Hip Hop Authors Kathy Iandoli & Sowmya Krishnamurthy Refute Joe Budden’s “Female Rap Wave” Comment

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After Joe Budden‘s claim that the “female rap wave is over” during the latest episode of the Joe Budden Podcast, renowned hip-hop journalists Kathy Iandoli and Sowmya Krishnamurthy defended women’s hip-hop on X.

Although he excluded Latto, Flo Milli, and Rapsody, Budden tells co-hosts, “Y’all ain’t gonna want to hear it from me, but the girl rapper wave is over. Just telling you what it is. I’m normally a few months ahead with this stuff, sometimes a few years ahead with this stuff. The girl rapper wave is finito.”

“The cream rises to the top, so Latto shall remain; Flo Milli shall remain; Rapsody will always be there, but she wasn’t really a part of [that scene],” he explained. “But all of that, ‘Go find a girl, send her to Colombia, get it done, put her in the studio with f**king Mike WiLL [Made-It] or any one of them n***as… all that planting the girl in the scene, getting the record and it taking off—that wave is over.”

He concluded with: “I think labels are looking at it like, ‘Very few of y’all are selling records, it’s too much work to get your coin back, we got to go do brand deals all over the world with y’all, y’all are expensive, some of y’all are annoying,’ and none of these records are working.”

Iandoli and Krishnamurthy refuted Budden’s claim on X. Krishnamurthy began the response by critiquing the lack of industry people in the conversation. She tweets: “The problem with Joe Budden is that nobody in the room has any industry knowledge to ever challenge him. 1. Rap has been in an overall slump re: chart hits. Male and female. 2. Female rappers dominate TikTok. 3. Catalog is crushing frontline as a business. It’s not 2002, Joe.”

Budden’s listeners were addressed by her next tweet, “I can’t imagine being a ‘music commentator’ and not learning what’s actually going on.”. The lack of research and analysis is so bad. I feel bad for the listeners.”

Iandoli joined with reference to her book about Women’s Hip-Hop, God Save The Queens, as she had hoped the culture wouldn’t “label” female rap as a fad. She tweets with Budden’s clip,  “When I did my interviews for God Save The Queens five years ago, I said that I hope people don’t just disregard women in Hip-Hop as some wave like oh we have Mumble Rap, we have Women Rap. And here we are. Women are NOT a subgenre. This is reductive AF.”

Iandoli discussed women’s hip-hop issues and answered questions from followers. When asked if the genre was saturated, she explained:

“I think it’s because women have been given so few chances to succeed in the past that the number of success stories is now looking ‘alarming’ when really they are still way outnumbered by all of the men out here. Women are applying pressure and making people uncomfortable.”

Iandoli responded to Budden’s neglect of women’s hip-hop contributions to the culture with a tweet. She tells a user, “Funny how he didn’t address that women increase the shock value of their raps once they’re surrounded by mediocre incel males who attempt to objectify them first. Maybe he should look at that with his microscope first and see it’s all reactionary.”

As Iandoli answers followers, Krishnamurthy addressed the double standard. Sowmya tweets, “I love the double standards and dissection that comes with discussing female rappers. Not an ounce of the same smoke for their male counterparts.  Just say you hate women and let’s move on.”

Sowmya used the opportunity to question the current definition of mainstream rap in a tweet. “​​It’s also a good time to discuss what mainstream rap even is any more,” she said. “The niche artists are killing it with dedicated followings.”

When asked about talking to Joe Budden on the podcast, she answered, “That offer is always on the table. I usually don’t agree with Joe Budden but I’m always down to dialogue if he likes being challenged . Talk to @Ian_Schwartzman.”

Kathy Iandoli and Sowmya Krishnamurthy are releasing new books in 2024 that capture the most impactful moments in hip-hop history. Legendary entertainer Eve and Iandoli collaborate on a memoir titled Who’s That Girl, set for release in September. The upcoming memoir adds to Iandoli’s run of hip-hop books, which includes God Save The Queens, Baby Girl: Better Known As Aaliyah, and the upcoming Lil Kim memoir The Queen Bee.

Krishnamurthy published her first book, Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion, in October 2023. Fashion media giants Elle, Interview, and Harper’s Baazar profiled her debut. She announced her second book in January titled Roc-A-Fella Records: An American Rap Dynasty, which explores the success of the iconic record label that produced Jay-Z, Kanye West, and more.