There was a time when an award show wasn’t complete without a hot female hip-hop artist being called up to the podium. If we were to judge by the lineup of VH1 Hip-Hop Honors or the nominations for BET Hip-Hop Awards, there are no sisters worthy of this honor. Just the usual suspects Kanye, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z. Margeaux Watson provided the scoop in this week’s Entertainment Weekly.
But what is even more interesting is that someone like Estelle doesn’t stand much of a chance of blowing up like Missy or Eve a few years back because folks in the industry believe it costs too much to launch a female rapper’s career. (They point to stuff like hair & makeup and wardrobe which can be 10x more than a male.) Plus, it is even harder to win a Grammy when the Recording Academy eliminated one of the categories for women in 2005. MC Lyte is on the case with the campaign to get the category reinstated. But it is going to be hard because most today’s female hip-hop artist aren’t racking up platinum sales.
In fact, the newest artists in the game like Lil Mama and Ms Dynamite among others, are only a few notches above struggling. Kinda cute yes, but not really blowing die-hard hip-hop fans out of the water. So when BET presents The Hip-Hop Awards at the end of next month, they are including a tribute to female rappers. Perhaps because they believe that our greatest female hip-hop artists are in the past. How wrong are they?