Former Ruff Ryders member Eve recently gave her take on women having to rep their sets in male-dominated rap crews and why it is vital for lady emcees to immediately gain respect.
Reflecting back to her early days with RR, Eve admitted she had to prove herself.
“If anything, I probably overcompensated as a woman. With dudes, you have to snatch the respect. You earn it, gain it, snatch it. I also was adopted compared to everyone else. They’re from Harlem and Yonkers and here’s this girl from Philly, so I had to prove that I could write like them or better than them. I had to prove that I wasn’t a groupie. I did whatever I could to gain that respect and let them know I didn’t need them to carry me.” (VIBE)
Young Money’s Nicki Minaj recently talked about never using sex to help her rap career.
“When I started being around Young Money, Wayne thought I was shy, but it wasn’t that I was shy, I just didn’t want anybody to think I was easy. No matter what my lyrics were saying, when I got around these guys, I was a prude, because I didn’t want anyone in this game to ever be able to say ‘I had s*x with her’ or ‘when she needed a deal, she had to…’ No,” Nicki explained in an interview. “And ’til this day, not one single man in this industry can say that and I pride myself on that. That’s the only bit of advice I would give the up-and-coming female rappers. You could be as sexy as you want, but just maintain your dignity around these guys.” (MTV)
A few years ago, former Flipmode Squad member Rah Digga spoke to SOHH about her days in an all-male crew and its advantages.
“While it is a male-dominated sport, I do think being with a clique or being the only female in an entourage, it does help give you that mainstream exposure,” Digga added. “It especially helps if the clique is established but at the same token, I think you can also be a female, represent and do what you do on your own without that. I don’t think that necessarily makes or breaks you. It just depends on how you define success. Some people are happy being completely at the forefront and taking turns with the rest of the females that come along or some define success of being at shows and knowing your fans are rocking with you. It just depends on how you define success. I think there are definitely a lot of females that are doing it, maybe not by the ‘industry’ standards but there isn’t a shortage of female emcees. I just don’t buy into that, ‘where are all the females at?’ [question]” (SOHH)
R&B singer Bobby V recently named Nicki Minaj in his SOHH Top 5 Dead or Alive and pointed out how she has experienced success despite being around males.
“I would say her because for her to be the only female in a male-dominated…when it comes to hip-hop…it’s very hard for females to make it in music, but it’s even harder for them to make it in rap. I applaud her and I really look up to her because she’s a female doin’ her thing in a male-dominated game. When females started rappin’…people don’t really take females seriously, but she made a statement to be like, Ya’ll gonna take me serious, you know. Like I can spit bars with the rest of ‘em.” (SOHH Top 5 Dead or Alive)