Grade: Senior
Subject: other

#4421. Do the Ladies Run This?

other, level: Senior
Posted Fri Aug 13 15:02:35 PDT 2010 by Iresha Picot (Iresha Picot).
Philadelphia, PA
Materials Required: Stereo, Chalk Board, Imagination
Activity Time: 90 minutes

Activity #1--What is Hip Hop?

Have students brainstorm and then write down words that come to mind, when they hear the term "Hip Hop" and particularly Women in Hip Hop on index cards. After students have completed the task, have them tape the cards on a wall/chalkboard. Facilitate a discussion around the words. Would the rest of the collective agree? Disagree? Discuss.

Write following words on word wall (facilitator can add to the list):













Have the students defined the words from common stocks of knowledge (i.e. what they have already known from hearing each word) at first, then facilitator gives definition of words. If so, have them find the commonality between their words and the words on the word wall.


Activity #1--Black Women telling their stories

Ask the students have they ever heard of a griot? Tell the students that although one may be led to believe that hip hop music is a recent evolution, it relates back to the griots of West Africa, from more than two hundred years ago. The griots were, and in some rural areas still are, storytellers, poets and traveling singers who played an important role in ancient African societies. They used poetry and rhythm to teach the people about their history, as written language was rarely used

Facilitate a discussion on how this relates to MCs (Master of Ceremonies)?

o Aspects to discuss: Other forms of griots in the Black community? Black Women as storytellers?

o Using both their words and the words on the word wall, start a "chain story". The facilitator will start this off, ex. "There once was a girl name Lisa, who loved Hip Hop. . ." Each student must add onto the story using a word until everyone has a turn all the words are used.

Activity #2--Stronger in Numbers

Ask the students what female MCS, have they heard of? Write them on the board.

Make a list of male MCs they have heard of and currently listen to.

Facilitate a discussion around the differences and commonalities of the two lists. What do we attribute this to?

Activity #3--Define ourselves, for herself, for myself.

Group the Women into "listening groups", where they will name themselves from either creating an original name or using a name of a present day or past female MC? Briefly ask them to explain why they choose the name.

Activity #4--Listening Party

While in their listening groups, ask the students to keep these three questions in mind:

What are they saying?

What aren't they saying?

What comes to mind while listening to each song?

After each song, encourage brief discussions amongst groups and have one representative from each group, report what the group came up with, overall on each song.

(Facilitator can pick and choose which songs to keep, for time consumption)

Lil' Kim--"Queen Bitch"

Lauryn Hill--"Doo Wop: That Thing"

Nikki Minaji--"Your Love"

MC Lyte--"Georgie Porgie"

Roxanne Shante'--"Have a Nice Day"


Yo-Yo--"You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo"

Sister Soujah--"Slavery's Back in Effect"

Queen Isis--"The Power of the Truth"

Salt and Pepa-"Independent"

Jean Grae--"Love Song"

Foxy Brown--"Ill Na-Na"

Eve--"Heaven Only Knows"

Queen Latifah--"Ladies First"/UNITY

Nikki D--Daddy's Girl

After the listening party, briefly read to the students the framework Cheryl Keyes uses in "Empowering Self, Empowering Choices. . .", where she classifies Black female rappers in three categories "Queen Mother", "Fly Girls" and "Sistas with Attitudes". Ask each group to brainstorm for a couple of minutes, on where would they put each rapper and song, and why?

Queen Mother

(Community Responsibility)
Fly Girls

Sistas with Attitudes

(Sexual agency)

Activity #5--I Write What I like

Have the students in rap form; construct a rhyme either solo, or as an individual about anything personal, the state of Hip Hop female MCs, etc. Specifically focus in on what the female MCs that you listened to, did not say. Encourage them to find the gap.

Activity #6--When there is Woman, there is Magic

Using objects, papers, markers, etc, have the students ponder on thinking about the complexities of Black women and girls and the ways our images are both different and alike, what would a near to perfect representation of a female MC look like? What will this MC rap about? Who would her audience be?

