janell hobson and r. dianne bartlow


Representin': Females, Hip-Hop, and Popular Music

As coeditors of this unique issue of Meridians, we set out to supply a forum to enrich, challenge, and expand this current discourse regarding the representation of girls in modern-day popular music, and especially in hip-hop. This issue's three organising themes—" Hip-Hop (and) Feminism”; " Eyesight and Sound”; and " Rage against the Machine”—address the debates and intergenerational worries regarding the liberatory potential of hip-hop, a global significance and transnational phrase of well-liked music, plus the implications of hip-hop since both a hegemonic (successful corporate commodity) and counter-hegemonic (" street” subculture) happening, respectively. Used together and placed in discussion with different music genres, shows, and ethnic practices, the works constructed here attempt a increasing and deepening of our knowledge of women's roles and representations as they participate in music-making and image-shaping in lucrative and marginalized market segments. An important aim for this issue is the development of essential lenses frequently used to study the complex class of women and music. Feminist musicologists who started to excavate the of women composers and artists in the early on 1970s in the wake of the women's motion were initially viewed with scorn in a discipline that had happy male musical technology genius (McClary 1991). Furthermore, other musical elements, such as women's

[Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 2008, vol. 8, number 1, pp. 1–14] © 08 by Smith College. Almost all rights set aside.

vocal music and track lyrics, frequently ranked reduced scholarly and social prestige than in a number of instrumental music skills (Becker 1990). Inquiries of imaginative genius carried by feminists in the world of music (McClary 1991; Citron 2000), art (Nochlin 1971; Wallace 1998), or literature (Woolf 1929; Lorde 1984; Master 1984), point out to us of fabric realities, school positions, plus the limited nevertheless alternative ways in which women have accessed opportunities to hone all their creative expertise. Such questions have resulted in a academic recovery of women's " voices” (literally) and the genius of expressive music. Nowhere is this even more strongly communicated than in the critical reclamations of dark-colored women's vocal music practices, whether while singers or perhaps rappers. Recent publications in the field of black feminist music scholarship or grant, including Tricia Rose's Black Noise (1994), Angela Sumado a. Davis's Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (1998), Farah Jasmine Griffin's biography of Billie Vacation, If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery (2002), and Gwendolyn Pough's Check It When i Wreck This (2004), emphasize these skills, while individual dark female vocalists of our present era, just like Alicia Keyes and India. Arie, focus on in performances and advertising images their roles as musicians through their virtuosic performances for the piano and also the guitar respectively. Such stress between can certainly vocal and instrumental music productions suggest that vocality is a contested kind of " art” or " genius, ” or that girls vocalists are much less respected in the event they do not learn instrumental music and, hence, the full music production process. Interestingly, many, if only some, of the efforts to this issue have dedicated to women and their vocal and corporeal activities. This primary representation of ladies in music might claim that instrumentality—like vocality—is deeply gendered and sexualized but—unlike vocality—is still exclusionary. In light of women's expressive access to music (or marginalized representation in popular a key component music), they have nonetheless been able to utilize well-liked music like a site of expression and resistance. Other issues or worry include the ever-increasing global reach of the U. S. music industry—a multi-billion dollar business that markets music as being a profitable organization while simultaneously inculcating throughout the world audiences with...