Oxygen Network’s new show Sisterhood of Hip Hop explores the career path of five beautiful young women looking to succeed as solo rap artists. Some have been in, or around the industry, for years. Others are newer to the scene. A few are already signed to a label. All have personal obstacles that take up time and energy from their musical aspirations.
Jamaica, Queens-bred, Nyemiah has momentum and is working with, super-producer, Timbaland.
Through her internet buzz, Bia caught the attention of Pharrell Williams. The Bostonian stood out on one of Williams’ songs and was signed to his label.
Brianna attends the University of Miami, is signed to Atlantic Records and is managed by her mother or “momager” Keke. Hope she isn’t on a 360 deal. She’s being mentored by Rick Ross.
Atlanta-raised, Diamond has over ten years of industry experience and is re-branding herself. Success came at an early age as a member of Crime Mob. Later, much attention was paid to her personal life (relationships with Lil Scrappy and Souljah Boy). Lil John advises her to avoid personal drama. So she’s looking to shift eyes towards her music.
Siya is from Cali, but grew up in Brooklyn. Openly gay and committed to her style, she’s being helped by r&b artist Tank … and she expresses concerns regarding what that alliance can do for her. Murder Inc. boss Irv Gotti also provides Siya with additional knowledge.
The show credits superstar T.I. as one of its executive producers.
SOHH looks to offer a well-rounded picture of the journey being taken by these females emcees or “femcees” in several ways:
1. Authentic. Yes, it’s one episode. But it’s refreshing to see ladies with different styles and backgrounds being able to showcase their skills. There’s a naturalness and it appears they are being true to themselves.
2. Credibility. Calling on established Hip Hop figures to help mentor the ladies makes an impression. When you can learn from a platinum-selling artist, that message carries real weight. The game is different for women trying to rhyme. We saw a teaser clip with the respected Eve. It would be great to see more veteran female rappers offer guidance.
3. The grind. The music industry is a marathon. Success doesn’t arrive overnight. There’s still a learning curve. Case in point: Brianna doesn’t appreciate being told by Keke how to do a song during a session. But, as is usually the case, mom was on point for calling out her daughter’s lack of energy and conviction in the booth. And in two other scenes, Siya expresses frustration over business matters not moving fast enough with Tank. Later, she reveals to, her girlfriend, Renaye that she needs to focus and book club shows herself.
4. Female representation. Hip Hop is incomplete if women aren’t meaningful and active participants in performing music. Currently, there’s a drought of notable females who are in the spotlight. Skills and appeal over hyper-exploitation, please. Hopefully, this program can help launch successful careers that can lead to more door-opening. We’re rooting for these lovely, ambitious ladies to rock.
5. Quality content. We’re starving for thoughtful television programs targeting a mostly urban audience. Starving like a person who hasn’t enjoyed a home-cooked meal in months. Yes, it seems like all reality shows have the mandatory altercation-in-the-club scene – I caught that teaser, too. But based on the premiere, I have an optimistic outlook for a show featuring this global phenomenon called Hip Hop. Let’s hope future episodes don’t spiral down a path of silliness and dysfunction.
To the show’s producers, this wonderful, much-needed concept started off promising – build on it. started off intelligent – please keep it that way. Think about the positive effect it’ll have on the young viewers. There’s already enough suffering in many communities.
We’re rooting for the Sisterhood of Hip Hop to shine.
Fabian Baez is a, New York City-based, Hip Hop Web Copywriter/Creative & Marketing Specialist focused on helping others succeed while advancing the Movement. Learn more about him, his work and connect: fabianbaez.com | @FabianBaez | [email protected]