March is Women’s History Month, and it’s only right that we commemorate the time with another post celebrating the beauty and strength that is womanhood. If you didn’t get to check out last year’s post, The Success of Every Woman is Inspiration to Another, you can read it now!
One of the most beautiful traits women take on is the ability to heal and comfort, especially during these uncertain times. As a matter of fact, Women’s History Month 2022 places a special focus on the healing powers of women, inspired by the incredible ladies who worked the frontlines throughout the pandemic as well as the women all around the world who have taken on the roles of caretakers. I think all of us have at least one woman in our lives who offers that support for us, whether it’s our mother who wipes our tears, our sisters and best friends who go to war for us with no questions asked, our grandmothers whose stories of resilience shared over generational meals inspire us to keep pushing through, or just the old lady down the street whose hugs and pet-names feel like a warm blanket on a rainy day. So today, we honor all of the women who continue to put others first to help them keep going; all of the women who act as our therapists, our nurses, our mentors, our cheerleaders, and our number one fans. We celebrate the women who radiate love and warmth and all of the ways in which they make this lifetime a bit more bearable. These hip-hop lyrics show that without the compassion that women have to offer, life would be a whole lot colder.
One thing that makes women so incredible is their versatility. Cultures all over the globe constantly underestimate strong women, and we often take them for granted until we need them. And yet, even with that lack of acknowledgment, women continue to care, nurture, and encourage everyone in their lives. And truthfully, nothing matches the support from a woman who has a special place in our hearts. Kool Moe Dee put it best in his track, “Funke Wisdom,” lyrically emphasizing women’s importance in all of our lives. He begins his verse by rapping, “women-very significant. Power is what she represents. Contrary to what many brothers believe, learn the metaphysical meaning of Eve. When you get funke wisdom, then you’ll understand: the woman is the driving force for any powerful man.” Kool Moe Dee argues the idea that women were never created to complement men. They’re just as essential, if not more so, and without them, men wouldn’t be able to thrive. Women represent so much more than just the female body; they encompass new life and creations. Without them, life would cease to exist. The Game continues a similar idea in his song, “Pray.” In the track, he raps, “I love women, cause without women, wouldn’t none of us n* be breathin.” I love the simplicity of this line because the literal and figurative meanings both hold so much weight. As stated earlier, without women, we can’t create new life. So quite literally, no one would be breathing. But it also shows how the women around us motivate us to carry on, even when times get challenging. When we want to give up, the women surrounding us give us the resilience to push through.
In D Smoke’s “Rapture,” he urges us to “imagine a day without women.” He then bluntly states, “I bet your first thought was ‘who ’bout to take care of the children?'” When we think of women, one of the most differentiating qualities is that ability to create new life. Unfortunately, many people use this to diminish a woman’s role, expecting her to simply take care of a house or the children, assigning them outdated positions in families. And if that is what a woman chooses to do, thinking of being a mother in such a simplistic way robs the importance tied with motherhood. But it’s a huge responsibility that is never taken lightly, whether the woman fulfills it or not. Further on in the song, D
Smoke raps, “still recognize that I ain’t perfect, got a dozen thanks to her, and cause stress for the women. God bless ’em. Life served me hard lessons, just keep in mind this season time ends, the womb is where all life begins, no world without women.” Women have the natural inclination to take care of those around them, even if they choose not to become mothers. They are nurturing and loving, absorbing all of your problems without being asked to. It’s why it’s so easy to find comfort and peace in women around us, regardless of their role in our lives.
In his song, “Would’ve Done the Same For Me,” Naughty By Nature outlines the necessity for women in his life and how they contributed to his success. He rhymes, “to understand unity you have to understand we. You and I, you and them, them and me, see, y’all did for me, now I’ll bow for the royalty. Just to know y’all is the love the loyalty, behind every strong man there’s a strong lady with ’em, behind me I seem to have a whole nation of women.” These bars are so full of respect for the women surrounding him, and it’s beautiful that he extends that to every woman in his life rather than just his family and partner. It shows just how much the women around him have contributed to his upbringing and identity, emphasizing the importance they hold. He trusts and confides in them to an extent in which he places them on a pedestal, recognizing how much he needs them.
