Nov 1-3. Rapping Latinas

This week we considered contradictory angles of the work of raperas or rapping latinas and their ties (or lack thererof) to religion: repression of sexuality, divinity, ritual, congregation, being a mujer pública vs being a virgen, gender disparities, talking back, dealing with overwhelming masculinist presences. The links to music videos by Nira Clandestine, Macha Colón, and Becky G (with Ivy Queen presiding in the heading image) served as inspiration by some of the best comments you brought about gender, the presence of the female body in the rapping stage and in the barrio, displaying bodily strength and resistance.

To gather your thoughts on this week’s readings and discussion, I asked that you consider three questions: a) what is rap, and what is a rapera?; b) name three raperas (not female rappers, but raperas); and c) link one music video of any of these three raperas with a comment on how you see that rapera write with her rap art.

For this blogpost there is NO deadline. You can post it any time before the end of the semester.


  1. Rap, to me, is a form of non-normative poetic expression of the human experience. Rap in the conventional understanding is associated with cisgender, straight men and is most notably an art within the black community (at least in its conception). Anyone can rap, though raperas, Latina rappers, utilize this art form as a way to reverse the narrative; for, by engaging in the form of art that the cishet, male system uses, raperas may lay claim to a sort of reappropriation for themselves. Additionally, they may also be able to offer sociopolitical critiques through the embodiment of the art form, thereby hopefully contesting whatever narratives of Latinas have been immortalized in the words of their cishet Latino counterparts. Three examples of raperas include Mala Rodriguez, Ana Puello, and Ana Tijoux. I link here the video to Ana Tijoux’s “Antifa Dance,” a sociopolitical critique of society, politics, and the heteropatriarchal society in which we all function. Through dance, Tijoux exclaims that one may fully open up and live in the world and contest the social confines that define Latinas.

  2. My working definition of rap is that it is an uninhibited verbal form of expression that is a combination of music and SLAM poetry. Furthermore, to me, rap is a rapid, almost instinctive, and incisive, rhythmic commentary on something or someone of importance to the rapper, that has implications and resonations for the larger human experience. Although rap has historically been associated with, and popularized by straight male African-American artists, rap to me, is not exclusively meant to embody, epitomize, or depict the Black experience. Today, there are a wide variety of rap artists around the world of different ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders. Ultimately, I believe that the immense popularity of rap, both in production and in reception, is because as an art form, it allows rappers to make a social, political, or personal commentary and statement of consequence.
    Raperas, or Latina rappers, are able to reclaim an equal footing with men, and empower themselves as productive members of society that have the potential, talent, and determination to make their voices, beliefs, struggles, and frustrations heard, through their raps. The socio-political critiques and evaluations of raperas are imperative in helping reverse the patriarchal, misogynist, and sexist narrative propagated by numerous straight male rappers. Three examples of raperas include Gailen La Moyeta, Ariana Puello, and Milka La Mas Dura. Here is the link to Picante by Milka La Mas Dura: This is an empowering song, in my opinion, because Dura candidly, and uninhibitedly expresses her views on her reaction when she is tried to be silenced by men. She reminds me of Cardi B in some ways, because she is unafraid of provocative and controversial lyrics such as “Calma negro, ‘tese quieto porque usted no sabe de e’to…Por má’ que me tiren yo le apuesto que no me superan e’to…” because they represent how she truly feels, and are vital for gender egalitarianism.

  3. Rap to me is a form of story telling, it is a form in which people can express pain, loss, confidence, or even love. Many find that rap is something that is aggressive or inappropriate to listen to. However, for me it conveys a story and I am able to connect with it, and it helps others connect with their stories as well. A lot of Black male rappers rap about sex, drugs, women, or love, but others write about the struggle, poverty, pressure to survive, violence, and even death. These stories about the “come up” are inspiring and necessary for the people who are listening. It gives these people something to relate to or to even feel less alone. Rap is a powerful tool of story telling and it helps to lessen loneliness in ones life. Raperas is the one conveying the story, they are the story teller. Three raperas are Ariana Puello, Mala Rodriguez, and Danay Suerez. This song Dejando al Mundo by Danay Suerez is a form of rap because of her telling her story of finding the right path and idolization. Her song ties concept of religion, God, and who shapes us. It is deeper than just music but it is a form of expressing existential frustration about who we really are and who do we belong to.

  4. To me, rap is an art form. It is a means of expression where someone can write about their experiences, suffering, and other emotions. I grew up listening to rap with an older brother from east LA that would blast 2Pac and Easy-E. A lot of people like to generalize rap as just lyrics about sex, drugs, violence, and alcohol and while those themes are very prominent in rap, it’s important to understand rappers backgrounds and how they are expressing what they know and how they grew up. I like to think of rap as a form of story telling. A rapera is a Latina rapper that is defying all the boundaries of gender norms and typical societal rules for Latinas. I am a huge reggaetonera. It’s my favorite genre of music, I listen to it all day everyday and I hate that there are very few women in the industry. Reggaeton especially newer music is very sexual and it is completely okay for male rappers to talk so heavily about women and sex but women are totally criticized for doing so particularly in Latin cultures. Some of my favorite raperas that embody confidence and strength are Karol G, Natti Natasha, and Cardi B. I linked one of my favorite Karol G songs, 200 Copas.( This song is very different than some of her other ones where she expresses and embraces her sensuality. In this song she writes to a friend who is struggling in a relationship, “Amiga, deja solo a ese payaso
    Si le pagan por hacerte sufrir ya sería millonario” I love this song so much because it speaks to all women to be strong and value themselves. It encourages women to not be blinded by love or let yourself be hurt in a relationship because you are worth more and deserve better.

