Analysis Of The Prosperity Gospel Of Rihanna

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In 2015, culture critic Doreen St. Félix (2015) wrote, “The Prosperity Gospel of Rihanna”. In it, she describes the ways in which Black women holding cash - an act that is the visual apex of Rihanna’s 2015 single “Bitch Better Have My Money” - is often derided or imagined to be criminal. Of interest, is the last line of the essay where she writes, “To be a black woman and genius, is to be perpetually owed”. This statement peaks to disjuncture between Black female labour and compensation, which is often the source of discomfort for non-Black viewers regarding a moneyed Black woman like Rihanna. The author also cites another black woman – Lil’ Kim – as a forebearer of virtuosity who similarly has never been adequately compensated for her inventiveness. St. Félix’s mention of the rapper is not happenstance. Over the last 4 years, Lil’ Kim has emerged as one of the 90’s most popular icons in an era that largely turned towards nostalgia, as well as affirmation of current and past figures through hashtags like “Black Girl Magic”. Writer and co-creator of #YouOkSis (Conley, 2017), Feminista Jones penned an essay in 2015 reflecting upon the rapper’s impact on feminine expression in Hip-Hop, and Malaika Jabali wrote in 2017 for Essence…show more content…
The opening title “From HOOD CHICK to THE QUEEN OF RAP [sic],” the “to” suggesting an irreconcilability between the positions, speaks to the narrative of transcendence over one’s struggles that is being put forward. This is supported by the emphasis in the beginning of the thread of the tumultuous relationship between her mother and father, and eventually between the rapper herself and her father. The focus on the dysfunction of Kim’s early life comes at the cost of understanding other formative aspects of her youth. For example, one never reads of her childhood interests, or whether she had any

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