altogether.
The hope is that this tour will strike up more conversations about issues such as keeping audiences safe, creating high quality content through diversity and tackling the normalcy of male heavy lineups. The last issue is one which has hit the headlines recently, after Wireless were criticised last year for their lack of female artists.
With the British rap scene gaining more and more momentum in recent years, it seems that the amazing talent of female rappers and MCs should be brought centre stage. It seems to me that if this industry wants to keep innovating and creating the best music, ensuring diversity is the way to go and we can thank tours like this for leading the way!
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