  5. When I think of rap I think of storytelling. That story could be about someone’s experiences, their hopes and dreams, it could be about their trauma and what made them stronger, or it could just be full of jokes. Rap is a genre created and made extremely diverse by Black people, it inspires, reassures, and surprises. When I think of rapera’s I think of Latina’s taking a part in a tradition of making their voices heard. To be a woman rapper is to always be underestimated and have to break boundaries, I assume the same for Latina rapera’s. Three raperas are Melymel, Milka La Mas Dura, and Danay Suárez, who each have their own unique sound and style. I wanted to highlight Melymel’s video, “Donde Estuviera” ( In it she talks about her identity as a rapera, juxtaposing her rapera self with a more formal looking business woman. She explains that she couldn’t be anyone but herself and through her confidence inspires other Latinas to be themselves.

  6. Rap is just some rhythmic rhyming spoken word poetry. It’s a Black art form that has been widely appreciated and appropriated. Often full of social commentary, usually a reflection of power dynamics. A rapera is a Latina who raps, which is pretty notable in a genre dominated by (non-Hispanic Black) men and that celebrates masculinity.

    Some raperas I know of include Rico Nasty, Princess Nokia, and Young MA. Here’s a link to Rico Nasty’s song “Rojo:” Rico Nasty – Rojo (Officia Musicl Video)
    In an interview, Rico Nasty mentioned this song as one example of her incorporating Spanish in her lyrics (as she did with her stage name) to invoke her maternal Latinidad. She mentioned feeling isolated from non-Black latines but still appreciating the culture, retaining pride in her Puerto Rican heritage. I found this pretty interesting as someone who is pretty disconnected from their Latinidad. I also like how seamlessly the flashes of Spanish fit into the vibe of the song and the aesthetic of the music video. The lyrics aren’t particularly insightful, but they reflect a fun reclamation of the masculine energy so often found in rap.

  7. Based on my perspective, rap is an artistic and rhythmic genre of music that is often fast paced. Rap focuses on discussing one’s experiences and hardships. A rapera is more than a female rapper; Raperas are strong and confident women that compose and/or perform rap music. These women are often considered icons due to their strong personas and willingness to stand up for what they believe in. Three of my favorite raperas include: Becky G, Natti Natasha, and Karol G.
    “Mayores” is one of my favorite songs by Becky G. In this song and in much of her other music, Becky G presents herself as a sexy and confident woman that knows what she wants.

  8. A)Rap is a style of music focused around rhythm and lyrical play to create a very spontaneous musical experience. A defining characteristic of rap is that it is totally free form and is not restricted by any musical theory system. Rap can be a vehicle for any message and there are countless different subgenres within rap that have formed based on the variations in the beat, message, and style of different types of rap. A rapera is a female latina artist who seeks to express her own lived experiences, often sharing similar forms of social oppression as African Americans, through rap. A rapera will try to recast the genre of rap in her own image to reflect her ideas in the way that she feels best, rather than try to fit into the stereotypical hypermasculine delivery of mostly minority men.
    B)Mestiza, Gabylonia, and Farina are three raperas.
    I see Mestiza’s performance as reclaiming a classic masculine-style aggressive rap music video format as her own and using it to express her own message as equally legitimate and to be taken just as seriously.

  9. When I listen to rap, I listen for the story that the rapper is trying to get across. Usually, one scale that rappers are judged on is their storytelling abilities and that’s what differentiates rap from other genres of music, in my opinion. Raperas, being Latina artists can tell their story through their music through experiences and events they voice what other latinas might be unable to. Some raperas include Ivy Queen, Ana Tijoux, and Melymel. This video of “Somos Sur” by Ana Tijoux (, is inspiring and focuses on liberation of all the oppressed. Ana focuses on her indigenous roots and uplifts those who are forced into silence. Her music focuses on social problems and struggles as she hopes to inspire people to stand up for themselves regardless.

