First of all, sexualization and objectification are significant issues in hip-hop culture. Imani Perry mentions that women have played a difficult role in hip-hop and discusses women’s attempts “to carve out a space as a form of feminism, the abundant sexism in the music, and the possibilities for greater gender liberation in hip hop’s future.” Perry suggests that sexual objectification and beautification became essential marketing aspects of the female mc. Those women who wanted to become a part of hip-hop culture had to sexualize their image.
For instance, even Missy Elliot, who was an anti-sex object role model, started to apply “heavy makeup, false eyelashes, and a successful weight loss campaign that brought her down to a slender silhouette.” Onanuga informs that hip-hop artists are forced to objectify themselves because, in hip-hop culture, they were “showcased as accessories, subject to the sexual needs of the male ego” via the entertainment media. Thus, women are portrayed as sexualized objects, while money and violence are baits to attract women.
In addition to the sexy femme look, female hip-hop artists should act like badmen in order to occupy male spaces through lyrics. Female hip-hop artists focus on their sexuality and ‘masculine’ lyrics to become famous and successful. Onanuga highlights that women have a challenging role in hip-hop culture because they are illustrated as “sexual objects rather than as members of a respectable gender.”
Cardi B, a famous hip-hop artist, in her music videos, emphasizes that women’s empowerment comes from vulgarity and sexuality (Schlott). Thus, hypersexualization is a significant issue for female hip-hop feminists and our generation in general. Many influences and famous artists, like Cardi B, focus on promoting a destructive message of sexualization.