From Riot Grrrls to hip-hop and rap artists, girls in “harder,” more male-dominated music genres have always had a bit of a tough time. Rapper Iggy Azalea talks about it on NylonMag.com. It can be hard to find your feminine identity (if you want to stay connected to that) in a typically boys-only environment whether it’s performing or taking a shop class.
“I think it’s hard to be aggressive and not be masculine. It’s very hard to balance that and still be feminine,” she said. “And to have people want to listen to you, sonically: your tone and also your message. When somebody is too masculine as a woman I even think it’s a bit cringe-y. It’s a difficult tightrope walk.”
It’s a bit rude to call masculine women “cringe-y” just because that’s not your thing, but it is a fair representation of the mainstream perception of women in the spotlight.
Of women in hip hop she says: “Some of us just want to say that we dress well or that we’re the baddest bitch. Everybody is something. Sometimes people don’t necessarily have a story. For me, I just always feel like I want to be powerful, and that’s what my music is about, whether it’s telling a story – like Work, about how I got to where I am and for that to hopefully make other people feel motivated to follow their dreams or just making a badass song like Pu$$y, where it makes you feel confident. My reoccurring theme is just trying to make you feel like you’re powerful.”
Perhaps as more female artists like Iggy rise, “powerful” and “feminine” won’t be seen as incongruous.