  10. Rap is a genre of music that can easily be translated into pieces of poetic art, easily able to tell a story. It was difficult to define what a rapera is, For example, when speaking about Rosalia, one would consider her to be a prominent Latina singer who has partnered up with various raperos. Therefore, one would think, on the surface level, that she is a rapera. Last year, a group of Latinas in my class did not agree with the statement of Rosalia being considered a rapera. They stated she was creating an image of her that wasn’t related to her white mainland Spanish heritage. This suggests a racial complexity involved when defining a rapera. Yet many Latinx artists do not stay in one genre of music often flowing and mixing genres making it more difficult to pinpoint what a rapera is. Natti Natasha, to me, is considered as one of the first popular rapperas often appearing with other popular rapperos while standing on her own( ). Further, when thinking of a rappera versus a rappero, double standards are apparent in what is acceptable according to society and those in the music industry. Cardi B was a prominent figure in our class discussion to talk about these double standards. Often, rapperos’ music is very graphic but goes unaddressed and easily sung along to. Cardi B’s music and appearance is often commented on as ‘too much’ rather than listeners and observers focusing on the content of her music and in turn she responds to these assumptions placed onto her.

  11. To me, rap is a form of expression in which one should have an acquired taste to interpret lyrics so quickly. It is an outlet for nonnormative vocal artistry, as I remember discussing with a classmate. A rapera is a Latina who fiercely expresses herself through rap, rather than staying quiet and following suit. She does not submit to society’s expectations and forces people to hear her voice. I think before this class, I never considered the challenges a Latina may face as she navigates her way into and through the rap world. But, to go against the interpretations and concepts like marianismo, it must be a challenge to feel comfortable being so bold. I can see a rapera being a role model for younger Latinas in our generation because we are already more outspoken and do not condone inequality nearly as much as others have. Three raperas I know of are Mestiza, Ivy Queen, and Milka La Más Dura.
    One music video I enjoy watching is for the song “Puedo Hacerlo” by the rapera Mestiza ( I see her as someone who is not afraid to tell her story about how she got into her position and who wants to uplift others. Through her words and this song, she makes it clear who her audience and encourages the listener to say “puedo hacerlo” about themselves. I see it as an affirmation and continuously reminding yourself that you can achieve whatever goal you have, despite what society says or thinks. I can tell that she does not want others to doubt themselves the same way she, a rapera, has in the past.

  12. Rap is a style of music that falls within the category of HipHop. The origins of rap begin in storytelling and self expression. It was a platform for artists to vent in a rhythmic, poetic form. In many cases, it has also been known to provoke conversation and thought amongst its listeners whether it be in a controversial light or not. A rapera is a Latina rapper. The difference here is the intersectionality of being a woman from Latin America, who is a part of the male dominated music industry. Raperas are viewed in a drastically different way than other rappers are because of the sexualization of women and the violent nature that the male gaze imposes on them. Three raperas that I know of are Ivy Queen, Karol G, and Cardi B.
    I chose this song Me Gusta by Anitta ft Cardi B and Myke Towers

    In this song, Cardi B talks explicitly about the male gaze and basically dismisses it entirely by stating that she is more interested in money. I cannot think of many times where I have heard Cardi B refer to sex outside of when she has sexual control over a man or is in a position of power over a man. The entire video she seems to be empowered and uses optimal power poses throughout her verse. In her verse, she also talks about “having the seasoning of an Afro Latina,” which I found to be a very nice way of bringing a bit of visibility to Afro Latinas through her art and platform.

  13. To me, there are a few factors that make up the genre of rap, but I think they all fall under the umbrella of authenticity. First is lyrics; and by this I mostly mean self-written lyrics. I think one of the most distinctive qualities of rap is the authenticity of the lyrics, and it’s really hard to get that message across when you have some huge Hollywood producer writing generic lyrics behind the scenes. Next, is delivery and style. Some, if not most, rappers have a distinct voice or flow that tells people it’s their song, even if they may not necessarily be fans of the artist. Again, to me, rap is all about authenticity and artists that have more individuality in their music convey that better than those that just try to blend into the industry. So, raperas are latin women in the industry that follow all these things, but also talk about women- specific issues.

    I don’t really listen to rap, especially Latin rap, so coming up with a rapera is kind of difficult to come up with. Three raperas I can think of are Karol G, Becky G, and Cardi B. One of my favorite songs by Becky G is Mayores ( First, the lyrics express what she looks for in a man, even though it may be different than what society expects women to want. Then the music video shows her taking control in the bedroom, even though that is usually the man’s “job.” He wanted to take advantage of her, but she flipped the script and took advantage of him and took his money.

  14. Rap is a genre of music that aims to tell the story of the daily lives of communities formed by minority groups and it is targeted to people from that community. It began on the streets and it belongs to the streets. It is a genre that seeks the truth and seeks to talk about realties and narratives that have been silenced by mainstream media. Raperas are women that embody this feeling and this style. It is different from women that rap, and do it for the music and not because they lived in these realities. In Brazil, there is an interesting intersection between rap and a genre called funk, which has increasingly become more popular. Three raperas that I really enjoy are: Anitta, MC Carol and Carol Konka. I believe they are women that came from the “real” Brazil and aim to bridge the gap between that Brazil and the one in people’s imagination. They are also women that are activists for women empowerment and have led the movement brilliantly in Brazil. the following song is by MC Carol, and it is more explicitly about female empowerment and self acceptance. MC Carol talks about her frustration of not finding make-up shades for her skin tone and walking in a mall and not finding any clothes for her size.

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