Ebony Boadu serves up her top badass female influences
One of the Sydney’s budding talents EBONY BOADU has been making waves, for all the right reasons. Ebony has been lighting up clubs with some seriously dope rap mixes since graduating from the FBi dance class program in 2016. But it’s not just her music that’s pushing boundaries, Ebony Boadu is a vocal supporter of minorities, having worked on the SBS 2 program ISMZ. In an era of tumultuous politics, and often conflicting representations of identity, it’s not always easy to feel confident in who you are. Ebony Boadu has become an symbol for ‘nasty’ boundary pushing females everywhere. Navigating complex concepts such as diversity, sexuality and gender isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely a lot easier when communities are better represented in mainstream society.
Aside from her fire mixes, Ebony Boadu is a strong supporter of diversity and advocate for the disadvantaged. As an outspoken woman of colour in the hip hop community (which is still dominated by males), Ebony has never let anything stop her from being who she is. We think Ebony‘s pretty badass, so we wanted to find out which 10 women she thinks are baddest, and which of their tracks have inspired her. Check it below!
Rhi Rhi has always been an icon, but in the last few years we’ve seen her go from strength to strength. Aside from her incredible last album Anti, Rihanna is has also become quite the role model for women. Rihanna is symbol of sexual freedom, independence, sass and probably more importantly selfless generosity. Her public battle with domestic violence was something that really put her on the map as a bad bitch, for her bravery and courage to stand up and fight. If there was ever an anthem about fighting ‘the man’, ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ absolutely is it…
Princess Nokia has burst on the scene with some serious pearls of wisdom. Following a part into a sector of the music industry that generally centres around and capitalises on misogyny, it’s pretty bad to drop some bars and take back control of that space.
When you talk about OG bad girls in rap, Lil Kim is most definitely a name that springs to mind. During a time where female sexuality and representation merely existed in relation to the male gaze, it was pretty incredible to see Lil Kim dropping bars and flowin’ in a way that matched if not over shadowed male peers.
It’s exciting to see how the representation of female rappers has evolved. When identifying key females that continually challenge stereotypes, DeJ Loaf is definitely shaking things up. It’s one thing to own your sexuality as a female artist and portray yourself as a strong women, DeJ Loaf takes it to whole new level of brave when you turn the male gaze on its head completely and demanding respect. DeJ Loaf is pushing boundaries in all the right ways, and this tune is dance-y as hell.
In rap probably more so than any other genre, gender roles have always been pretty defined. Young M.A sure isn’t conforming to that. In “OOOUU” it’s pretty clear from the outset that there’s a masculinity about the way she dresses, how she talks about other women and being one of the bros. Whilst there’s still a way to go with representation of non-binary gender roles, artists like Young M.A are making it easier to drop those strict definitions.
Call us biased, but we really do like outspoken nasty women here at purple sneakers. Challenging stereotypes and showing up your peers is not an easy feat, but Nicki Minaj is sure as hell giving it a red hot go. Her raps and rhymes are tight, and they vocalise a lot of important messages for women. Whether Nicki is talking about women’s sexuality, or women being boss’s rather than bossy, her strength and confidence is admirable.
A large amount of current electronic music and hip hop has evolved from lower class and often disadvantaged communities. It’s interesting to see how the two styles now intersect and has burst into mainstream culture. Nadia Rose‘s music is gritty and grime-y, and bass driven. Grime and bass has broadly been popularised by male artists in the UK because of the audiences it appeals to and the places that usually play these styles of music. Seeing women such as Nadia Rose breakthrough with some dank beats and silver tongue rap is exciting for girls everywhere.
LaurYn Hill is arguably one of the most iconic and influential classic hip hop artists. Aside from making incredible music, she’s been challenging the male perspective with her female centric, and empowering tracks. Her lyrics have been helping females for generations with talks of females supporting other females and keep your wits about you when it comes to male attention. ‘Doo-Wop (That Thing)’ is infectious and catchy, and laced with soul, which is why it’s still so popular today.
When you talk about grime artists like STORMZY and WILEY are pretty well known, but let us assure you there are female artists that are stirring up the scene with serious sass and intensity. Lady Leshurr is as outspoken and unapologetic as her male counterparts. Aside from being outspoken, Lady Leshurr is just darn talented, her tracks not only make a comment they do it with quip.
And what would a list of queens be without Bey? Arguably her absolute best body of work, LEMONADE displayed a level of sass and confidence we’d never seen from Beyonce before. An album about her heritage, acceptance of herself and empowering her community, there’s a reason why this album had such an impact. Aside from empowering women, Beyonce has always been an advocate for diversity, and we think that’s pretty fierce.
It’s incredible to see that there’s been a rise of female rap and hip hop artists on the global stage. It’s not always easy to succeed in a man’s world but it’s good to see some badass women breaking down barriers and pushing the envelope. On a local level it’s great to see that people like Ebony Boadu are constantly challenging stereotypes and helping empower others, in order to push for more diversity in music.
Words by Rosie Rae