Lil Wayne enlists the help of Nicki Minaj to paint the effects of being completed by a strong woman in the song, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Utilizing the intergalactic analogy, the Young Money artist raps, “I am falling for her quicker, we hide amongst the clouds, then we pardon the enigma. High above the ground but I’m under her charisma. Her sound is in surround when I’m in her solar system. The quiet calms my quasars, the eclipse is eclipsin’, my astronaut helmet kinda shifted, full of lipstick. Planet of the aches, and she is my prescription. We out of this world, baby, we have been evicted.” Lil Wayne illustrates just how encompassing her love is, teleporting him away during danger and providing relief when in pain. No matter what he needs to get through the difficult times, she’s there to provide it and make the challenge that much easier.
Trey Songz’ “Without A Woman” details how losing the right woman can extinguish the fire that warms up our lives. He begins the song by asking the listener to “picture this: coming home from a long day’s work, no food is left. Picture this: steady tryna show the world of your worth and nobody cares. Picture this: no kissing, ain’t no touching, there’s no hugging, and in the evening no good loving.” While the song starts off on a reasonably superficial note, with expectations like a woman providing you with food and physical love, he also does mention the weight of a woman’s support. The song intensifies as he realizes the depths of how vital support really is, singing, “I’m telling you a man can’t be a man without a woman, no, and you can try as hard as you can but we ain’t nothing without a woman. Living in a world so cold, so cold, the fire burns through my soul, without a woman.” He shows that having that woman is essential, not only for himself personally but in general. A woman’s warmth is necessary to balance out the cold of the world. While he reverts back to his original thought process in the first verse, asking questions like, “what if you, had no hands to rub upon your shoulders? And in the morning she’s not there to fix your Folgers? You’re sick as a dog right now, kids running all around the house, no one to help you out/you paying these bills all by yourself. No one to tell you, “Watch your health”, but keep fucking up, you might as well?” Yes, once again, these things are trivial. But it shows the dependency that we have, not just on our female partners, but other women in our lives like our mothers and our sisters who take the time to concern themselves with these basic needs, ensuring our comfort. However, the final line solidifies the dynamic between man and woman when Trey Songz sings, “picture this: ’cause your world don’t spin without her, and hers gon’ spin without you.” That level of attention is what makes a person feel on top of the world. But, it’s second nature for us. We give that love and care to anyone who matters to us, but you have to show that you’re deserving of it. The minute you don’t, we’ll find someone else who will figure out how to reciprocate in their own way. And that’s the duality of women.
In Mac Miller’s song “I’ll Be There,” he highlights a relationship with a different woman in our lives: our mothers. He recounts his first memory, rapping, “I was six years old with a dream when my moms told me I could do anything. Said she’d be there forever, no matter what’s the weather. She’d always have my back even when we weren’t together, and I took her for granted, thought I had a plan.” When this song was released, Mac Miller commented that he and his mother had gone through some rough patches, as most of us have when growing up and thinking we know everything. However, the words of this verse really hold true as his mother, Karen, is who runs Mac Miller’s social media accounts to this day, years after his passing. Her words of love and admiration for her son shine through in each Instagram caption, comforting his friends and fans who try to remember him through his music. The second verse details how she was there for him, rhyming, “you the reason I’m alive, how these years have gone by. You were there when I was on my first bike ride, ridin’ in the street and that delivery truck almost ran right over me. You were at my games when I was sittin’ on the bench, and when I skipped school, you lie and say that I was home sick. Had my back before I had my own, I know I’m always welcome when I’m back at home.” No matter what mistakes were made, women always provide understanding and compassion, especially when it’s our mothers. They’re always there to ease our pain, whether physical or emotional. If I’m having a bad day, sitting on the phone with my mom and talking about anything brings me a degree of peace and levelheadedness. Truthfully, most of the women in my life have that capability. But when it’s your mom, it’s an entirely different feeling.
Furthermore, Dej Loaf comments on her family dynamic in her song, “I Got It.” She demonstrates the female role in her family on multiple levels, including herself, her mother, and her grandmother. In the track, she raps, “I told my mom that I got her when I make it we even, for all the years she took care of me and my brothers believin’. I miss my grandma, why did she have to leave me? I had so much shit to tell her, damn man, I still can’t believe it.” She narrates how her mother provided for her and her brothers. However, she then reverses the role, taking on the caretaker position out of all of the siblings, stating that she’ll take care of her mom when the time comes. She then flips the role back around as Dej Loaf expresses her need for her grandmother and the comfort she gave her, stressing that she needed to confide in her. Womanhood allows us to be vulnerable and seek solace in others when needed while also motivating us to stand up and supply that same bit of relief when others require it.
