Socialite on the Scene...Breathing In Hip-Hop

Written by Joaquin M. Turley, Jr. (Make sure to check out discussion questions at the end of article)

Over the past week, Sep 16-19, the second annual Bootleg Festival took place in the Washington D.C. area. It was put on by Words Beats and Life, Inc. and the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. This festival is about many things but focuses mainly on the evolution of various aspects of Hip-Hop not as a genre but a way of life. There were workshops, film screenings, concerts and panels all over the D.C. area throughout the duration of the event.

I went to a panel discussing the misogyny of women in hip hop. Misogyny is the hatred or mistreatment of women. So several issues were discussed along the lines of how women are thought of or degraded within hip-hop and how before we as a community can change these images, we must change the mindset of how we treat our women as a whole. Toni Blackman and friend Hanifah Walidah were the most outspoken on the panel of five which was comprised of all females. Below is a picture of the two together.


There was also a film festival which showcased various issues surrounding African-Americans and musical forms. The 2009 Jury Award Winner entitled "Say My Name" actually took place before the panel discussion. I highly suggest women sink their teeth into this most tasty documentary because it takes a hard hitting look into the world of Hip-hop from a woman’s perspective and points out the double standards surrounding their careers and lives. MC Lyte expressed, "It takes more than just lyrics. Women MC’s names are bigger than their record sales. As Rah Digga expressed her intolerance of how hip-hop is changing as a whole. She stated, "I write all my rhymes" and went on to say she lost respect for the "game" when she found out about all of the ghost writers writing for popular rappers.

It also shed light on the different ways women receive attention both negative and positive within the industry and mirrors how women must go above and beyond to receive the same ‘props’ as men do. Perhaps the most intriguing issue was the fact that many of the unknown artists who were featured felt as though more established acts were not representing female M.C.’s the correct way. In the panel discussion, this was also touched on as many women stated how there are so many issues women face that popular female rappers don’t talk about.After the panel and films, The Circus Concert took place and showcased the young talent in the D.C. area. Acts performing were Bomani "D’Mite Armah, Educated Consumers, Lyriciss, J Ferb, M1 Platoon, Rosetta Stoned and The Five One.

For more information on the festival please visit….

How do you feel about ghost writers writing for popular rappers? How do you feel about the mistreatment of women in Hip Hop?



Citizen Ojo said...

Ghost Writing for a whole album is bad business. The best thing about being an MC is the ability to create art on the fly. Well it use to be. The women coming out these days that rap have sold themselves out. When was Hip Hop ever about being sexy? Put on some clothes and rock the mic.

Humbly Beautiful said...

Ghost writers do it books so what is wrong with hip hop? Now if you are bragging that you write all your own stuff and it is written by nothing by ghost writers....that's a problem.

Mistreatment of women in Hip Hop has been going on for years...why??? Because people buy it. If we (men and women) did not buy it, industry would not sell it, and rappers would not portray it because it does not make money. We have to support positive artists.

The Socialite said...

@Citizen Ojo: If an artist has a person ghost write for them for their entire album, I would truly question calling them an artist. So I agree with you. As a painter, singer, rapper, are creating a form of art and when people buy it, they think they are buying art from a certain artist. It would be disappointing if you truly didn't have the skills to continue to create your "unique" piece of art.

Now a few songs might be okay. I know people all of the time write songs and would like someone else to perform it. I don't think that takes away from your skills. Sometimes someone else has something to say, but you are the best person to express it.

@Humbly Beautiful: I couldn't agree more! People do what they think sells, and sex sells! Also, women allow it to be done to them, so it is not totally the men in the industry who are to blame for the treatmen. But all parties are responsible and it needs to stop.

One thing I could never understand: How a black man could disrespect a black woman, and then look their mother in the face.

I wish everyone would wake up!

Larenda said...

I think that if someone is going to have someone ghostwrite their song or album, credit should be also given to the writer. I don't feel that it would make them less of an artist because they did not write the song. It just make them a different kind of artist. There is the writer and there is the performer. Both art forms are equally important. It takes a good writer/poet (and producer) to create the song but it also takes a good performer to deliver the song and make it come alive. If you are going to ghostwrite, at least give credit to your collaborating artist.

The Socialite said...

@Larenda: Yeah giving credit is very important! I agree it takes a different type of artist to actually perform a song, and someone diffent to write it. And some artist can do both! But yeah it would be an issue if someone was ghostwriting for you all of the time, but you were pretending you wrote it.

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