In Search of Lauryn Hill: The Obsoletism of the Female Emcee

Where have you gone Lauryn Hill and how do I get there? Someone has to save the species of the female rapper from fading into bolivion (Leave Mike Tyson be PETA) or being reduced to mere sex toys. You had so much left to say, so much left to do, little Black girls need you. I need you; I can't go on listening to the Barbie doll with the Tourette's-like flow. I understand your life has undergone many alterations since "The MisEducation of Lauryn Hill", but your story is the story of millions of women and your voice so powerful that you could help many of them through situations and maintain an outlet for yourself.

Instead, we have a generation of Black girls lost listening to a female M.C. that wants to put something on my sideburns (listen to "Bedrock") and feeding a sex kitten image to a throng of sex-starved people that exceeds the magical Summer of Love. This is not a Nicki Minaj dis blog; this is reality rap about the lack of diversity rocking the M.I.C. for the ladies.

During the heyday of sex pistols Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown (1995 – 2001) there were a variety of female emcees that gave a wide-range of styles, stories, and looks for the public's consumption. There was the aforementioned Hill alongside Kim and Foxy, as well as Eve, Da Brat, Bahamadia, Missy Elliott, Trina and the burgeoning Remy Ma. Ten years later, only Trina has some sort of relevance at this point as personal demons, prison time, Hollywood, shifts in consumer taste and bad plastic surgery has derailed the rest, leaving Nicki Minaj as the leader of the new school and the Queen of royal badness (Shoutout to Latifah).

As Eminem has proven, there's nothing wrong with being the only one that matters, as long as you have the talent, really have something to say and something to offer besides T&A. My friend keeps telling me to download pre-Young Money Nicki Minaj, but that's about as irrelevant as the female M.C. is now, because that's not what we're getting from her. The Nicki Minaj on my radio station and video channel every 10 minutes is this life-size, anatomically correct Barbie doll, Harajuku Barbie to be exact!

We all know that sex sells and if skills sold, Trina would probably be, lyrically Jean Grae. Not familiar with the name? That's because she's a dope M.C. that's been bubbling on the underground for quite some time, but has never broken through because of the double-standard placed on females within the rap game. Yes, you can be nice, but can you be nice and sexy? Because that's what it's gonna take for you to blow up or you have to have a rap rabbi that happens to be white hot at the time. Lil' Kim rode Biggie's back, Foxy had Jay-Z and Nas, Trina had Trick Daddy, Lauryn came alongside Wyclef and Pras, Eve had the Ruff Ryders and Nicki Minaj has the cosign of Lil' Wayne. Even the pioneer female rappers of the golden age had to be sponsored by a known male M.C. before she rocked the mic. Is it impossible for a woman to stand alone in such a male-dominated arena?

In a not-so-shocking mirror of society, capable women are reduced to just that, being a woman and not often regarded as equals even when they are superior to their male peers. Name five rappers that were better than Lauryn Hill in 1998? You'd be hard-pressed to do so, but like women in corporate America, she's categorized as the woman that does the man's job, and overlooked as the best person for the job.

The female emcee seems like a novelty nowadays, a feature to spice your song up, eye candy for a video, the mascot for a crew. It's almost impossible to take them seriously when she's spitting musical porn and you really can't get to what she's saying, because she's half-butt naked! I saw Eve in Ludacris' "My Chick's Bad" remix video and the light of hope was sparked, then I saw the new Nicki Minaj video. So, I sat down and sent this S.O.S. for Lauryn Hill.

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