Journal of Hip Hop Studies

Journal of Hip Hop Studies [View Image]


2018 was the year of the “scammer,” in which many Black women rappers took on “scamming” aesthetics in their lyrics and music video imagery. Typified by rappers such as City Girls and Cardi B, the scammer archetype is characterized by the desire for financial gain and material possessions and the emotional disregard of men. This paper investigates how Black women rappers, in employing these themes in their music, subvert existing expectations of gender by using the identity of the scammer as a restorative figure. The objectification of men in their music works in counterpoint to the dominant gender system and reasserts a new identity for women — one in absolute financial and sexual control, not only “taking” but “taking back.” Through the imagined scamming of men, Black “scammer” artists introduce new radical modes of womanhood that go beyond the male gaze. These artists profess a rhetoric of empowerment and autonomy towards the women who consume their music and in doing so reimagine power and authority in ways that leave a long-lasting cultural impact.





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