Steelo Magazine cover DJ D - feature in Urban Hitz 2005

Article Title:The case of the missing femcees
Written by: Chris Richburg
Location of Publication: Australia
Year: 2005

There's no disputing rap is a male dominated art form. But where are the girls? In the last few years, female rappers have gone from an army of diverse rhymesayers to an endangered species. What happened?

Something is missing from hip-hop these days. The guys are holding it down, but if you're a female you have to wonder. Who, if anyone, is representing me?

Lil' Kim? She inherited one year and one day in prison for lying to the feds. Queen Latifah and Eve? THey're conquering Hollywood. Lauryn Hill and Foxy Brown? They're M.I.A., despite cameos and rumours of new albums.

So where did all the feMC's go? Surely they didn't vanish into thin air?

"Nowadays, it's about the business, and record comapnies are signing macho men. But travel the world and you'll see there are a lot of female MC's out there doing their thing," says Sydney's renown female MC, Trey. "I actually think there may be a lot more female MC's out there now. Unfortunately, they aren't supported as much as the brothers."

True. The guys have the edge. But have they eclipsed the feMC's and DJ's who are still staying on the grind?

DJ Josie Styles, who counts Layla, A-Love, Eternia and Jean Grae as "powerful, opinionated and dope MC's, regardless of their gender!" believes females aren't overshadowed when it comes to certain aspects.

"Respect? No, I don't think so. Have they overshadowed our spirit? Hell no!"

Female rappers aren't the only ones struggling, according to female turntablist/DJ D. "Looking back to my early days as one of Australia's first female R&B and hip-hop DJs, I did feel a sense of oppression as promoters were hesitant in hiring a female, as one, they weren't sure how a club crowd would react to this and two, they doubted the skills a female could possess."

Nevertheless, D's success provided an ironic twist. "It was satisfying enough to see these same promoters a few years later chasing me for a booking after they'd seen the overwhelming crowd response at one of my shows."

Despite D's success, Josie admits, "There's a serious lack of good female DJ's out there (in any country) and I'm not talking 'turntablists' but real DJ's for the people, that can build a vibe, you know? THere's like onr or two per country! Sarah Love from the UK is one, Killajewelz from Canada, you hear what I'm saying?"

Women in music have had a hard time teaching the same heights as men. In recent years, sex has become a tool for some FeMC's, a far cry from Latifah, Hill and Salt N Pepa, women who gave more than good looks on the mic.

"A lot of this is because most of society still only wants to see a one-sided image of women out there," Trey offers. "I reckon if society in general is more supportive of women and all of who we are, then this will be reflected in modern music."

While Latifah built her fame off rhymes, the queen has segued into other music and domains, most notably movies and television. Yet while some feMC's transcend their hip-hop roots, where does that leave the music?

The future for women in hip-hop is strong, says DJ D. "We are seeing the emergence of more female MC's, more female DJ's, female turntablists, and the presence of women portraying positive roles within this industry; this is definitely a step in the right direction."

Trey agrees. "In Sydney, there are a lot of yound women I work with in music workshops that are focused on ebing MC's. Locally, a lot of clubber are sick of seeing men rock the mic and are open to change and ladies up there," she says. "To any up and coming females I say bring it on: we need more women representing up in the place! Stand strong, keep persevering, and don't let any barriers stop you from doing what you want to do in whichever way you choose to do it; represent for us ladies in the best way you know possible."




Selected articles of DJ D in the Media {click to view}
DJ D feature in Howl and Echoes 2016DJ D feature in Steelo Mag 2015Soul Central Magazine 2015
DJ D feature in Ms Hennessey Speaks blog 2013DJ D feature in soul central magazine 2013DJ D feature in the TSLOA 2013
DJ D feature in Urban Hitz 2005DJ D feature in inthemix 2005DJ D feature in Blues & Soul Magazine 2005
DJ D feature in 3d world 2005DJ D feature in MTV Screen 2005DJ D feature in club flavas, 3D world  2005
DJ D feature in Inpress 2005DJ D featured in The Week 2004DJ D feature in 3D world 2003
DJ D feature in muma 2003DJ D feature in Groove On 2002DJ D feature in BMA 2002
DJ D feature in Hot Ashes 2001