The exhibit, “Women in Hip Hop,” showcases female MCs across time within the male-dominated genre. It is part of Toronto’s annual Myseum Intersections Festival and features interactive galleries with performances, videos, and mixed-media that spotlights how gender, race, sexuality, and ability collide for women in the industry.
Directed by Mathew Guido, the music video features recorded performances of each artist’s individual songs combined together. Exmiranda performs “Fresh Fro”, DijahSB raps their song “Control,” and Keysha Fresh performs “Red Cups.” The video highlights the exhibit’s goal of changing the narrative surrounding female MCs by creating a space to discuss challenges rooted in misogynoir while also uplifting talented artists.
“Historically, the contributions of Black women in this creative space have been shamed, suppressed, and minimized thanks to racism and misogyny,” says rapper Brittany “Exmiranda” Manu, the project lead and curator. “As a rapper who has experienced this firsthand, I want to celebrate the indispensable and trendsetting contributions of Black Women in hip-hop culture.”
“Without most of the women in hip-hop there would be no Dij, paying that homage is very important,” Dijah SB says of the project. “We are all influences of someone at this point, and these women we chose to celebrate, they have led the way.”
Keysha Freshh adds that women have been present in hip-hop since its inception. “It’s important for me to continue to push the boundaries of what a female [MC] looks like, and my lifelong commitment to this artform is to make sure that our women legends are never forgotten,” she says. “I’m honoured to link up with my sisters and push this culture forward and be that representation in Canada for the generation coming up next. This project has put us at the forefront and I’m grateful to be part of it.”
“Women in Hip Hop” runs until June 30 at the Collision Gallery. The digital exhibition is available to view online now, with pieces on display from nine different Toronto artists.