This year the women’s Carlton AFL team stepped on the field and let us Collingwood fans know regardless of what gender is playing we will still be disappointed. To ease my poor broken Collingwood-loving heart I thought I’d look into another male dominated industry with bad-arse females doing their thing. While Melbourne may be the birth place of football, the U.S is undeniably the birth place of hip hop. With New York and Chicago being the metaphorical mecca of the music I love, I thought I’d pick some female artists who have been slaying the game.
Let’s start with the current Queen on the DIY underground scene in NYC, Destiny Frasqueri aka Princess Nokia. 1992 dropped in September and hot damn is it awesome. Just like with her first album Metallic Butterfly, she has again eschewed record labels choosing to self-release her album. In a genre full of hard rhymes and harder beats Princess Nokia isn’t slowly carving out her own niche; she is straight up murdering her competition.
Like all hip hop, the beat is only a vehicle to drive home the lyrics. This is modern day poetry after all. A vocal supporter of the LGBT movement and female sexuality, Nokia’s lyrics completely flip the switch on tired clichés. In true hip hop form she doesn’t ask you to respect her meekly, she demands it. Luckily, she’ll be hitting Australia for Golden Plains and for a sideshow at Hugs and Kisses on Thursday March 9.
For those unenthused by aggressive hip hop, don’t stress. Noname (Fatimah Warner) has you covered with a much more mellow flow. Releasing her first album Telefone in July 2016, Chicago’s home-grown poet is comfortable letting her stories stand out over any sound playing in the background. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she has bad beats in the background. Her beat selection is a soft melodic delight you can cook breakfast to. Especially when she is flicking between spoken word, rap, and beautiful interludes of sung verses all with a sexy ‘70s-esque tune playing in the background. But through it all it is her poetry and her lyrics that really stand out. It’s no surprise her lyric game is so strong, having started out with a pure poetry background. She honed her craft in the thriving Chicago open mic and slam poetry scenes. The same scene that gave birth to some of the greats (Lupe Fiasco, Kayne West).
Closer to home,Australian talent proves just as fierce. Sampa The Great proved her skills on the Paddock Stage in Tassie over the weekend, at the fifth annual Party In The Paddock. The pocket rocket has proved she is tiny but mighty, and after a swag of awards across 2016 she’s tipped to have one hell of a year. Tkay Maidza is yet another home-grown hero, who this year is playing at the acclaimed Governor’s Ball all the way over in NYC, in addition to slots at Hard Grime, Boston Calling and Hangout Music Festival. Call it what you will, but with artists like this slamming the scene, hip hop is most certainly no longer a man’s world.