What kind of responsibility do female artists have to the younger generation? I sometimes get frustrated by the dual messages some female artists display. On the one hand they spout that they are empowered but frame themselves into scantily clad unrealistic props made for the sole purpose of shock value and entertaining male fantasies. Are these images actually empowering to women? Some might argue that a woman dressed in near nothing is empowering but how can it be when it relies so heavily on what is seen as attractive by men. Their lyrics are sometimes worse. Sex sells and some female artists have sold out.
Where do girls go when that is not the image that they want to become? I do believe there is a responsibility that women artists should hold in their music and how they portray themselves. They carry the weight of future girls that will aspire to be something in the world. It’s too easy for some black women artists to give into the pressure and conform into the stereotypical mold of video girl but what is that doing for future generations of girls. What are we turning them into? Young black women have adopted styles and attitudes that seem to come along with the music without really asking themselves if this is who they are or if this is what they want.
But I’ve been listening to a new album. Chrisjay is a black female rapper who’s music speaks of freedom, self discovery and awakening. Her debut EP is a mix of christian inspiration, love and hopes for the future. It’s the kind of music more young woman should be listening to. Her lyrics are authentic and lead the listener into complicated truths that challenge them to look at life deeper. As she weaves the stories of many young women through her album you get the sense that big sister is looking out for you. Like Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation did so many years ago. ChrisJay is not afraid to tackle important social issues that effect women today while giving them glimpses of the hope that awaits them in Christ.
Her sound has an old school feel that will draw you back to simpler times. I honestly felt transported back to the days when I could vibe with the music and not have to worry about what negative things the lyrics of the song were saying about me. ChrisJay has an obvious investment in the future and empowers young women with her gift. If you’re interested in checking out her music you can get it here
check out this sample:
I’m thankful that artists like ChrisJay exist. It means that we can rest assured that a generation of informed and wise young women can still emerge.
Nana Abraham is a speaker, youth activist and author of For Black Girls: The Shaping of a Young Woman– a handbook for life that discusses relevant issues for young women today.