Friday, the White House Council on Women and Girls hosted an all-day summit to examine ways to improve the lives of women and girls of color. Prior to the event, the Obama Administration announced $118 million in assistance from public and private groups to improve the lives of women and girls of color across America.
As a part of the event, Charlene Carruthers, Executive Director of the Black Youth Project 100, and Dr. Johnnetta B Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, moderated a panel on women’s vulnerability and voices in hip hop.
The wide-ranging conversation included discussions about misogyny, women’s voices in hip hop, sexism, and which rappers lyrics are more in line with feminism.
According to legendary female rapper MC Lyte, Fetty Wap is the most feminist rapper in the business today.
“He may have a very unique way of presenting his ideas, but he does love women,” Lyte said. “For what he’s up against in this climate with all of the other emcees, he’s taking a stand. He’s being pretty courageous right now with what it is he presents in his music because it’ really not the norm.”
MC Lyte went on to name check artists like Kendrick Lamar, Common, and Talib Kweli for their positive lyrics, but said we should commend artists like Fetty Wap who are “able to get their message out without degrading [their] sister.”
Lyte challenged rappers who engage in misogynistic music to stop dissing women because those lyrics remain forever.
“There’s a woman in the lives of these men that have done right by them. To persecute every woman publicly forever on the mic in the way that it’s being done today is not fair,” she said.
Lyte continued: “We have to give these good men a change in the hopes they will develop to be something else in the future,” Lyte said, explaining she’s developed as an artist. “The more you understand that you’re not just rocking for the block, that thee words are going out across the entire globe, you have to take responsibility and accountability.”
This isn’t the first time someone has called Fetty Wap a feminist. Writing for Feministing, Sesali B said the New Jersey rapper was “bringing romance to trap music” and argued his penchant for expressing his love for women is “pretty radical in the context of songs like ‘Love No Thotties‘ and ‘Freak No More.'”
Whether Fetty Wap is a feminist or not is unclear, but his unabashed appreciation for women–and his willingness to say so out loud–is quite refreshing among a generation of men who proudly scream, “These hoes ain’t loyal.”