Even as female emcees storm the charts and often beat out their male counterparts at award ceremonies, women in rap will tell you that they struggle with obtaining respect in the industry. This is a complaint that has existed as long as there have been women with hip hop fame aspirations, and in an upcoming episode of E! True Hollywood Story, Yo-Yo and Da Brat reminisce about life in the limelight back in the early 2000s.
The two female rap icons reflect on what they call double standards that exist in hip hop, especially as it pertains to looks. “Hip hop female artists continuously reinvent themselves,” Yo-Yo stated. “You have to constantly stay hot or they move onto someone else.” Da Brat added, “You’re expected to look a certain way. They want you to be beautiful. Can’t get fat, but men can be fat as hell. Look at Biggie and look at Heavy D. Really, the main thing, you always wanna be f*ckable.”
The pair also discussed the monumental moment when, back in 2003, the Grammy Awards introduced a new category: Best Female Rap Solo Performance. However, the category only existed for two years before it was axed due to the “lack of releases” by qualified artists. “It was amazing when they finally gave women a solo category because we stand alone,” Da Brat said. Although the Funkdafied rapper was nominated both years, Missy Elliott ultimately took home the title each time.
Yo-Yo, who was on the board for the Grammys, asserted that the council wasn’t knowledgable about women in rap so she said they didn’t see the value in giving them much attention or praise. Check out the clip of Sunday’s E! True Hollywood Story below.