This article is an opinion that I have formulated. I've been listening to music my whole life. I don't only listen to Hip-Hop music, I actually will listen to anything except country music (not my taste). When comparing music genres isn't it strange that Hip-Hop doesn't really have a strong female presence, with the exception of Lauryn Hill? (But where the hell is she?) I have a real problem that women in the Hip-Hop community have only two roles; one is the masochistic roles that Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, Trina and similar rappers play. Or the butch roles that Missy, Remy Ma, and Da Brat play. I mean outside of the big booty bitches with no names, just asses in videos. When I was growing up I had rap role models MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Salt & Pepper. The list for female pioneers is long, it's the women who are now representing us now that are scary. I don't want my daughter to have to look at Lil' Kim and want to be anything like her. I understand that sex sells, but must you sell yourself? When do you draw the line? The majority of female MC's don't even have their own identity. These women are products that we assign a character and market. I went on a Hip-Hop forum and polled the question of 'Who are the 10 best MC'S?' and not one of them was a woman. Sadly I agree. If you think of the top 20 MC's you would find that the list still would not include a woman. The female MC's that we have in the industry for the most part don't even write their own music, so their songs have no substance, they are written by men. We don't have a real presence in rap, because the idealism of women in rap is that we are supposed to be strong women who are open about their sexuality. But when do we draw the line of openness and pure raunchy? I enjoy sex, I have a healthy sex life but I don't feel the need to exploit myself to prove it. I more or less find a connection to rappers who write about their own life and community. Like the fact that the top 3 CD's that I keep in constant rotation in my car are Nas (Illmatic), Mobb Deep (Infamous), and Tupac (Thug Life volume 1) - these men depict a story that is familiar to me, the street life that I actually see and live. I have a hard time connecting with women in rap because it's so unbelievable that you really want to market yourself as a sex toy. Women want to be empowered by the fact that men will pay for sex, or that you get diamonds due to the power of your pussy. That doesn't empower women, that demeans us, and just takes us back hundreds of years. Think about the women's movement and how far we've come in society to establish ourselves as equals. Now to diminish our capacity by allowing ourselves to be subjected, to be labeled simply as sexual objects; takes away from all that we have accomplished. When will a female rapper speak about the plight of a woman's real story? Can a woman have an album that can shift the industry such as Jay Z's 'Reasonable Doubt'? Or a debut as powerful and ground-breaking as The Notorious BIG's 'Ready To Die'? I mean don't get me wrong, Lil' Kim's debut album helped women by opening women up to the gangster rap genre, but at the same time she took us down the ladder by making it okay to demean women. She refers to herself as a bitch, thus allowing men to continue to use vulgar language to describe women. We as women should stop and listen, it's hard enough in society to get acceptance. The rap world is even harder, so maybe we should put our foot down and demand respect. See women as mothers, sisters, daughters, lovers, and baby's mothers. We are the one of the two species that can breathe life, don't I deserve more respect? Can a female rapper put out her own ideas? Can you put out an album that will give us power in a realistic way? Can we depict the true roles that we play in life? When men have albums they talk about drugs, money and sex, let's answer their songs with the role we play in the same game. Talk about the fact that we hold our soldiers down in the streets. We help them by being their shoulder to lean on; we give them children, wipe their tears, we stash their work and hold them down when they get caught up in the system. We play as much a role in the streets as men, we just play our own position. I just want to establish a defined role in the Hip-Hop community, a positive outlet in music. I know that not everything that we go through is good, but it's not all bad either. If we are going to be opinionated in the music industry, at least let it be the majority of how we think and operate. I'm asking women to step the fuck up! I'm more than a bitch on a dick trying to get rich. I'm an intelligent woman, with street credibility and a love for the streets. I know I'm not the only one.