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How Femme Queens inspired modern-day female rappers

How Femme Queens inspired modern-day female rappers

Seen in Legacy: How the Femme Queens inspired modern-day female rappers

For many years, a rapper’s look has become an essential element of their appearance. From Lil Kim’s cheetah print ensemble in Elle Hard core photoshoot to the first time Nicki Minaj wore her 40-inch jet black hair, we saw a class of women in hip-hop emulate a certain energy and aura that transcends music and social media. Whether it’s the extremely bright under-eye silhouette or the super ripped silhouette, the look is usually referred to as an Instagram villain or female rap aesthetic, but what many people fail to recognize is ‘is the queen of women impact.

The term female queen comes from the ballroom scene. She is a trans woman who exudes the highest version of femininity. “More simply, a female queen is a trans woman in the ballroom community, but I think more true to what a female queen is, it’s an energy and an essence,” says Jordyn Jay, founder of the Black Trans Femmes In The Arts Collective. . “It’s like a powerful, imposing energy, and a female queen commands attention.”

Meet the founder of the Black Trans Femmes In The Arts collective

The intersectionality between hip-hop and LGBTQIA+ culture continues to grow, especially when it comes to women and women in this space. When we think of female rappers in the industry, we automatically pay attention to their looks and energy. For makeup artist Londolly, the evolution of the glam queen woman continues to appear in pop culture. “Early 2000s women’s queens always wore high-gloss concealer, thin brows, lots of highlights, blush, and lip liner for days on end,” she tells GU. “Now you see, they apply a lot of makeup in the industry, but they don’t know where it comes from. »

The impact of Femme Queens, from Crystal LaBeija to Leiomy Maldonado, extends beyond just clothing to encompass hair and makeup. These icons of the ballroom scene are known for their meticulously styled wigs and bold makeup. This attention to detail has trickled down to female rappers, who also prioritize their visual presentation.

Seen in Legacy: How the Femme Queens inspired modern-day female rappers

Read “Meet the Founder of the Black Trans Femmes In The Arts Collective”

From JT’s infamous line “quite like a transgender” in “No Bars” to Cardi B having notable female queen Tokyo Stylez (also known as Mia Tisci in the ballroom scene) on her glam squad, hip-hop’s influence and inclusiveness continues to grow. “I love that we’re getting the recognition we deserve these days,” says Londolly. “People come to gay people all the time for advice, pointers and tips, but we are so hidden by a bigger name, but showing up in spaces and setting the tone will make women’s queens bigger.”

Femme Queens pioneered the art of performance and stage presence, crucial elements for any successful artist. Their ability to captivate audiences with confidence and flair is closely linked to female rap. Hopefully this opens up a space for female queens to be more at the forefront of music. “These labels need to start recruiting mood boards and look beyond the smoke in the mirrors,” says Iconick, rapper and mother of House of Juicy Couture. “They need to start doing their research and understand that there are trans artists who already have it, and they need to start being inclusive.”

Seen in Legacy: How the Femme Queens inspired modern-day female rappers

Femme Queens’ theatricality and charisma connect with female rappers through their energy and aura, encouraging them to fully embrace their personalities and deliver powerful, unforgettable performances. This alignment of values ​​highlights the shared experiences and mutual respect between Femme Queens and female rappers, creating a cultural dialogue that values ​​this art form. “We’re part of that legacy, too,” Jay says. “Women Queens have been erased for so long, and now we can say that there is a legacy of women and an aesthetic that we are a part of.”

Social media has played a significant role in amplifying the connection between Femme Queens and female rappers. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have become spaces where trends from the ballroom community can gain visibility. This digital crossover helped bridge the gap between underground ballroom culture and mainstream music, allowing Femme Queens’ aesthetic to reach a wider population and inspire a new generation of artists. “Trans people and community members are some of the most creative people in the world, and we are often left out,” says Iconick. “By being put at the forefront and coming out of our shell, people will realize that we have been.”

Femme Queens have left an unforgettable mark on the music industry, from fashion and beauty to performances and lyrical content. Their contributions helped shape the visual and artistic direction of many female rappers and fostered a culture of empowerment and self-expression. “It’s great to see people discussing how we are and always have been a part of hip-hop and pop culture,” Jay says.

About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is Essence GU’s senior editor, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she has attracted a devoted readership and specializes in the Zillennial perspective.