It’s a cliche but poignant theory that hip-hop is essentially a male dominated field dominated by male ideologies that often come in the form of misogyny and female objectification. In retrospect, it would be safe to say that this is not just a theory but an actual fact.
Women’s place in hip-hop has been a volatile one. Although they were right along with the men building the foundation for the music, they have somehow become second class citizens in their own native land. With anchor femcees like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, and Rah Digga, women have long fought for a respectable place to call home.
Unfortunately, with hip-hop losing the battle against the materialistic instincts of its alter ego, Rap, the plight of women in hip-hop has reach a crucial climax. Many would argue that their role as been reduced to video girl vixens and silver tongued sex kittens. Long gone are the days where everyone was encouraged to have fun and do their own thing — hip-hop has been forced into a corner and, subsequently, female rappers have been forced into an even smaller corner.
But no one puts Nyemiah Supreme in a corner.
Born and raised on the Southside of Jamaica, Queens, the 22 year old dancer turned rap star is set to spearhead a generation of young femcees who are keen on embodying style without sacrificing their substance. Taking cue from those aforementioned anchor MCs of the 90s, Nyemiah Supreme seeks to resurrect an era where females knew how to have fun while still addressing the issues. An era where a female rapper sought to impress you with her lyricism and not her “assets”. An era where artists — no matter the genre — made work that was meant to enlighten as well as entertain.
“I feel like [women] actually have an opportunity, a chance… they see Nicki and there’s a lot of eyes looking like she’s there but then they are like, ‘What else is there?’ They don’t want to only see one… there’s just a lot more options for us right know, everyone has their ears open… and there’s a lot of us at the same time which is going to better than just one at once.” – Nyemiah Supreme.
A while away from last year’s Bad mixtape and gearing up to release new material, we met with Nyemiah (Pronounced Nye-e-mah) during a muggy June afternoon at the Highline on the Westside. Nyemiah, with a small group in tow, was like lightning in a bottle; capable of fireworks but contained overall. Her voice had a self-assured tone but was masked with a pleasant shyness. She had a charming aura of calm. She took herself seriously but was personable as personable can be.
Supremacy braids gleaming in the summer sun, Nyemiah took up a seat and proceeded to discuss her artistic process and what it means to be Supreme.