By Kristina Norgard
The necessary and inevitable gush of women to claim their thrones at the mainstream Hip-Hop/Rap table has arguably been increasing in prevalence lately more than ever before. With new faces such as Megan Thee Stallion, City Girls, and Rico Nasty to name a few names of many talented women. The reclamation of the traditionally upheld and male-defined trope of women in this genre, has been led by none other than young Black women, which has resulted in empowering, exciting and even relieving music for listeners worldwide.
These songs are powerful messages that extremely assist in furthering the narrative of what women are capable of doing. To that same extent, it has also caused outrage at the sight of women in power enjoying their wealth, confidence, and sexuality – something that has been normalized for men to do without a second thought. The misogynistic and laughable criticism has only completed the critic’s opposite goal in garnering more well-deserved power and success for these women. Songs by these talented and respectable artists have instantly become popular on the video-sharing social media platform, TikTok, prompting immediate numerical increases in the listening, sharing and searching of these artists.
A debut album by one of these new faces recently dropped and all 12 tracks have been undeniably glorious. The 20-year-old, Tamia Monique Carter, also known as her stage name: Flo Milli, released her debut album, “Ho, why is you here ?” on July 24, 2020.
The ethereal Carter, who is the same age as many students at St. Mary’s, has already at her young age accumulated plentiful and well-deserved excitement, enthusiasm and attention for her album. She makes this fact prominent on her track, “19,” reiterating the fact that she “got rich at the age of nineteen.” This lyric is just the tip of the iceberg that is the album. The iceberg being the elaborate celebration of feminine wealth, success, power, sexuality and all while women have a good time doing it.
Lyrically, Carter is beyond gifted and is the definition of the captivating union of wordsmithing and rhythm. It is clear that this album was created with not only special care but extensive talent and knowledge of her craft. Part of this clarity is apparent in the example of gender-role reversing lyrics to claim space for women in rap. In the third track of the album, “Like That B*tch,” Carter takes the common metaphor in the genre “married to the money,” often used to show that men can and should choose to prioritize money over their relationships, usually with women. In the example verse, “I’m ’bout to get married and you already know that Benjamin Franklin the groom,” Carter reclaims this metaphor of choosing to prioritize the dedication, ownership and pride of self-earned wealth as a woman over a committed relationship to a man with the metaphor of the face of the hundred dollar bill, Benjamin Franklin, as the groom of her wedding.
“Beef FloMix” and “In the Party,” are currently the most listened to tracks on the album, both were released as singles in 2019 gaining renown on TikTok. They both set the mood for the rest of the album, a more-than-confident proclamation of self-precedence that transitions into the sphere of endless femme capability. Each song on the album exudes this addicting energy. A personal favorite off the album is the ninth track, “May I.” The fast-paced song is not only fun, intimidating and catchy but has the capability to transport the listener into the membership of Flo Milli’s girl-group, strutting exuberant determination and self-pride.
“Ho, why is you here ?” is a vital piece of the reclamation of the female narrative in Hip/Hop and Rap and is a record to play for feminine confidence and empowerment, as well as playful fun. As a young rapper fresh off this triumphant debut, the near present is sure to hold more impressive and defining albums as well as hopefully some exciting powerful collaborations with other accomplished artists in Carter’s inescapably successful career. Flo Milli is for sure one to look out for in the future as she will undoubtedly go down in history with her clever lyrics and dominating beats.