MC Lyte Proclaims Fetty Wap as a Hip-Hop Feminist. Here’s Why. (Video)

This past weekend, the White House Council on Women & Girls delivered an all-day event which focused on the lives of American women and girls of color, with a special focus on improving the lives of those suffering from injustice and unequal access to things like quality education and healthcare. Several panels delivered talks throughout the summit, each of which dealt directly with the Council’s main objectives. According to President Obama, the goal of the Council is to “ensure that each of the agencies in which they’re charged takes into account the needs of women and girls in the policies they draft, the programs they create, the legislation they support.” As part of this mission, a panel on women’s vulnerability and voices in Hip-Hop was put forth and moderated by Charlene Carruthers, Executive Director of the Black Youth Project 100, and Dr. Johnnetta B Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Also included was MC Lyte, whose contributions included some surprising views on the music of rapper Fetty Wap.

When asked by a co-panelist “Can you even be a Hip-Hop feminist?,” MC Lyte (born Lana Moorer) responds with “I think you can…at this point in time, it probably is Fetty Wap.” This cues a rumbling of light laughter and mutters from the crowd, at which point Moorer begins to defend her position. “He may have a very unique way of presenting his ideas, but he does love women,” she begins. “He’s being pretty courageous right now with what it is he presents in his music because it’s really not the norm.” She then goes on to mention other artists who she feels are promoting messages of feminism through music, including Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean (“you know he raps about his grandma”), Common, and Talib Kweli.  She argues that “Fetty Wap and these other guys that I mention are on the forefront of what could be a great change in Hip-Hop if we show them the love and let them know that they’re heading in the right direction…by showing the African-American woman love.” Watch the video below to hear her entire statement.

Do you agree? Are songs like “Trap Queen” anthems for strong, independent women, or are they celebrations of male-enforced stereotypes?

Related: More Than Hardcore: Lil’ Kim’s Overlooked Feminist History In Hip-Hop