The narrative of women in hip-hop, awash in degradation and marginalization, hasn’t always been pretty. The culture often portrays women as sex objects, girlfriends, consumers, everything but artists and producers with their own voices. Of course, there have been women that have broken the mold, but there is still much work to be done – particularly here in Detroit.
Piper Carter noticed the lack of female MCs in Detroit, so in 2011 she started a “No Misogyny” open mic hosted in the 5E Gallery, just for women. Now she’s taken those initiatives to the next level, launching the Foundation of Women In Hip Hop.
“The space of Hip Hop is primarily men, and when you hear the word ‘woman,’ it’s either in a sexual sense or a negative sense,” Carter tells BLAC, “Women’s voices are really missing. So what we are doing is moving women from primarily just being consumers, to being producers.
“Now there’s lots of women who make music and there are lots of women who identify as hip-hop,” Carter adds. “But because of the landscape of how things are, a lot women become marginalized or must become this certain image of what the dominate society should be looking like or should be saying. “
The Foundation of Women In Hip Hop believes in showcasing the powerful artists that reflect the narratives of the everyday woman. The foundation is launching its first women in hip-hop conference as part of the larger Allied Media Conference in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood this month.
The three-day conference will feature a live concert, b-girl battles, a film screening, workshops, panel discussions on breaking into the industry, a graffiti showcase with live painting, a pre-show DJ, vendors and more.
“One main goal is to locate people who have shown a high-quality level of performance, to showcase people who are experts in their field, and to share that expertise with others. That’s the conference part, ” Carter says. “The concert will have a showcase of artists who reflect various narratives besides the stereotypical narratives that we hear from women. They bring a high level of excellence to the field and they’re incredible to listen to and experience as artist.
“There is a stereotypical ideal of what women should be. What we are bringing is our own narrative and our own stories.”
All events during the Allied Media Conference will be held at the Wayne State University Student Center, 5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit. Admission for all three days is $150 and includes all access to the Women in Hip Hop Conference and other Allied Media Conference programming full program for the week.
The concert will be held June 17 at 7:00 p.m. inside of The Garden Theatre, 3929 Woodward Ave., Detroit. The concert will be hosted by jessica Care moore, with performances by Rapsody, Mama Sol & The N.U.T.Z., and Mahogany Jones. Tickets for the concert range from $10-$75.
Join the movement at thefoundationofwomeninhiphop.com and purchase your concert and conference tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/detroits-1st-womeninhiphop-concert-ft-grammy-award-winning-artist-rapsody-tickets-24693020489. To find out more information about the Allied Media Conference, visit aliedmedia.org.