Nicki Minaj recently etched her name into Hip Hop history after her track “Your Love” became the first single by a female rapper to reach Billboard’s No. 1 spot since Missy Elliot’s “Work It” in 2002. The rarity of female emcees to achieve such a feat is highlighted in the upcoming documentary “My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip Hop.”
The film explores the decline of the female rapper and attempts to delve into the reasons why women have not had the success men have had in Rap. While the ’80s and ’90s saw the rise of rappers like Salt-n-Pepa, Queen Latifah, Foxy Brown, and others, the trends of the ’00s have been less accommodating to women. Producer and director Ava DuVernay explained that the sexual images of artists like Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown prompted others to follow and that this provocative image did not fit with the tough exterior of the male-dominated Rap genre.
“You look at people like Da Brat and how their images changed and you really see the conundrum these women were in, now that this sexual thing took precedent,” DuVernay told Reuters.
Yet, that is only one theory. Sylvia Rhone, president of Universal Motown Records believes that women rappers are finding it tough to adapt to evolving preferences. “Our fresh voices are B.o.B., Kid Cudi, and Drake,” she said. “Where are the female artist influenced by that? Where’s that left-of-center person?”
“My Mic Sounds Nice” airs on BET on Aug. 30.