It is a generally known fact that the Nigerian music industry is male dominated. However, it is totally undeniable that the Nigerian hip-hop scene is not only male dominated but that the female presence in the game is almost nonexistent. In fact, if you ask a random Nigerian music lover to mention or list 5 female rappers in the industry right now, he or she can barely get past three. This is in contrast to the past where we had female rappers who held it down and represented duly.
This country is blessed to have produced prolific female rappers in the past such as Sasha P, Weird MC, Blaise, Bouqui as well Kel. Among them major hit songs were produced like Ijoya, Adara, Morile, Wa Wa Alright etc. These amazons dished out quality bodies of work and collaborated frequently with their male counterparts in the game. They also had their major contributions to the development and evolution of hip-hop in the country. No doubt, their presence was felt in the industry at a time when the hip-hop culture in the country was still a budding one.
Since then, several female rappers have come in the game like Muna, Mo Chedda, Tesh Carter, Zee, Splash, Mz Kiss and of course Eva Alordiah. These rappers have also done their bit to the evolution and growth to the hip-hop music and culture but it seems that these rappers are beginning to or have in fact faded into oblivion.
For a while now, there has been no major body of work released by a female rapper. Even their singles are nowhere to be found. In an entire year, we might get less than five songs from female rappers talk less of mixtapes or albums. Their presence is no longer felt and it is now beginning to seem that hip-hop is entirely a man’s world.
In contrast, female rappers in the Western hip-hop game are still very much keeping themselves in the game although they numerically fall behind the male rappers. Their presence is immensely felt such that they cannot be pushed aside. For instance, one of the biggest hip-hop tunes this year, 2017 was Bodak Yellow by Cardi B.
Last year, Young Ma had a ground breaking single OOOOUUUU. Nicki Minaj has been releasing chart toping singles and albums for almost a decade now. We still have other female rappers doing well for themselves and the industry including Remy Ma, Rapsody, Iggy Azealia, Azelia Banks, Trina, Bre- Z, Little Simz (UK) among many others.
I can’t deny, some of the female rappers we possess are very talented like Eva, Zee, Mz Kiss etc. Eva has been steady putting out hits since way back like I Done Did It,Deaf, and High. She has even released solid materials like her GIGO EP and the 1960 album.
Zee is also one hell of an amazing rapper who has impressed with the few single singles she has got as well as her features on some track. Tesh Carter and Mz Kiss, Splash and Pryse aren’t doing bad either. But the fact remains that their presence isn’t being felt in the game to the extent that it almost nonexistent. Only those who keep their ears to the ground get to enjoy the products and music of these talented rappers.
Conclusively, the female rappers have to look for ways to make their presence felt in the hip-hop industry. They really need to put out more singles, mixtapes and albums. They need to make strategic use of music distribution platforms on the internet to get their songs heard all over. They should also try to ensure they get to book shows no matter how small they are. And most of all, they should try not to isolate their audience by making music the people cannot relate to all in the name of making “real hip-hop”.
They should do their best to Africanize the sound and produce sounds that a cross section of listeners can relate to. If these can be done, they would prevent themselves and their music from being overshadowed by their male counterparts indeed give them a good run for their money.