Filmmaker Dream Hampton Says Female Rappers No Longer Need Male Co-Signs

Journalist-turned-filmmaker dream Hampton joined the Source as a 19-year-old photo editor, and he first opinion piece she wrote for the publication in 1991 covered N.W.A.’s Dr. Dre alleged assault against journalist Dee Barnes. Now she serves as the executive producer to Netflix’s ‘Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip Hop’.

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Fast forward to in 2019, Hampton served as executive producer of the record-breaking Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” Hampton’s work sparked national interest in Kelly’s crimes against young women. Kelly is now serving nearly 30 years in prison for child sex abuse, sex trafficking and racketeering.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Hampton who has always been a voice for women spoke on the change for women in hip hop.


I will say that there’s never been a more exciting time for women in hip-hop than right now. That whole one at a time thing, the idea that you had to be embedded in a crew or had to be co-signed by a man? All of that is gone. I have no idea who co-signed Cardi B. If Lil Wayne and them co-signed Nicki, it is so far in the rearview of her story, I can barely remember it. Let alone all these other rappers, like Latto, Ice Spice, Chika. I don’t know who they belong to.

It’s a classic feminist question. You have to be claimed in the public space in order to be safe. And particularly when you’re talking about some hypermasculine arena like hip-hop. These women belong to themselves in this moment, which is so beautiful to me. Back then, when that kind of stuff mattered, Ms. Melodie belonged to KRS-One. Sister Souljah belonged to Public Enemy. Yo-Yo belonged to Ice Cube. And I know they would not like to be described that way, but in the public imagination, that’s absolutely what it was.


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