Females in the rap industry

By: Irene Cohen and Ellie Mulvaney

From the start of the rap scene in the early 1970’s, the genre was catered almost exclusively towards men. Even to this day, women aren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts despite the skill that they bring to the table, due to the lack of representation.

These women have historically used their influence to speak out on issues that prevail as unjust in our society, and to this day, work to shed light on the unspoken voices of other women, and black people, around the country.

A recent example of the media predominantly failing to consider women as serious artists was the Nicki Minaj versus Cardi B “feud” that sparked roughly 3-4 years ago. Over and over, the two were painted as temperamental and petty, though these misconceptions majorly came to be under the false standard that there may be only one true queen of rap. A fellow female in the rap scene, Megan thee Stallion, told ‘Billboard’, “Us women have always been talented. But it was a thing where there could only be one woman at a time.”

Because of the lack of mainstream female rappers, fans and consumers put these women under the type of scrutiny many men don’t have to deal with. They are less seen for their talents than for their rumored competition and scuffles, despite how true they may be. Cardi B herself said, in an interview with ‘Complex’, in 2017, “I feel like people wouldn’t even be satisfied if me and [Nicki] was making out on a freaking photo, I feel like people just want that drama because it’s entertaining.”

Regardless of the relationship of Nicki and Cardi, they were charged by the pressure to dominate female rap, rather than encouraged together, simply because of their gender and the lack of credibility given to their craft.

Certain female rappers have voiced their thoughts on the inequalities that many of them face being black women. Queen Latifah’s song “U.N.I.T.Y.” showcases this by speaking on issues such as sexism in the rap industry’s culture, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.

However, that was not the only song in which she used her platform to speak on important issues. On her song “Ladies First”, she collaborates with rapper Monie Love to advocate for the union of women, and to not be pitted against each other. They also expressed their pride and love for being women.

Queen Latifah is far from the only female rapper to speak out on social issues. More recently, Megan Thee Stallion has spoken about the injustices black women face all around the country. Megan spoke out on SNL about how Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron did not bring justice in the death of Breonna Taylor.

She later on went to say in a ‘New York Times’ opinion piece that “When women choose to capitalize on our sexuality, to reclaim our own power, like I have, we are vilified and disrespected.” She says this in reference to many judging her choice of clothing claiming she’s doing it for male attention. She says much more in this article, such as how black women’s bodies are constantly being put under a lens by the public and the media. This opinion piece covers an array of issues black women face, the title of it embodies the article very well: “Why I Speak Up for Black Women.”

Women in the rap industry have had to, and continue to, face many hardships and discrimination both in their career and in their lives. Despite this, these women rise up to become successful. Their success is incredibly inspiring to so many, especially since they are able to use their platforms to spread their beliefs and advocate for the change, for equality, not only in the rap industry, but for black women everywhere.

How to increase “happy brain chemicals”

By: Joxery Mezen Camacho

Our brain is full of many different chemicals that control and impact our nervous system. There are over 100 chemicals in your brain and every single one is important for your brain to function! I am going to talk about four important chemicals in our brain that can lead to an increase in happiness and how to increase them to help you get in a better mood! 

Dopamine 

The first chemical is dopamine. This chemical is meant to help motivate you to go forward and complete big goals and tasks! Dopamine is a kind of reward chemical and these are just a few ways to increase it: 

  • Completing a task (big or small)
  • Eating food
  • Filling in a checkbox 
  • Celebrating small wins 
  • Doing self-care activities 

Oxytocin

The next chemical is oxytocin. This chemical is what causes humans to be such social creatures! The feelings of happiness it releases during positive social interactions is something that drives us to be social! It also helps fight stress and improve your relationship! Here are a few ways to increase oxytocin: 

  • Playing with a baby
  • Hugging your family and friends 
  • Playing with a dog
  • Giving a compliment 
  • Opening up emotionally 

Serotonin

The next chemical is serotonin. This chemical is known as a mood stabilizer which can also lead to feelings of happiness! A few ways to increase it are: 

  • Getting bright light from the sun
  • Meditating 
  • Exercise
  • Massages 
  • Spend time in nature

Endorphin

The final chemical is endorphin. This chemical works to relieve pain and stress! A few ways to increase endorphin chemicals are: 

  • Watching a comedy
  • More exercise 
  • Eating dark chocolate 
  • Laughing exercises 
  • Essential oils

These four chemicals are very important and play vital roles in our brain. The ways listed to increase these chemicals are all natural and things anyone can try. Some may work better than others, so give them all a try and see what works the best for you!! 

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