[Alright, @shannonl5, I'm using Ladies' Week as an opportunity to talk about one of my favorite Filipina emcees]
I grew up listening to hip hop. My brother and I would sit in our bedroom, playing video games, with music in the background. And while whatever we were listening to was great, as I got older, I wanted to listen to hip hop I could really identify with.
Throughout my late teens, I came across a collective of Filipino emcees who wrote songs about more socially/politically conscious issues. It was a real validating experience for me because I finally got to hear music from the Filipino-American perspective. I stopped feeling so alone.
One of the many emcees I followed over the past almost-decade is Rocky Rivera. I enjoy everything about her music. She's aware of her position as a female emcee and, I think, she's using music as a way to empower and influence others positively.
One of her most recent releases, Nom de Guerre, includes a song titled called Godsteppin' (above). And her opening lines hit hard and fast. She declares that she isn't just [insert label]. She successfully addresses the issues while giving agency to those who feel like they are just the label that other people place on them.
I can't really speak on how her verses may affect women of color (since I was born male and have all the privilege of a male) and that being said, I won't really speak on that subject. But I can say that I, personally, find her music inspiring and empowering -- if that means anything to you.
I hope you guys listen and enjoy this song and hopefully the rest of her album.