Monday, May 20, 2013

Female Rappers NEED to be on The Voice U.S.

Like Julio Cesar Castillo did for Latin artists on S3, Moses Stone became the first rapper to be on The Voice U.S. in S2. Despite being a montage victim, he emerged as a Christina Aguilera team member by default. He auditioned with "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas; defeated terribly named duo THE LiNE after singing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones; landed on shaky grounds after his performance of "Stronger" by Kanye West landed him in the bottom 3; then he was eliminated after his last chance performance of "Breakeven" by The Script. Moses was groundbreaking for the rapper archetype on the show. However, a female rapper has yet to emerge and this is problematic.
Some of the biggest names/respected figures in music are female rappers. This is what needs to happen for a female rapper on The Voice U.S. to emerge and possibly win.

First and foremost, she must be able to rap damn near flawlessly. Apart from stating the obvious, it touches on the fact that female rappers work 15 times harder for half the respect/prestige of the male rappers. Second, she cannot be given the same diversion Moses was. Yes, while rappers can show versatility by incorporating singing, Moses' selections took him too far away from his rap roots. The furthest it can go away for a female rapper is anything by Mary J. Blige; keep in mind she's the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. Female rappers already have an advantage over men as far as versatility (Although with the emergence of Frank Ocean, male rappers aren't entirely screwed).

Mary J. Blige brings us to the third requirement; know your shit when it comes to selection. Classics include anything by MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown and Lauryn Hill (Though utter fearlessness is a prerequisite for performing Lauryn's material). While paying dues to the past is kind of expected, the female rapper in question can't be ignorant of modern or recent phenoms; e.g., Missy Elliott, Eve, Trina, Azealia Banks and hell; even Awkwafina ["Peggy Bundy", "NYC Bitche$"] (Any Nicki Minaj or Iggy Azalea and I will be tempted to start a website to get your ass off the show.) Although, the female rapper in question should not be afraid to perform Kanye West, Jay-Z, other male rappers. Why? Females that made it weren't afraid to co-mingle and battle and God knows what else with the men. Fear should not be in the female rapper in question's vocabulary.

Fourth, image. Yes, the crux of The Voice is meant to forsake image at first. However, the look needs to be original or at least an acceptable re-invention of female rapper looks past. Video ho looks are flat out unacceptable; female rappers need some goddamn respect and dignity. On the flip side, total label whore realness ["Single Black Female, Addicted to Retail"] is not encouraged. Rapping just about "I got Louis, Gucci, Prada; you a T.J. Maxxinista nada." is stupid and flat out demeaning. That leads to another image point but with lyrical content. No social political rap has really stuck w/o a sick instrumental/BGM [Background Music]. Also, don't resort to just playing "Come hither and give me your slither" type of bullshit.

Balance in all of these areas are needed to make a good impression. Below are some songs the female rapper should take into mind:

- "Ill Na Na" or "Candy" by Foxy Brown: Cleaning up the language for TV and keeping the edge are guaranteed hits.

- "Everything Is Everything" by Lauryn Hill: The epitome of social-political w/ groove. Tight lyrical control and success will flow like the Nile.

- "Tambourine" by Eve: An up-tempo pop friendly rap staple from "The First Lady of Ruff Ryder". Audience interaction along with lyrical control could lead to a secure victory.

- "Ladies First" by Queen Latifah: The best way to pay homage to one of the greats. Militant realness discouraged (Only for dignity's sake) but tight control and fearlessness can lead to success.

- "1991" by Azealia Banks: If speed needs to be shown off in rap, look no further than this. Apart from showing off a bit of modern flair, very tight lyrical control can be an instant success.

This is just to give an idea, but one song that can never afford a screw-up:

- "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauyrn Hill: Social-political w/ groove that if even with the slightest misstep can equal disaster. If done with respect and originality, this could lead to a female rapper winning The Voice.

Again, any songs I didn't mention is not me saying "Motherfuck him and John Wayne!" to those songs. This is just an idea to something that needs to be seen:


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