"When you make a space safe for Black women, it's safe for everyone."

Rebekah Farrugia and Kellie D. Hay recently published Women Rapping Revolution: Hip Hop and Community Building in Detroit to point out and emphasize how women are marginalized and written out of Hip Hop histories. Building on creative scholarly work and activism by Tricia Rose, Bettina L. Love, Raquel Z. Rivera, and Rosa Clemente, "Rebekah Farrugia and Kellie D. Hay draw on seven years of fieldwork to illuminate the important role that women have played in mobilizing a grassroots response to political and social pressures at the heart of Detroit's ongoing renewal and development project. Focusing on the Foundation, a women-centered hip hop collective, Women Rapping Revolution argues that the hip hop underground is a crucial site where Black women shape subjectivity and claim self-care as a principle of community organizing. Through interviews and sustained critical engagement with artists and activists, this study also articulates the substantial role of cultural production in social, racial, and economic justice efforts."

An article published in Detour Detroit explains,

"From 2011 to 2018, they followed the Foundation of Women in Hip Hop, conducting interviews with artists like Will See and Miz Korona, attending open nights, copaneling at conferences and even performing. The book is set in the crowded performances that have been put on hold during the pandemic, but rooted in the community building and movement work that continues off-stage."

The Foundation of Women in Hip Hop was co-founded by Nina Payne and Piper Carter:

"The Foundation's music and cultural organizing challenge dominant ideologies, particularly those that presuppose that Detroit's revival requires the erasure of working-class Black people," write Farrugia and Hays. "Hip hop's phallocentric/male identified worldview is also wrenched open." 

[The Foundation] is a cultural revolution which crosses borders, links diverse communities, inspires ideas, influences behaviors, & encourages dialogues through art. We explore the historical, present & future context, dynamics, impacts, & potential of hip­ hop music & culture on Women, by bringing together leading figures to produce media, music, film & educational opportunities aimed at creating cross cultural exchange focusing on redefining the vital role of Women in Hip Hop.

Check out this podcast interview with the authors by lee Pierce of the New Book in Music Network.