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SXSW Music 2016

Feeling Ourselves? Black Girl Power In Music

Race and gender continue to fuel the debate about who is chosen to succeed and be rewarded in the music game. Despite the success of Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé’s 2015 anthem “Feeling Myself” black women in music have been fighting an uphill battle for equal recognition. Key examples include critics of Iggy Azalea who say she’s used her white privilege and sexuality to skyrocket to the top of the charts; rap/dance-pop artist Azealia Banks who has been outspoken about being marginalized and Nicki Minaj, who ranted when the MTV VMA’s failed to recognize several of her videos in broader categories. Cultural appropriation has been a big issue w/ artists like Katy Perry Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift

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  1. How do women's bodies and sexuality help or hurt their success when it comes to mainstream vs. urban categories? Are black women punished more?
  2. Why do white artists seem to have an easier time dominating urban categories than black artists crossing over into mainstream categories and charts?
  3. What role has cultural appropriation played in popular music? Are white female artists rewarded more for doing same things as black female artists?



Janeé Bolden, Managing Editor, Moguldom Media Group

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