DMX’s “I Miss You” reveals that certain women can turn even the most hardcore rappers into absolute softies. In an ode to his grandmother, the late rapper professed his love, stating, “after you spanked me, you hugged me, kissed me on my forehead, told me that you love me. And I saw that it hurt you more than it hurt me, I thought, how bad could this hurt be? I know now, that’s why it’s only done out of love. What I wouldn’t give for one mo’ hug, from grandma.” In a rare moment of weakness, even as a child, the rapper understood just how strong his grandmother’s love was for him. Even when she was disciplining him, she wanted to make him the best version of himself he could be because she cared for him. It didn’t matter how heavily it impacted herself; it just mattered that it was what he needed to grow. The juxtaposition of the physical pain with the physical love and adoration demonstrates just how far the women in our lives will go to help us. They will always find ways to balance tough love with tenderness and care.
The Game’s “Young N****” reinforces a woman’s intrinsic need to care for others. While describing the story of a young child growing up, he recites how “he would spend the night, that one night would turn into a week. At least until his mama got back on her feet and she never did. So he moved in with me, my mama, and my sisters. Couldn’t let him go to foster care ’cause she ain’t trust the system. So she took care of him like he was me, gave us everythin’ she could back when shit was all good.” This one set of bars is so telling of a mother’s empathy. When my mom was in school, her friend couldn’t have lunch. So her mother would pack a second one for her to share with the friend. When a mother feels for a child, they will move mountains to ensure that child feels nurtured and cared for, no matter what they have to spare. The way a mother can feel another person’s pain, especially when that person is in a helpless position, will motivate her to go beyond her capabilities to try and rectify the situation. The mother didn’t even think twice about taking the child in the song, regardless of the implications. There were no stipulations or details set in place; it was whatever the child needed and how long they needed it.
It’s truly not often that Eminem will sing the praise of his ex-wife, Kim. But in his song, “Mockingbird,” he commended her for her decisions as a mother, depicting how far she went to provide her daughter and niece with love and warmth. In the track, he raps, “it’s funny, I remember back one year when Daddy had no money. Mommy wrapped the Christmas presents up and stuck ’em under the tree. And said some of ’em were from me ’cause Daddy couldn’t buy ’em. I’ll never forget that Christmas, I sat up the whole night cryin’. Cause Daddy felt like a bum—see, Daddy had a job, but his job was to keep the food on the table for you and Mom.” She wanted her children to feel important and for her husband to regard it. Her selfless act kept the four of them together as a unit. Although it made Eminem feel ashamed at that moment, she chose to find a way to include him even though, in his eyes, he failed. Kim didn’t look to traditional roles to dictate how the situation should play out; instead, she decided for her family to make the best of a problem and enjoy the moment. Eminem has said a lot of horrible things about his ex-wife, but this one story speaks volumes about the love she had for her family.
The past few years have required a lot of healing. We’ve experienced a lot of firsts as a country, as families, and as individuals, and it has been nothing short of exhausting and overwhelming. Every year, Women’s Month falls in March with a new theme to celebrate. 2022’s theme was the healing abilities of women, highlighting those on the frontlines. Women provide a sense of warmth and love that this world desperately needs right now. I know I’ve desperately needed it. Whether it’s my mom, boss, girlfriends, or casual acquaintances, the women in my life have provided me with tissues, hugs, adoration, support, and so much more. They’ve been there for me through every heartache and lost opportunity, showering me with whatever I needed at the time. They knew when to tell me what I needed to hear even when I didn’t want to, but they did it with so much tenderness that I knew how lucky I was to have them. In a world where women are so often pinned against one another, I’m incredibly blessed to be surrounded by phenomenal ladies who always know what my heart needs.
If you would like to find a way to celebrate Women’s History Month 2022 I strongly encourage you to donate below to Women For Women International, which is currently raising money to collect resources for the Women of Ukraine.
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