Black Women Confront the Industry


Hannah K Wright, Contributor

All over the world, black female artists are degraded, placed underneath the spotlight, or put below a man in their industry. Black women are also criticized and not given credit for their accomplishments. For years, a lot of female artists made comments regarding this situation. Big artists have also shared ways to make sure black female artists get the credit that is due.

Female artists have shared their opinions on this hot topic, such as Nicki Minaj, who says, “Cultural contributions of black women are overlooked, raising the specter of racism in the music industry” (NY Times). Beyoncé has also shared that “The entertainment business is still very sexist,” and “Not enough black women had a seat at the table” (Chicago Tribune). Black women have also been put down and shamed for discussing their conditions such as Summer Walker who has been ridiculed by social media for her struggles with anxiety.

Black women in the music industry have overcome a lot. Their successes and accomplishments continue to go unknown. Beyoncé has a net worth of $400 million; her song, “Lion King” is in the top 10 on Billboard and a song “Dangerously in Love” sold 11 million copies (Billboard). Nicki Minaj, also known as the queen of rap, has a net worth of $100 million, six Grammy Awards, and has the most Billboard hot 100 hits. Nicki Minaj influences other small artists to push their career forward (HipHopGods).

There are unknown artists who have a lot of potential, but have yet to be acknowledged. Young M.A.’s first song had over 300 million hits as she proved herself to be one of the most talented rappers in the country. Small artist, Asian Doll, also gained prominence with her albums, “Drippin’ Glo” and “Rise of the Barbie Doll Gang” but has yet to be acknowledged.

Women in the 90s created a pathway for female rappers today. Even though this path was bright, it still goes unnoticed because of gender inequality. Since this problem has come into the light, bigger female artists, even men, have been helping small artists find their place in the industry. There are also known organizations such as Women in Music L.A. that were created to promote women in the business. Some artists have been featured in songs with known artists to get their name out there. From streaming on Instagram, Twitter, and interviews, females are not letting gender inequality bring them down.

As Simbi Ajikawo once said in an interview: “Women can be kings, too” (The Guardian).