Journal of Hip Hop Studies

Journal of Hip Hop Studies [View Image]


Hip Hop, particularly trap music, has been conceptualized as male-centered, despite Black women’s role in its inception. This paper engages with trap music as a structural template that is co-constructed and used as a site of articulation by Black women to engage in gendered performativity. Rather than engaging with trap lyrics as literal representations of artists’ desires and politics, I examine the types of gender constructions that are enabled when the aesthetic structure of trap music performativity is centered. I analyze this through ethnographic research in northeast North Carolina, situating trap music within a Hip Hop feminist framework. I contend that rural Black women, being marginalized in both dominant institutions and in the Hip Hop realm, have used style to carve out spaces of visibility within the trap genre to position rural Black women’s subjectivity as epistemologically important. Rural Black women have reclaimed their time by stylizing trap songs with a precise rap flow and gendered double entendres to situate themselves as historical and modern actors within the Hip Hop tradition and American society. Trap feminism is an intellectual framework, consciousness, and dayto-day way of being that speaks to a type of hustling that creates space, both physical and ideological, in response to a gendered racial capitalism that intends to keep us confined.





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