Every now and again, we as a culture stop throwing awards at the Foo Fighters long enough to develop an obsessive, almost childlike fascination with a new female rapper. The rather infrequent timing with which we tend to do this owes, I think, to two different, nearly at-odds aspects of this society: 1) we’re actually regressing on women’s rights as of late, and so the very notion of a strong, talented, brash woman so scares the hell out of us that we just can’t handle more than one at a time, and 2) when we do deign to give one of them our attention, she can’t merely be talented, but has to express and exhibit a willingness to draw attention to their physical assets.
It’s a strange sort of microcosm. The hip-hop world is still regarded, rightly so, as an uber-macho, blatantly chauvinistic culture, and it takes that same combination of “no-BS-ass-kicker” and “gum-popping Barbie Doll” to get any attention or success. Look at our current favorites, Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea. In interviews and other “real life” scenarios, they’re outspoken, trigger-tongued, intelligent, self-assured and driven, while their videos tend to be three-minute pole-dances (Azalea was famously first courted by record companies after self-releasing a video titled “Pussy”). And you know? Good for them, finding a way to get paid obscene amounts of cash while doing something they love to do. If someone said they’d give me $50,000 per poem, I’d wear a thong with a little bowtie on the front and rub ice cream on my nipples.
So yeah, it’s a difficult trick to pull off, a strange dichotomy to balance. It takes the right amount of skill, shrewdness and in-the-moment fortune. I scoured a Female Rappers Tumblr — I know, right? — to try and find the next big thing. I didn’t. But I did find these little nuggets of near-insanity, three women who, successful or not, have nary a f*** to give between them.
1 & 2. Rasheeda, Cherrybangg
Exhibit A: “Hit it from the Back”
Exhibit B: “Gas So High (S*** I’m Broke)”
To be fair, Rasheeda isn’t that new to the scene, and has more than a modicum of fame to her credit. Until 2000, she was part of a teenage rap crew called Da Kaperz, and she’s currently five or six albums deep into her solo career, which also includes a stint on “Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta,” a show I only know about because I’m a dedicated acolyte of “The Soup.”
Anyway, “Hit it from the Back” is pretty standard fare: a night at the club, synchronized twerking and sexual puns that land with all the subtlety of Gilbert Gottfried narrating the Hindenberg disaster, though it deserves extra credit for being probably the only rap song ever to use the word “menopausal.” The real gem here, though, is the tragically video-less song “Gas So High (S*** I’m Broke),” which is either the single greatest protest song recorded in the past 50 years, or a hilariously failed attempt at viral marketing by the Toyota Prius ad team. The song also features another female rapper, the up-and-coming (I guess?) Cherrybangg, whose music videos seem to have been mostly recorded with an iPhone.
Check either of these ladies out on YouTube, and you’ll be prompted to watch a video by rapper Lil’ Scrappy, who is most known for kinda-sorta hanging out with Justin Bieber that one time, maybe. Grab that brass ring, Miss Bangg.
2. Tokyo Dilva
Exhibit A: “Rich White Ladies,” and all variations thereof
Tokyo Dilva’s Tumblr page is what happens when you open up tabs on your internet browser to Office Depot, ancestry.com and futanari porn, then let your chinchilla stampede across your keyboard. It’s such a gloriously WTF mish-mash of glamour shots, foot fetishes, and arts and crafts projects — caption to the first image: “Bunny ears made from used composition notebooks” — that when I looked at it, I thought I might have been having an aneurysm. Trying to explain Tokyo Dilva to anyone is like trying to explain evolution to a Republican: you’ll probably be accused of sorcery.
Disappointingly, the flagship video for TD is for a song called “Rich White Ladies,” which aims for realness, seems to settle for satire, and falls hilariously short of each. But all is made right again with a separate video for the same song, wherein two actresses playing white-bread rich ladies lip-synch the entire freaking song while sitting at a table, eating crumpets and drinking tea. They play the whole thing so straight, and I haven’t laughed that hard in ages. Maybe I’m a juvenile, but seeing some powdery lady who looks like Edgar Allen Poe’s idea of a middle school secretary rapping “When we drink it’s like 24-carat sips/That fancy s***” makes me much happier than I have any right to be. I think if you cracked open Nicholas Cage’s skull tomorrow, this would be the scene playing out in the cavity.