Defining the ‘Independent Woman’ through Hip Hop Music

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2013 file photo, members of Destiny's Child, from left, Kelly Rowland, Beyonce, and Michelle Williams, perform "Independent Women Pt. 1" at Super Bowl XLVII, in New Orleans. on Sunday, February 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 3, 2013 file photo, members of Destiny’s Child, from left, Kelly Rowland, Beyonce, and Michelle Williams, perform “Independent Women Pt. 1” at Super Bowl XLVII, in New Orleans. on Sunday, February 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Destiny’s Child continued projecting their powerful voice on feminism with the release of their 2001 anthem “Independent Woman Pt. 1” from the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack.

“Tell me what you think about me/ I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings/ Only ring your celly when I’m feelin’ lonely/ When it’s all over please get up and leave,” Beyoncè sings.

The talented trio defined independence as a woman who doesn’t need a man to buy her material things because she can purchase them herself. Throughout the song they mentioned everything they wore from the shoes, clothes, car, rings and watch was paid for by them. This kind of woman doesn’t shut down the idea of a relationship because it’s a mutual responsibility or as they sang “always 50/50 in relationships.”

 

That same year Lil’ Kim, Mya, Pink, Missy Elliott and Christina Aguilera collaborated on the cover of the LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” Kim described an independence as being a woman who is about her money and doesn’t mind a man spending money on her.

 

“We come through with the money and the garter belts/ I let him know we bout that cake straight out the gate/ We independent women, some mistake us for whores/ I’m sayin’… “why spend mine when I can spend yours?”

Christina Aguilera, left, Mya, second left, Pink, second right, and L'il Kim perform "Lady Marmalade" during the 44th annual Grammy Awards, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Christina Aguilera, left, Mya, second left, Pink, second right, and L’il Kim perform “Lady Marmalade” during the 44th annual Grammy Awards, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Rapper Webbie put his perspective on the topic in his 2007 hit “Independent” from his Savage Life 2 album. He described an independent woman as having her own house, car, and two jobs. Webbie doesn’t mind spending his money for the independent woman because of the fact she isn’t using him strictly for material items.

“If you think u finna get her wit a got damn chain?/You insane, boy you better get some gotdamn change/She fool, been to school/ Even walked across the stage,” he raps.

He praises women for their work ethic and their passion for higher education. Although he doesn’t use “bitch” throughout the entire song, the hook was sampled from song “Bad bitch” on his Savage Life album.

Urban Dictionary defines an independent woman as “a woman who pays her own bills, buys her own things, and doesn’t allow a man to affect her stability or self-confidence.” Through these songs, it’s clear that being a woman who has the ability to provide for herself without the help from a man is important in maintaining self-confidence.

 

Check out The Transformation of ‘Bitch’ in Hip Hop Music through the lyrics of Lil’ Kim, Trina, and more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *