Women Rappers and Neoliberal Indifference: Reevaluating the Racial and Sexual Politics of Los Angeles Gangsta Rap in the Early 1990s
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This thesis asks why women gangsta rappers have been excluded from virtually all academic and popular discourses about the genre. While ‘positive’ and ‘empowering’ New York-based female rappers in the late 80s and 90s are often referenced by those concerned with gangsta rap’s misogynistic tendencies, women rappers in Los Angeles who performed alongside male gangsta rappers, were represented on labels managed by gangsta rappers, and were otherwise self-consciously engaging in the gangsta rap style are almost never acknowledged by either the genre’s defenders or detractors. By interrogating this discursive absence, I reevaluate the neoliberal sexual and racial politics of gangsta rap’s censorship discourse and interrogate the rhetorical and representational strategies deployed by female gangsta rappers such as Lady of Rage, Bo$$, NiNi X, Menajahtwa, H.W.A., and Yo-Yo to both contest misogyny and express coalitional affinity with their male counterparts from within the genre itself.