March is International Women’s Month, a month that recognizes the role of women as leaders, powerhouses and change-makers. HipHopCanada has been incredibly committed to dedicating this month to tell the stories of women in the arts.
I spent the last few weeks focusing on conversations around women whenever I would encounter a man open to the conversation, either through my volunteer work in the jails or working with artists through public relations. It was an honor to speak with some of Canadian hip-hop’s power players about the strong women in their lives and the emotion that came with it.
Of course, mothers are the ultimate respected woman in hip-hop, but here was the chance to pay homage to sisters, grandmothers and daughters as well.
A big thank-you to all who were involved.
“My sister basically became my mother. The first one to bail me out of jail and the one attend my graduation. I’m alive because of her.” – CJ, Inmate
“My mother, she showed me a lot about the reality of life in general. My mother showed me how to adapt in a room full of vultures.” – Northside Benji
“The first woman whose heart I broke. I still have regret to this day. She influenced me to do better everyday – I just wish she knew it.” – Jason K., Inmate
“The most influential woman in my life is my mother. A hard working immigrant that had to do it on her own most of her life but figured it out. In the future, I hope my daughter will influence a new generation to do better, be better and feel better in whatever field they’re in.” – Rich Kidd
“My aunt because she knew how to reason with me” – JB, Inmate
“My mom raised two bad boys on her own to become men with respect, honor, principal, etc – things you would expect to learn from a man we learned from a woman. So for that, she gets flowers on Father’s Day too!” – Luu Breeze
“The most influential woman in my life by far is definitely my mother. She is a strong woman, single parent, who raised her kids the right way in a high risk neighbourhood. One thing growing up my mother always instilled in my head was ‘first impression is a lasting impression’ meaning your first impression with someone with 9/10 times be the impression that last with them for life. I use this quote in my everyday life for everything and anything. She’s superwoman. – NojokeJigsaw
“Any woman who gets out of bed in this world that overly sexualizes and takes advantage of women is my hero” – P.I., Inmate
“My mother, her work ethic, selflessness and unconditional love for me taught me how to treat and appreciate women.” – Friyie
“My mother always told me, don’t use what other people did to you as a crutch for the rest of your life.” – 100watts
“The most influential female artist in my life is Alessia Cara. Alessia Cara because her music is very moving and always delivers a positive message for young people. – Pengz
“My career is built around making songs about women. My mothers abilities in visual arts was the first thing to inspire me as a child. With practice and patience, I could create these memorable things in peoples lives. And someone currently influencing my life is Marina Abramovic. She said, ‘if you draw with your right hand and you get really good, to the point where you can draw with your eyes closed, switch to your left hand.’ And it stuck. Me going into the high fashion world or now having BSTL Talent Management is just that, drawing with my left.” – NEENYO
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