The Revival: A Documentary About Women In Hip Hop

Back in October of 2008, BlogHer's Suzanne asked "Where Are The Women In Hip Hop?"

On Thursday, October 23, hip hop fans will tune into the BET Hip-Hop Awards. They will watch Lil Wayne battle it out with Jay-Z and Kanye West for winning the most awards. Viewers will also see performances by Young Jeezy, Ciara, T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, and Nas, among others. What hip hop afficiandos won't see, however, are awards for female artists. Despite the success of British artists M.I.A. and Estelle, no women were nominated for a BET Hip-Hop Award, just as there were no women honored with awards at VH1's Hip-Hop Honors on October 6. We probably won't see any female emcees at the Grammys, either, as Margeaux Watson reports that "the Recording Academy nixed its category for Best Female Rap Solo Performance in 2005."

Huffington Post blogger, Laurie Lyons, reporting on last fall's B-Girl Be Festival, the "is the only arts festival in the world solely dedicated to the contributions of women in hip-hop," says of women's role as multi-taskers in hip hop, as in other areas of life:

In everyday life women are natural multi-taskers, and in hip-hop the fact remains the same. Female artists that developed their artistic and entrepreneurial skills have taken the art form to another level. In the early '90's Dee Barnes, a former MC and radio host became the first woman to host a syndicated hip-hop television show, Pump It Up! Queen Latifah quickly followed in her footsteps with a very successful recording career, the TV sitcom Living Single, a talk show, major cosmetic campaigns and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Eve, has also done well for herself . Her empire has encompassed records, a sitcom, and a clothing line.

But are women finally getting the respect they deserve as artists? Enter The Revival. Produced by EmergenceMusic.Net:

The Revival gives a candid glimpse into the first meeting of legendary Hip-Hop pioneer Roxanne Shante and veteran Philly emcee Bahamadia, as they trade stories of their struggles and triumphs in the industry over their long careers. It also shows the exchange of lessons between them and up-and-coming artists DJ Shortee, Eternia, Stacy Epps, and Invincible. This short documentary, a collage of performances and behind the scenes footage, was filmed and directed by Invincible while on the road in Europe as part of We-B Girlz all women in independent Hip-Hop tour. The largest all female Hip-Hop tour of its kind, it spanned over three weeks, six countries, and featured dozens of female artists who performed for tens of thousands of supporters.

In support of the release, The Fembassy is featuring interviews with some of the artists featured, like this one with Bahamadia:

irst as far as being an entrepreneur overall I would just advise people to just study the industry that you’re trying to become a part of or making a mark in. Assemble a tight team of people that are knowledgeable or skilled to implement what your vision is if you’re an artist. Make sure that you know what you want and make sure that you’re a skilled professional. Make sure that this is really what you want and you’re born to do it because it’s not for everybody. People think it’s just about grabbing the mic or linking up with the right social group or network. It’s more about the passion, the purpose, and the voice that you’re supposed to be representing internationally.

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