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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    No ‘Pink Friday’ here


    The long-empty thrones of Lauryn Hill and Lil’ Kim have finally been claimed. Rap audiences are welcoming a host of brash and fluid female rap successors that’s slowly moving from image and shock value to raw power and neck-breaking flow.

    Nicki Minaj isn’t the only female rapper, folks. Though Miss Nicki/Barbie/Roman Zolanski is undoubtedly the most prevalent household name at the moment, she is by no means worthy of all our attention. We need to hold Minaj accountable for the contradictions that have placed her in hot water.

    While the Trinidadian-born rapper was born into an era that used highly sexualized rap as the core of the female tome, she initially made an effort to shift the focus away from the skin and back toward the cipher. This was a noble attempt, and made Minaj a groundbreaker.

    Then she gave us “Stupid Hoe.”

    Yeah, the song is really as inane as it sounds. Aside from centering its merits on one of the most mind-numbing hooks ever, not to mention the seizure-inducing Hype Williams-produced video, we’ve got to ask ourselves: Is this the direction we want to see female rap going? Should this represent the pinnacle of the Young Money era?

    While the answer to the latter question is a personally emphatic yes, it’s time to move on from Nicki and look toward the future. As an antidote to Minaj’s cacophonous color schemes, absurd branding, and reliance on sensationalized vocal alteration, there’s a stable of qualified and brilliant female rappers who back up their bark with significant bite.

    Enter Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea and K.Flay. Each woman holds her own with a specialized style and approach to the genre that represents a collectively clean slate for rap.

    Azealia Banks

    Banks, whose sweet facade belies her unexpectedly smooth flow, takes a youthfully sexy angle. If there’s anything to credit the Harlem-bred musician for, it’s her unfettered melding of far and wide influences. Her ability to play songstress and MC over tailored beats allows songs like “L8R” and “Liquorice” to border between club hits and street-corner bangers.

    Iggy Azalea

    Iggy Azalea is exotic in all senses of the word. There’s nothing about this Australian export’s model-esque image or musicianship that’s similar to anything we’ve manufactured in the U.S. music industry. Azalea’s vicious raps on tracks like “My World” and “Drop That” don’t require a Nicki-style growl, as she possesses the chops to really push an instrumental to its potential.

    Take for example the track “Pu$$y.” While the title may be offputting, and the lyrical content is a giant metaphor for oral sex, it’s Azalea’s fluidity that makes the track a threat to the boys, as well as an eventual party hit. And since Azalea just signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records, we’re bound to receive much more from the blond phenom.


    K.Flay is the academic without adhering to anything related to collegiate rap. The Illinois native is the dark horse of the new female rap crop as she’s slightly more acidic in her lyricism. Born Kristine Flaherty, K.Flay’s refreshing cynicism, especially on “We Hate Everyone,” can be attributed to her oft-used theme of suburban discontent.

    It’s a far cry from the verse and hook formula that seems to prevail, and is hopefully indicative of a shift toward critical-thinking rap. There’s little, if any, veneer to K.Flay, and she definitely lets her hair down all over her self-produced Eyes Shut EP.

    It’s safe to say that the facet of female rap is in great hands. There’s a balance of flair, boldness and skepticism in the thematic undertones of Banks, Azalea and K.Flay. It’s what we’ve been missing since the reign of pioneers like Missy Elliott.

    Let’s let go of the feeble, overproduced attempts and realize it’s high time that a younger generation of exciting female rappers be embraced.

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