First and Foremost, “This is a fucking concert!”

If anyone doubts the presence of female rappers, meet the ladies who are determined to demonstrate otherwise.

Written by Julie Andersen

Photos by Nikolaj Rohde Simonsen

Nine power women set the record straight this Saturday evening at Forbrændingen at a powerful event titled: “Her er vi!” – or “Here we are!”. Not only did these women prove that Danish female rappers exist, they showed that they’re incredibly skilled – in their own words giving each other superpowers when they perform together. Karen Mukupa initiated her set stating: “this is not a lame women’s jam – this is a fucking concert!”. The statement echoed boldly amongst a loudly cheering crowd – and yeah, it definitely wasn’t lame! The concert was a demonstration of pure “Girl Power” and the artists didn’t hesitate to let their voices be heard.

The all-female lineup included Annelise, Vigsø, Karen Mukupa, Mismarie, Yakuza, Yukka, Tovepigen, and GOLDIE6is. That Fucking Sara was behind the DJ desk carrying the whole night. Women supporting women was a major theme that was perpetuated throughout the night, while each artist was able to exercise their own skills. Vigsø took it to another level by presenting her song “Medusa”, screaming: “this song explains why the consent law is so fucking important!”, a statement that shot through the foggy venue and was met with fiery agreement.

These badass female artists are fed up being told that there can only be one queen at a time, and the perception that after a certain age there is no success for women, whereas men, apparently, are like wine – only getting better with age. They are done playing by the standard dictated by the music industry which says that women have to compete instead of collaborate and cooperate. The goal is to be first movers and create the same crew-vibe as men have been doing for ages.

We spoke to Annelise and Vigsø before the show about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry, even though they are sick of talking about it.

Why is it important to make an event like “Her er vi!”?

Anna: There has been a wide understanding that there are no female rappers in Denmark besides, for example, Tessa at the moment. So the event came out of frustration and now we are doing this joint project and calling it “Her er vi!” If people have doubts about the presence of female rappers, they can experience us on stage and be blown backwards by our music and then we did our duty.

Annelise: It’s also about getting some contacts and having someone to share a creative process with. Not being afraid to cooperate – I have been frightened in the past of not getting enough attention because you (Anna) would get it and take my shine. I think there is a difference between women and men in the hip hop world. Men are just generally good at lifting each other up and being there for each other. It often creates a crew that you want to be part of as an audience. And I would like to help create the same for women.

You are creating this event together, but isn’t there a lot of competition between you guys at the same time?

Anna and Annelise at the same time: There has been, haha!

Anna: I mean rap originates from hip hop, which starts with competition in the form of battles, etc., so there’s probably always going to be competition. But what is so cool about our event is that there aren’t any of us that you can typecast – we cannot be compared. And what’s also so annoying about competition is that Annelise and I, for example, have been competing for a number of years. Instead we could have actually used each other to develop musically.

Annelise: Of course, in this industry people have attitude and everybody wants success. But if you look at men in the industry, they’re able to be part of a group. That’s why it’s so aggravating when we let the industry create competition that only allows one woman to succeed at a time.

Why do you think it’s harder to break through as a female rapper?

Anna: I think it’s really hard to break through as a woman in general. We see it everywhere in our society – in literature, in politics, in the art industry as well. There are probably loads of different reasons to why, for example that male bookers usually book male artists. In fact, I think it’s also about getting used to hearing women’s words, women’s lyrics and universes. After all, for many centuries we have only been listening the words of men – especially in the music industry.

Are there expectations concerning what you should sound and look like as female rappers? Do you have to be less provocative than, for example, Suspekt?

Annelise: I feel like you have two options as a female rapper, if you want success: you can either be really hard-core and utterly unoriginal or you can take off your clothes. We see it in the US with Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim and Cardi B – everything has to be extreme. And if you’re not a part of one of those extreme categories, it can be really hard to succeed.

Annelise, I heard you say that you think the reason why there are so few female rappers is because people often need a role model. Who have been your role models?  

Both: Men!

Anna: Eminem, Suspekt and LOC inspired me, because they have a sick flow – end of discussion. Then Natasja came, of course.

Annelise: Natasja has been everything to me. She’s just been a huge inspiration.

How can we change the stigma around female rappers – any advice?

Annelise: It always ends up being a political discussion. All the interviews I’ve done, I’ve been asked the same question: what is it like to be a woman in a male-dominated world? And automatically we are talking about a political fight. And it can be really frustrating as an artist that you can’t just be allowed to talk about the music you make. So I definitely think we need to change the rhetoric around female rappers. And also bookers and festivals should start booking female artists. If we don’t get a chance to practise, we will never evolve musically.

Anna: We are feminists, but we are not Buddhists. In most interviews we have to be the bigger people, who have to stand together and gather all female rappers. Sometimes we just want to talk about our fucking music that we spend a lot of time and energy making.

Thanks, Annelise and Anna!

The belief that “there are no female rappers in Denmark” was belied this Saturday evening at Forbrændingen. This concert was a true demonstration of power. A collaborative all-female event like “Her er vi!” is something we’ve not previously seen in the Danish hip-hop industry and we hope this was one of many more to come!

Hopefully in the near future, the question about the lack of women in the hip-hop industry is so tired out, that we can attend these events only focusing on their dope music.

 

0

Your Cart