Now that’s a bad bitch!: The state of women in hip-hop

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

The Hampton Institute

Publication Date


Date Added



Since its inception, rap music has evolved from an underground subcultural movement to a mainstream subcultural expression that profits from the ideology of dominant culture and vice versa. Rap music during the 1970s remained national commodity until the 1980s. During this time participants in this subculture were involved directly in one of the four elements (Hunter, 2011, p.16) in which young men and women of color were rapping at parties, tagging or creating graffiti on subway cars, or breaking (Nelson, 1998). The 1980s ushered in the idea that rap music could not only be popular in the United States but also in other countries. The market for rap music increased as capitalism expanded along with the industry. With the increased popularity of the genre, media sources became the main locus for rap music to not only become more mainstream, but to also increase their purchasing power under capitalism. In order to examine the purchasing power of rap music under capitalism it is important to talk briefly of the underpinnings of capitalism.