Consciousness vs. Sex: Jean Grae and the Plight of the Underground Female Rapper

Jean Grae, who performs tonight at the New Parish, is a very talented rapper. That's not just a very talented female rapper, but a very talented hip-hop artist who deserves to be considered on nothing more than her own lyrical merits, and shouldn't be given some sort of a rap pass due to the estrogen flowing through her body.

So goes the politically correct hip-hop peanut gallery chatter.

Whenever a female rapper attracts any sort of hype or commercial success, this is the reactionary party line that's often dragged out — rappers like Jean Grae are held up as more deserving of exposure and success than, say, a Kreayshawn or a Nicki Minaj. Female rappers should not be forced to use sex — or, perhaps cynically, underage nude pictures — to further their careers, right? As a sentiment, it's honorable. But is it really that awful for female artists to play up the attributes of their image to sell records? After all, male rappers have been doing it for years.

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