Group 6: Hip Hop Feminista Encuentro Live Blog 2

After the discussion, we watched full length performances by Black Mama, Caye Cayejera, and Taki Amaru. Due to the previous issues with the acoustics of the Intellectual House, the hip hop feministas decided to rap within a cypher instead of in the traditional format of a rapper and an audience. The use of a cypher rather than the stage/audience setup seemed appropriate as it deconstructs the European-created power dynamic of a stage and an audience. When we put someone on a stage, we are putting them up on a pedestal and the bodies that we put on this pedestal have historically been white. The cypher created a feeling of convivencia, allowing the artists to move around freely and dance during the performance. As an audience member, I really appreciated that Taki, Black Mama, and Caye were not willing to accept good enough. As Nicki Minaj once voiced in an MTV documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzGZamtlRP0, women of color are often discouraged from advocating for themselves in the music industry. However, it’s important to demand more for yourself because when an artist advocates for themselves they advocate for all women.

Photo by Elyana Heigham of Black Mama and Caye Cayejera performing in the cypher at the Hip Hop Feminista Encuentro held in the UW Intellectual House, Seattle, Washington on June 3rd 2019.
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Group 6: Hip Hop Feminista Encuentro Live Blog 1

Photo of Elyana Heigham of Taki Amaru’s opening performance of “Rap Kichwa” at the Hip Hop Feminista Encuentro held at the UW Intellectual House, Seattle, Washington. The event occurred on June 3rd 2019.

The event opened with an acknowledgement of the land and introductions of our facilitators Lanessa and Makayla. Gabriela Sinchy Gomez then presented the song “Sombero Blanco” and discussed its theme of taking a sexist song and changing the lyrics to make them empowering to womxn. Gaby mentioned that the feminism she created was for everyone – it was intersectinal. Then, Black Mama, Caye Cayejera and Taki Amaru performed opening songs. Pictured is Taki performing her song “Rap Kichwa”.  During Black Mama and Caye’s performance, Black Mama noted issues with the acoustics in the intellectual house pointing out “if we were huge rockstars this wouldn’t be an issue”. This drew attention to the barriers that the music industry puts up to smaller artists. Not to say that the problem is that the event organizers picked the Intellectual House but rather that less effort was put by the university into the upkeep of the Intellectual House’s technology. Black Mama also noted that the adversity was nothing new for Latinx women. “We always make due” she said.