Lil Kim/Foxy Brown, The Source  2/97
Sexuality in rap music has been around since the late 1970s. From Blowfly to Too Short to 2 Live Crew to Akineyele, there have always been male rappers detailing their sex life and conquests. That all changed in 1996 when female emcees Lil Kim and Foxy Brown led the female sexual revolution in Hip-Hop. Kim’s promotional poster for her debut album Hard Core depicted her squatting with her legs spread in a leopard print bikini. While Foxy Brown used the title of her debut album Ill Na Na as a dedication of her sexual prowess.

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These provocative images of sex stirred up controversary but also generated the discussion of the double standard in Hip-Hop. Why is it acceptable for male rappers to brag about their sexual escapades but it’s degrading when females rap about the exact thing?

Sex is a powerful marketing tool used to sell everything including automobiles, clothes and movies. Why should music be any different? At the end of the day music is entertainment and their job is to entertain. In no way or form am I promoting sex to be used as crutch to sell records. However, as long as these ladies keep their integrity and stay true to the culture then they should have the artistic license to express themselves at the same time. We’ve heard the feministic lyrics of Queen Latifah, boom bap of MC Lyte it’s only fair we get the sensuous side of the ladies.


Below is a video of a segment that MTV News did on the raunchiness of Lil Kim and Foxy Brown’s lyrics and image. Watch the video and share your thoughts in the comments section below:

-Joe-Louis Mccray