Why Are Women Excluded From the Conversation About Hip-Hop’s Greatest MCs? (Video)

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Like nearly everything in life, Rap is co-ed. From the beginning, women have been among the world’s most innovative MCs. They have the ability to offer fresh perspectives to a field often dominated by men. However, rarely, in the debates surrounding the greatest MCs in Hip-Hop history do women get their just due. In fact, they are left out of the discussion so regularly it seems systematic.

Out of a field that included Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, Nicky Minaj, Jean Grae, The Lady of Rage, Rah Digga, Salt and Pepa, only one woman advanced to Round 2 in our Finding The GOAT competition. Given the disproportionate amount of men to women, some discrepancies could be expected but for 1 to advance out of 12 in a field of 200? The numbers didn’t add up. Rather, it seemed like there was something deeper at play.

Part 3 of our Finding The GOAT documentary series examines Hip-Hop’s complicated relationship with women MCs. This does not address the prevailing misogyny that is rampant in lyrics, imagery and the culture, generally. Instead it is a specific look at why women MCs routinely tend to to be excluded from conversations about Hip-Hop’s greatest MCs, whether consciously or subconsciously. It also features special guest narrator Rapsody, a GOAT contender in her own right, narrating the film.

“Do we hate our women?” Tupac plaintively asked that of Hip-Hop on Keep Ya Head Up.” Sadly, the question still goes unanswered. But, it’s time we re-raise it.

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