Closing activity--Read excerpts ( Hip Hop Cheerleader by Jessica Care Moore and Musical Revolution by Jane Musoke-Nteyafas

"I'm a Hip Hop Cheerleader, carrying Hand grenades/ and blood red pom poms/screaming from the sidelines of a stage I built"---Jessica Care Moore (I'm a Hip Hop Cheerleader)

"We stand on merit of our poems, we stand on merit of our songs, we stand on merit of our talents,we are calling for a change and do not call us deranged, if we want to be portray in a more positive light in fact we are the light that brings you delight and brings you insight. We take you to creative heights. Our words sing with sensual sights.We shout our message with might. ---Jane Musoke-Nteyafas, Musical Revolution

Using Moore and Jane Musoke-Nteyafasm, attempt to wrap up today's activities with debrief of a discussion.

Scratch paper

Queen Mother

(Community Responsibility)
Fly Girls

Sistas with Attitudes

(Sexual agency)

Hip Hop Cheerleader (in full)

I'm a hip hop cheerleader

carrying hand grenades and blood red pom poms

screaming from the sidelines of a stage I built

afraid to part down the middle

for feminine riddles

raining words of proverbs

of prophets who never get heard

because the microphone is just another phallic symbol

that allows jack to be nimble

jack too quick

leaving Jill with a man who can't climb a hill

and a bucket of spit

she can't drink for find her reflection

inside she hides.

inside crooked eyes of amber

allows her life to be slandered

if hip hop is conscious

we must change the standard

my womb-mate's been slandered

i planned her arrival

of letters and lyrics never sent to those lovers

who claim that they know her

but still blow her off as flunky

not a microphone flunky

fiending for a quick fix

no fast cars & hoe tricks

her mouth matrix is taped

left her language for rape

so she ate her words

and became an instant interlude

a cute break between the music

when she was an electric lady

a black flower rhyme scheme romantic

a breathe and release tantric with five tongues

and no one

understood why her flow was so fast

asked to slow down

hesitate--never last

to the finish I'm gonna win this

all the DJs gon' spin it

when you're a woman


sometimes all you have is a minute

I'm a hip hop cheerleader

I buy all your records

despite the misogyny

not looking for the blood in me

respond to me

I feel molested hip hop fondled me

I know the conscious brothas follow me

hollow me with half breaths

real emcees don't half step

but I never slept

took my poems and made food

put my babies in school taught me

to wait for no one

never turn my back from the sun of man

I know all my fly mommas understand

got the rifle on my back

with a mic in my hand

I'll be the air that you breathe

I'll be your number one fan

I'll scream the HEYs

I'll tolerate all your hoes

I'm a hip hop cheerleader

there she go

there she goes

self love freed me

despite all your rhymes with bitches

I know you need me

complete thee believe me

I see you growing in me

looking out form my belly

your rhyme schemes are telling

sang those lullabies to nelly

walking close to my edge like melle

doing cartwheels and air splits

u stage diving into white chics

when I got your hair pick

your weapon of choice

I chose my voice

'cause I only gotta quarter left

on this microphone meter

I got on a short pleated skirt


I'm a hip hop cheerleader

there she go

there she goes. . .

Musical Revolution--Jane Musoke-Nteyafas

This is a musical revolution

This is a lyrical revolution

This is a poetical revolution

This is a wordology revolution

This is a phraseology revolution

This is an ideology revolution

This is a respectology revolution

This is an imagery revolution

This is a dictionary revolution

This is a humanitarian revolution

We refuse to take off our clothes.

we refuse to be ho's

we refuse to play these games

we refused to be called names

just to sell

just to tell

our souls to the public

our stories to the public

our music to the public.

We stand on merit of our poems

We stand on merit of our songs

We stand on merit of our talents

We are calling for a change

and do not call us deranged

if we want to be portrayed

in a more positive light

in fact we are the light

that brings you delight

and brings you insight.

We take you to creative heights

Our words sing with sensual sights

We shout our message with might.

We are the female voices

that are making positive choices,

enough with the sexual noises.

We are the messages

of beautiful womanly images.

We do not need to strip

in order to make that video clip.

We are beautiful even with our clothes on,

we've got brains that can turn you on.

We refuse to show you our breasts

just to boost our record sales.

Isn't it enough that we tell tales?

We refuse to jiggle in thongs

just to sell our songs.

We refuse to wiggle

what our mamas gave us

instead we choose to juggle

with the gray matter that our creator gave us.

We be the poets

We be the singers

We be the rappers

We be the artists

We be the writers

We be the creators

that are calling for a change

calling for a change

calling for a change

calling for a change.

This is a musical revolution.