If Women Ran Hip Hop

Anya DeLeón













An African American/Puerto Rican award-winning spoken word artist, DeLeón is an activist and teacher born in 1967.


If Women Ran Hip Hop (adapted and excerpted)

If women ran hip hop
the beats and rhymes would be just as dope,
but there would never be a bad vibe when you walked in the place
and the clubs would be beautiful and smell good
and the music would never be too loud
but there would be free earplugs available anyway
and venues would have skylights and phat patios
and shows would run all day not just late at night
cuz if women ran hip hop we would have nothing to be ashamed of
and there would be an African marketplace
with big shrines to Oya
Yoruba deity of the female warrior and entrepreneur
and women would sell and barter and prosper

If women ran hip hop
there would never be shootings
cuz there would be onsite conflict mediators
to help work through all that negativity and hostility
and there would also be counselors to help you make decisions
about safe sex or no sex, do I really want to have sex with him or her?
and there would be safe, reliable, low cost 24 hour transportation home
and every venue would have on-site quality child care
where kids could sleep while grown folk danced
and all shows would be all ages cause the economy of hip hop wouldn't
revolve around the sale of

If women ran hip hop
everybody would respect everybody without gender bias
and females would dress sexy if we wanted to celebrate
our bodies
but it wouldn't be that important because
everyone would be paying attention to our minds,

If women ran hip hop
men would be relieved because it’s so draining
to keep up that front of toughness and power and
 control 24-7

….If women ran hip hop
there would be social workers available to refer gangsta
to 21-day detox programs where they could get clean
   and sober
from violence and misogyny

but best of all if women ran hip-hop
we would have the dopest female emcees ever
because all the young women afraid to bust
would unleash their brilliance on the world

cause its time for the reclaiming of hip-hop.