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How women have influenced hip-hop at 50 years old

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In 1981, Rasheeda Frost began a long-lasting association with hip-hop. She was a lively, inquisitive kindergarten student who was eager to touch and investigate whatever placed in front of her.

Rasheeda recalled her mother giving her a large, white box that was a record player that she would play nonstop without understanding why. Then, she claimed, her mother gave her a record by The Sugarhill Gang that had a vibrant cornucopia printed in the center.

“She must’ve just known hip-hop was embedded in me at such a young age,” the MTV reality star of “Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta” stated.

The 5-year-old would dance until she was unable to do so any longer. “I played that record until I tore it up and scratched the record.”

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Frost became smitten with hip-hop. A male-centered and male-dominated genre is evident in the lyrics, music videos, and magazine covers. Despite this obstacle, Frost pursued her passion and joined the ranks of female rappers and emcees who battled misogyny, sexism, and patriarchy to change the course of hip-hop and pave the way for women to dominate the genre.

In order to succeed, Frost said, “I had to go out there and work three times as hard, make sure I’m respected, make sure I don’t get taken advantage of as a female, and really go hard for what I know and stand for something.”

Female rappers have been a part of hip-hop from its inception, with The Sequence releasing “Funk You Up” by an all-female group in 1979 and MC Sha-Rock performing with Funky 4+1 on “SNL” in 1980. In hip-hop, women have pushed for recognition and to define their identities.

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Women have evolved from dressing in a way that imitated men to owning their sexuality in songs to selling out stadiums for their own performances in the 50 years after DJ Kool Herc extended breaking at a back-to-school celebration. At the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, female rappers are seizing the spotlight while continuing to demand respect and deal with long-standing issues.

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