Use your edge
The rap genre is saturated with male rappers, that gives you an edge over your competitors – and yes the men are your competitors too! Many female rappers may make the mistake of believing that they are only in competition with other female rappers, when in reality, if a record label is seeing hundreds or even thousands of artists, they are not searching for male/female rappers, they are searching for talent and marketability, therefore if your male counterpart seems to have more of either of those qualities over you, he will be chosen. You as a female rapper however, still has the advantage of being able to stand out in the crowd, due to the very fact that the industry is saturated with males. Bring your best – music,style attitude and confidence and you will be seen and heard.
More on the previous point, while you will stand out as a female rapper, try not to be any other female rapper, meaning, try to not over use your sexuality to be seen and heard, it is possible to be recognized without over-selling sex/sexuality, remember many other female rappers may be over-selling their sexuality to be noticed, so you have to ask yourself, how would that make me unique?. Due to there being so few female rappers in the industry, A&Rs and labels may only see a small number of them everyday. Many of which may look, act, dress and represent the same thing, if you want to stand out in the crowd you have got to be unique, and it is very possible to have success in being different, Lauryn Hill sold multi-platinum records by being unique. So can you!
Don’t Fall Back
This means, don’t take the minor role – in anything. Be very wary of the songs you sing , many female rappers often fall into a habit of singing the “disgruntled female”, “sideline chick” “hood/gangsta chick” roles in the hooks or verses of their male counterparts songs. This habit can only lead to those very roles defining what kind of content you would be expected to produce from both your label and the public further into your career, so if you would like to seriously be apart of the music business, you better start defining what type of artist you would like to be right now, by the songs you sing, and the roles you take.
Not only music wise, but as well as preparation of your self-esteem and self-confidence. Be prepared for a lot of criticism, doubt and maybe even intentional defamation of your character. You have to remember that you are trying to do something that is not often done, that being, having a career as a female rapper, that is long, successful, full of integrity and free of drama. There may be many who feel it is impossible, but if you have confidence in yourself, you will be able to identify and welcome constructive criticism where given, and do away with hate/negativity. Believe in yourself and chances are others will too!
Written by Tamika Simon