808s & Fast Breaks: Black QBs, women in rap get put into boxes

first_imgRapsody has used her lyricism to become a top ten rapper, male or female, Tierra Whack is one of the most creative minds in all of music and English rapper Little Simz released arguably a top five rap album of the year. The list of women rap stars goes on, with talents like Rico Nasty, Doja Cat and the City Girls continuing to put out quality content.  After two weeks of NFL football, one thing has become abundantly clear — the Saints are being conspired against by referees, and everyone outside of New Orleans is in on it.  Similar to how the Black quarterbacks are only given credit for their running ability, female rappers only receive recognition as background music for the perceived “real show” of their bodies, resulting in the misjudgement that they are strippers rapping. After throwing for 324 yards and five touchdowns with a perfect passer rating Week 1 against the Dolphins, Jackson symbolically flipped off all his critics, reviewing his performance as “not bad for a running back.” While Jackson and Megan Thee Stallion prove why their respective demographics should not be boxed in by their most distinctive quality, their peers have also been displaying their talent within their own communities.  The marginalization and lack of recognition for Black quarterbacks is a plight shared by another prominent demographic: women in the rap industry.  Taj Mayfield is a sophomore writing about the connections between music and sports. His column, “808s & Fast Breaks,” runs every other Friday. Nine black quarterbacks are set to start Week 3. However, this number isn’t the accomplishment. That comes from the undeniable production that said quarterbacks have collectively put on display early this season.  Jackson’s selection in the 2018 NFL Draft was met with microaggressions of whether the Heisman Award-winning quarterback was better suited in the league as a running back.  Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson are prime examples of using the ability that they are expected to have and pairing it with an ability that many insisted they didn’t.  Contrary to the dual-threat play style of Jackson, Mahomes thrives mostly on his arm talent, which furthers a separate conspiracy theory of mine that he pulled a Little Mermaid-type stunt involving his voice reminiscent of Kermit the Frog and his ability to throw a football — but I digress. While doing my best Charlie Kelly impersonation to connect the dots of the conspiracy, I found myself focusing in on a different observation: the 2019 season is being dominated by Black quarterbacks. center_img If you don’t follow sports and the idea of a successful quarterback making the switch to running back sounds strange to you, congratulations. You have more sense than some “esteemed” sports analysts. As someone who respects women and spends a lot of time listening to music, I would never describe female rappers in such a manner. Record Executive Jermaine Dupri, on the other hand, used those exact words to describe female rappers in an interview with People Magazine.  Despite the passing success of past greats like Warren Moon and Donovan McNabb, black quarterbacks have continuously been marginalized as pure scramblers, leading to a lack of recognition for their overall impact on the game.  However, much like Black quarterbacks, female rappers have surpassed their suppression to go on and dominate in their profession.  Megan Thee Stallion markets her body to attract an audience’s attention then engages that audience with a skilled flow and sexually aggressive lyricism that converts them into real fans. That combination of what people commonly associate women rappers with and the “unexpected” genuine skill she possesses sparked a “hot girl summer” that future generations will credit their creation to and earned the 24-year-old a Roc Nation record deal.  On the music side of things, women rappers differ from the most publicized path set by Nicki Minaj and mastered by the likes of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.  Russell Wilson paired his legs with his arm to become a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and the highest paid player in the NFL — a formula that Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson are currently replicating.  The future is bright for women in rap, and it looks like they will be shining alongside black quarterbacks in the NFL, as names like Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Teddy Bridgewater all look like potential franchise quarterbacks. The top three passing touchdown leaders, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott, are all Black. Two more — Jacoby Brissett and Russell Wilson — rank in the top 10, making half of the top 10 scoring quarterbacks in the league Black. Black quarterbacks and women rappers have been cast aside in their industries for as long as I can remember. In the past, every now and then a Cam Newton or a Nicki Minaj would claw their way to the top, but the recent widespread successes of their peers is making the climb a lot less steep for future generations.last_img