What does “for the ladies” really mean? This is the question BBC’s Tiffany Calver asks and answers in a new interview with The Guardian.
“It was great to hear women such as Rico Nasty, who is unapologetically aggressive, be successful last year because, even as a DJ, I hate it when people tell me I have to ‘play something for the ladies,’ as that doesn’t mean anything,” Calver explained. “I’m a ‘lady’ and I want to get into a moshpit! And there’s such a rich history of unapologetic women in hip-hop, from Lil’ Kim to Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. Even rappers such as Noname, who might not have as much of an aggressive sound but can talk about politics and fellatio in the same song, are not afraid to show all the layers there are to being a woman. It isn’t just soft and feminine. I’m excited to see the evolution of the woman in hip-hop in 2019.”
As we’ve covered time and time again in 2018, Calver is entirely right. There is no emotion or energy that women in hip-hop have yet to touch. Beyond Rico Nasty and Noname, we have acts like Ivy Sole, Coi Leray, Ari Lennox, Syd, SZA, Megan Thee Stallion, and many more making music that touches on every aura and every occasion.
With accessibility at an all-time high, hip-hop has never been in a more diverse and exciting place. There is music being made of every flavor, made by people of all sorts, meaning there is no such thing as a record “for the ladies,” because the “ladies” cannot be boxed into a specific sound.
Tiffany Calver knows this, the women working in hip-hop know this, and it’s time the culture at large learn this lesson as well.