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“We play our way, I’m proud to be me”: Masked Performance Among Contemporary Female Rappers — A Talk by Amber West
April 24 @ 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
“We play our way, I’m proud to be me”: Masked Performance Among Contemporary Female Rappers
A Talk by Amber West
Sunday, April 24, 2022
3:00 PM EST
Online via Zoom
Amber West is a poet, educator, public arts and humanities producer, and feminist scholar. Recently, she created and directed Whitmania, the largest commemoration of Walt Whitman’s bicentennial west of the Mississippi. West has published two poetry collections, Daughter Eraser (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and Hen & God (The Word Works, 2017), and performed her poetry and “puppet poems” nationally. A number of hip-hop artists have utilized masks since at least the early 1990s, perhaps most notably MC Humpty Hump and MF Doom. Until quite recently, masked rappers were exclusively male. Since around 2015, some female rappers have begun wearing masks, including Brooklyn’s Leikeli47 and Italy’s Myss Keta, both of whom perform and appear in public only while masked. This research-in-progress presentation focuses on the unique material conditions for women rappers in today’s music industry, and how their use of masks functions within this context.