Challenges facing women in hip hop

Hip hop superstar Rihanna hijacked the "B-word" and made it her own in this hit song. Nicki Minaj's hip hop credibility is beyond question and so is her seductive image. Music videos glamorizing the gravity-defying skills of exotic dancers are everyw

- Hip hop superstar Rihanna hijacked the "B-word" and made it her own in this hit song. Nicki Minaj's hip hop credibility is beyond question and so is her seductive image. Music videos glamorizing the gravity-defying skills of exotic dancers are everywhere.

But Young M.A. is not having any of it. Her freestyle spitting skills earned her many fans, but what really made her video go viral and reach almost 3 million views came from controversy. Noted black community commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins posted on his Facebook page that "She doesn't need a record deal, she needs love, therapy and an opportunity."

She viewed the negative as a positive and never looked back. Her new song "Brooklyn Poppin" is gaining traction. The theme of street life, money and partying are hip hop staples. But it's her authenticity that's attracting attention.

It takes a lot for women to succeed in hip hop, says allhiphop.com founder Chuck Creekmur. He says women have had to sell their looks, their bodies to some degree, and are expected to be tremendously talented.

Hip hop's hypnotic beats and powerful images have an impact even on how adult women view themselves, says psychotherapist Shawna Marie. She treats many teen girls. She says that unfortunately the overwhelming number of ideas and images in hip hop are denigrating to women.

I talked with some big names in hip hop who are looking to the future to get their take.
 

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