For a long time, hip-hop was considered a male culture, seasoned with a fair amount of sexism. The truth is that there have always been female rap artists in hip-hop. Although it does seem that it’s always harder for them to succeed and overcome prejudices against themselves. Nevertheless, Missy Eliot, Lauryn Hill, Lil Kim and Yves were great examples of successful female rap artists. Today Cardi B, Nicky Minaj, M.I.A. and many others climbed to the same heights. Their examples prove that it is not necessary to be a man to make an impressive rap. Let’s talk about 3 brave upcoming female rap artists that impressed us this week.
Canada, perhaps, is still not considered to be the key forge of musical geniuses but, nevertheless, there are a lot of artists that the country gifted us with. The sexy angelic-faced rapper Tommy Ginesis is one of them. Genesis comes from a mixed family: her father is Tamil and her mother is Swede (another Tamil rapper is M.I.A.). Her real name is Genesis Yasmin Mohanraj and the word “Tommy” in her pseudonym is a reference to the word “tomboy”. Behind her sweet appearance, Genesis has a strong rebellious character.
Prior to her music career, Tommy Genesis studied sculpture and film at the university and worked in various galleries. She is still an artist but, as she admitted to Dazed, live performances give her the strongest feelings, even stronger than sex. Genesis treats her appearance with irony, periodically laughs at it and uses it as a way of achieving a certain artistic effect. For example, in a music video for the track “100 Bad” the rapper acted sexy as usual but was lying in a pile of tampons packed in pink plastic. By the way, Tommy Genesis directs and edits her music videos herself.
What to listen to: at the end of October she will release a new album, but for now you can listen to her debut one World Vision or the latest singles on all streaming services.
The real name of Rocky Rivera is Krishtine de Leon, she is American-Philippine and lives in San Francisco. Rivera started her career as a music journalist with a focus on hip-hop and her track record includes interviews with legends such as Wu Tang Clan, DMX and Gnarls Barkley, and Rolling Stone was among the publications she collaborated with.
At one point Rivera realised that she had written enough about hip-hop and it was time to become the MC herself and talk about important topics in rap-text format. Rivera is currently working as a university lecturer to help young people engage in activism. Such work seems logical for Rivera, because she herself is 100% an activist. She frequently attends various rallies and raps about racism, police brutality, social injustice and discrimination of various forms. One of the goals of Rivera’s rap career is to inspire women and fight hip-hop misogyny.
What to listen to: On the 26th of October, Rivera will present her new album, “Rocky’s Revenge“, but for the time being it is worth listening to her 2013 album “Gangster of Love”.
California-based rapper Rubi Ibarra listened to rap since childhood, way before she migrated to the US with her family from the Philippines. In 2012 she released her debut mixtape “Lost in Translation” and immediately got on Eminem’s radar. Eminem decided to support a novice performer on his own radio channel Shade45.
Ibarra can also be considered an activist. She talks a lot about the difficulties immigrants experience, which is based on her personal experience. She also covers feminism and racism, which she also has to deal with herself. One of her main goals for Ibarra is to build a wider road for women in hip-hop.
What to listen to: in 2017 Ibarra released her debut album “Circa91”. Definitely worth a listen!
Have you been listening to other upcoming female rap artists lately? Share your discoveries with us in the comment section below.
Text: Irina Gorskaia