Hip-hop is a movement of resistance, so it’s no surprise that feminism has found its rightful place within the art form. But too often are conversations surrounding hip-hop dominated by men and focused on masculinity. People often hold the perception that hip-hop is inherently misogynistic, but contrary to popular belief, there are women in the game that are shaking up the status quo and embracing the idea that hip-hop is a space for powerful female artists.
The U.N.I.T.Y. Feminist Hip-hop Mix is taking inspiration from the notorious and unapologetic feminist Queen Latifah anthem and is asserting that women are multifaceted and powerful. These tracks are embracing femininity, body positivity, heritage, sexuality and self-love, and are reminding us that women are dynamic in all layers of their identities.
Check out these hip-hop anthems that challenge the idea that hip-hop can’t be inherently feminist and empowering:
1. Brujas || Princess Nokia
‘Bruja’ is Spanish for witch, and Princess Nokia is unapologetically letting you know that she’s proud of her Afro-Latina roots in brujería and the feminine power she derives from it.
2. Werkin’ Girls || Angel Haze
Angel Haze is proud of her work, and this rapid-fire track is a declaration to make sure no one stands in the way of her success. To anyone that’s fighting to do what you love, this song is for you.
3. Lose Control || Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott loves her “cute face, chubby waist,” and she wants the world to know. This song is the ultimate anthem for unabashed body positivity.
4. Shoop || Salt-N-Pepa
This classic Salt-N-Pepa track is the ultimate anthem for positive female sexuality. If you need a reminder that there’s nothing shameful about sexual pleasure, then put this song on blast.
5. Girl Gang || Leikeli47
This track is all about reclaiming “girl power” and is reminding folks that women keep persevering and coming out as champions at the end. Leikeli47 is giving the world a not-so-gentle reminder “that we run the atmosphere.”
6. Doo-Wop (That Thing) || Lauryn Hill
This song is the ultimate reminder that you are valuable, enough, and don’t deserve to be undercut by anyone. Just remember to respect yourself and take nothing less from others. As Lauryn Hill puts it: “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Baby girl, respect is just a minimum.”
7. U.N.I.T.Y. || Queen Latifah
This Queen Latifah track is the ultimate feminist hip-hop anthem, notoriously calling out street harassment, domestic violence, and being called a “bitch” or a “ho.” U.N.I.T.Y. is all about empowerment, solidarity and respect, because we know we’re not standing one second for misogyny.
8. Big Bad Mamma || Foxy Brown
This song is all about self-love and being your bad-ass self. Foxy Brown puts it best: “Love yourself, put no one above thee. Cause ain’t nobody gon’ f*** me like me.”
9. Reality Check || Noname
This low-key track from up-and-comer Noname is a reminder that you’re more powerful and grounded than you think you are, so don’t be afraid to seize opportunity.
- Brujas Princess Nokia 3:16
- Werkin' Girls Angel Haze 3:05
- Lose Control (feat. Ciara & Fat Man Scoop) Missy Elliott 3:47
- Shoop Salt-N-Pepa 4:07
- Girl Gang Leikeli47 2:51
- Doo Wop (That Thing) Lauryn Hill 3:59
- U.N.I.T.Y. Queen Latifah 4:12
- Big Bad Mamma (ft. Dru Hill) Foxy Brown 3:52
- Reality Check (ft. Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya) Noname 3:03