Authenticity, Rap, and The Grey Area In Between

Back in August, Tom Barnes published an online article about Native American Rap being the “most authentic rap” that exists within the world of rap music today. While that title of the article remains bold and almost in a way challenging, I cannot help but think about different subgroups of hip-hop and rap music constantly being compared to one another. Why should music listeners and lovers consider Native American rap to be more authentic than other forms of rap and hip-hop music that are being made today?Where the title for the article is captivating, it is also disregarding the importance and message of other rap artists that exist throughout the world and are contributing to their own music communities in the same time frame as Native artists. Also, there seems to be a misrepresentation of women and other members of the Native American community that are not participating in the making of Native American rap. Why are there only male artists making music? Do women of this population want to make this specific kind of music? How do they feel they are being represented in a music community that is dominated by young males who are making and producing this music? The issue of gender inequality and misrepresentation of the female identity and presence in the rap community is both striking and ongoing. It is a theme that underlies many of the different controversies that female artists endure in contrast to their male counterparts; marginalization, being highly sexualized, and criticized for being female artists in a world that is still in many ways dominated by a Western and male-oriented ideology.

Any thoughts on gender representation and consideration of authenticity in rap music?