Hope everyone is doing well!
So, I decided to blog about my Masters dissertation as a source of motivation for myself to work consistently, and also to share a few things with you guys because I think this topic is so cool. So so cool.
Did I mention it’s cool?
So I will be researching on how the back female is represented in popular culture, specifically studying American Hip Hop Videos.
[I have chosen to not spell out my topic on this blog for reasons of intellectual property protection and in the avoidance of self-plagiarism]
Some of you may know the story behind my decision to look into this chosen field. However, for those of you who don’t, Just read my previous post “Black Woman Take Back Your Dignity”
For ethical reasons and to avoid plagiarism:
1) I will NOT post any part of my dissertation work proper
2) I will NOT discuss my conclusions.
3) I WILL share my observations and some thoughts on particular issues, including screen shots of academic literature that I find interesting.
4) I WILL discuss my journey as a researcher, however I WILL NOT include my interview process, in order to uphold confidentiality and secure the privacy of my participants. However, If I observe anything interesting, I will discuss this, and If I must quote, I shall do so anonymously.
5) I will be analysing music videos so I will talk about anything I feel I need to share in the course of my analysis and provide links to them (the videos).
6) I do welcome questions. Just leave a comment and I will reply. In some cases, I may prefer to email you my answer personally, for ethical reasons, to protect my intellectual property, and to avoid self plagiarism.
So, now that that’s clear,
Let me share something with you
DAY 1: Selecting The Videos to Analyse
So, as part of my research methodology I plan to analyse a number of videos (semiotics) and use them during my interviews.
Thing is, I never realised how much of a task it would be to select the music videos. So many things come in to consideration. Commercial Success, Artiste Prominence… So I went to my favourite thing on the internet Youtube (LOL) for ideas and a sense of direction.
I came across this video Top 10 Female Rappers by Watchmojo.com and they listed some really good “FeMme C’s” and I knew 90% of the main list. The only one I had never heard of was “The Lady of Rage”. She rose to stardom in 1994 having been featured on body’s of work by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. The song that she is most known for (arguably) is Afro puffs . I was like “Okay… have to do some more research on her”. Now, I love the list WatchMojo.com put together, but I knew someone was missing, even in the midst of their “Honourable Mentions” including Da Brat, Trina, MIA, and of course Lil’ Mama. So as I always do, I went through the comments and I noticed a lot of people complained that MC Lyte wasn’t on the list. BINGO! Yes, MC Lyte. Added her to my list.
The acknowledgement of the absence of her name on the list led me to open up more tabs on my browser, comparing various lists. However, I can only view so many, for credibility sake. I took a look at the list compiled by Billboard. Going through the list of 31 female rappers, I had to take off my glasses and rub my eyes a couple of times. I couldn’t believe the number of names I wasn’t familiar with. I’m like who’s Khia? Remy Ma? Shawna? Did they even get to the Top 40 of any Chart? (Apparently they did, but at the time, I was more concerned with Disney and the Spice girls). One person I had to take note of though was Monie Love. I remember last year on the X Factor UK, runner up Fleur East performed “It’s a Shame” by the female MC. Good song I must say. Also, Monie Love featured on one of Queen Latifah’s statement hits “Ladies First” Of which you need to check the video out. Watching the video makes me DESPISE present female rap. Monie Love is definitely someone you should check out if you’re into the abundance of soul that old school everything has to offer.
At this rate, I’m so scared I’d have tp analyse more than 10 videos to give a justifiable analysis of the representation of the black female.
But here’s my list so far:
- The Lady or Rage
- Monie Love
- Lil Mama
- Nicki Minaj
- Foxy Brown
- Lil Kim
- Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (TLC)
- Queen Latifah
- Missy Elliot
- Lauryn Hill
- MC Lyte
- Salt -N-Pepa
Now, the thing is, aforementioned, I have to consider commercial success. Now my good friend google directed me to Complex Music and I found a rather interesting list, 50 Best Rap Songs by Women. I saw this at No. 32
So this is Khia….Well Mama said “If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all”. Thus I reserve my comments, You lot can comment on this if you want.
No. 1 on the list was “Lost Ones” by Lauryn Hill which I think is a great choice but I doubt this was on this basis of commercial success. And most of the songs on the list don’t have videos so, my search continues. I have a lot to consider, a lot of weighing to do.
I’ll keep you guys updated. Till the next post.
P.S. I would really love and appreciate your suggestions and opinions, people! Although you would have to have credible sources and valid reasons for choice(s). Just leave a comment below.