ICYMI: I wrote about women in hip-hop and ageism for Bitch Media
Issue # 12 (the A/B-Side): For women in hip-hop, aging is a heavy burden (plus, from the archives)
Read my full article at Bitch Media — Short Shelf Life: For Women in Hip Hop, Aging Is a Heavy Burden
A few quotes and takeaways:
Other male artists over the age of 35, including 2 Chainz, Freddie Gibbs, Royce da 5’9,” and Roc Marciano, are also achieving new and continued success, leading some to believe that age is no longer a factor in hip hop. But this is a shortsighted understanding; ageism still prevails. Men may have been able to eclipse it, but women in hip hop are still obscured by it.
In hip hop, ageism registers even in the language fans, artists, journalists, and executives have historically employed to describe the genre—it’s a young man’s game. Those who do not fall within these limited intersecting categories of age and gender are more likely to face disadvantages in their careers, especially as they age.
Artists in hip hop have shown that age does not negatively impact craft. In theory, extra years of experience and practice better inform an artist’s music and sound. Still, women rappers know that their mics will be taken at a certain age, that they’ll be rendered voiceless, especially if their beauty and power has faded. They alter their ages or don’t reveal them at all, because if that’s what will allow them to extend their shelf life in this young man’s game before being pushed out, then so be it. It is a game, right? And so they play it too.
From the Archives
I was watching In Living Color yesterday and saw Leaders of the New School perform their song, “Teachers, Don’t Teach Us Nonsense!” on season 3 (1991). The hip-hop group, hailing from Long Island, was composed of 4 members: Busta Rhymes, Charlie Brown, Cut Monitor Milo, and Dinco D. The song sampled and was inspired by Fela Kuti’s 1986 “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense.” It’s the energy for me👇🏿
Happy Holidays! Adam Offitzer compiled and wrote about good holiday playlists in his music newsletter Hear Hear. My favorites are Have Yourself A Funky Little Christmas by Matthew Perpetua and christmas grooves from Natalie Weiner. 🎄
I’ll see yall when I see yall. ✌🏿❤️💿💜