Graffiti artists What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

The most well-known of whom is Lady Pink, who wrote from 1979-85 and had a big role in Wild Style

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-Joan Morgan, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

Get your own copy of Morgan’s important book here

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Shorty What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

See this essay for a history of the use and meanings of the word “shorty” in hip-hop

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I critiqued the image of the ride-or-die chick as it is represented in hip-hop, the girl willing to do whatever she can for her man, a girl that the lyrics of Ja Rule’s “Down Ass Chick” call to mind What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

This is an incredibly common image. A search for mentions of “down-ass bitch” in rap lyrics brings back over 100 results!

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Is a woman’s role in the revolution still pussy power and prone and now I have to conceal your weapon to boot? What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

A nod to Stokely Carmichael’s infamous 1964 quote, “What is the position of women in SNCC? The position of women in SNCC is prone”

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The point is also to complicate our thinking about hip-hop in ways that stop us from creating dichotomies that place rappers like Ja Rule in one category labeled commercial, negative, and therefore bad, and rappers like Dead Prez and others in another pile labeled conscious, underground, revolutionary, and therefore good. What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

Marc Lamont Hill wrote about these same dichotomies in his essay “Critical Pedagogy Comes At Halftime: Nas As Black Public Intellectual”:

[D]espite the relatively apolitical nature of their work, groups like The Roots and A Tribe Called Quest are hastily branded “conscious” or “political” because of their avant-garde music and aesthetics. On the contrary, the political critiques and philanthropy of “mainstream” rappers like Jay-Z and Ice Cube are often overlooked or dismissed. Within this superficial framework, hip-hop political consciousness is reduced to a thin politics of fashion and speech that privileges bourgeois bohemianism over engaged social critique and concrete action.

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The last verse What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

Jean’s take on this verse:

This last verse, is a letter from me, TO me.
Well… future me to me…It’s looking back, accepting where I am at the time, who I’ve managed to become so far, being honest about who I was before that… blibbidy blah.

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“P.S.” What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

Check the song out here, with verified annotations from the rapper herself!

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A pinch of a global awareness for good measure What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

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One part Jigga What it Do, Shorty?: Women, Hip Hop, and a Feminist Agenda by Gwendolyn D. Pough

An influence the rapper is quick to cop to:

[H]is particular tone, and being very conversational, it was something that struck me. I hadn’t really heard anyone who just felt like they were just talking. Playing with phrases and words in the middle of it, but it still just felt like a conversation. It was something that really inspired me

(via)

Jean has frequently freestyled over Hov beats, in part to show appreciation

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