Hip Hop: The strong women making waves and changing the game.

This week we are reminded to recognise the social, political and cultural achievements of women all across the globe. This extends to the world of hip hop as well, where women are still fighting to make their voices heard. 

In a musical genre where sexism still exists, it’s vital to support the strong females making waves and changing the game.
With her poetic lyrics and powerful raps Sampa the Great has become one of the most well respected Australian female emcees of this generation. The multi-talented artist first rose to fame back in 2015 when she first released her debut album The Great Mixtape. She went on to support rap icon Kendrick Lamar the following year and teamed up with fellow Aussie rapper Remi to travel the country on the unforgettable Fire Sign Tour. Her projects tackle issues of feminism and equality with her song ‘FEMALE’ a fierce anthem for women everywhere. Her latest LP Birds and The BEE9 was hailed as one of the best Australian hip hop albums of 2017 so if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s time to add it to your playlist. Sampa the Great will be headlining the sold-out Groovin the Moo festival in Bendigo later this year but keep an eye out for future headline tour dates also.
Every neo-soul enthusiast across the globe is familiar with the name Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield. She is the female vocalist and guitarist for Melbourne band Hiatus Kaiyote, the first ever Australian act to be nominated for an R&B Performance Grammy back in 2013. Their music has reached international acclaim with samples of their songs used by the likes of Anderson.Paak, Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Venturing out of her comfort zone, Saalfield released her personal solo debut in Needle Paw. With her artistry and creative lyrics, Saalfield is a positive role model and musical icon that proves it’s important to love yourself and embrace your weirdness. Hiatus Kaiyote are set to release a new album later this year and I couldn’t be more excited.
There are a number of beautiful hard-working women who work behind-the-scenes of the local hip hop industry. They are supporting young female artists in the competitive rap world but are rarely acknowledged and they deserve a shout out. In particular, there are two women who’ve dedicated themselves to helping the industry grow; hip hop photographer Michelle Grace Hunder and music video director Claudia Sangiori. Together, these two women make an unstoppable team. Their most recent project Her Sound, Her Story follow intimate stories of Australia women in the music industry including Tina Arena, Montaigne and Vera Blue. They have built their careers around a love for art and good music and have become an inspiration to the next generation of young female artists.
The list of fierce females goes on and on. This International Women’s Day, support and appreciate the strong female faces that help make the local music industry bigger and better than ever before, because the scene can’t flourish without them.