Essence Still Battling Hip-Hop

14 years ago view-show 536,382

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      A couple of years ago, Essence got fed up with the way hip-hop music in general was talking about and treating women. To combat the misogyny in the music, the magazine launched the Take Back the Music Campaign where they started calling out artists by name for the way talked about women. They also held a contest to find up and coming rappers who are more encouraging and uplifting towards women in their lyrics. This year, the contest returns looking for students between the ages of 15-18, who are unsigned, to write their best song and get a chance to be admitted into the 2007 Berklee 5-Week Summer Performance Program, with tuition and room paid for.

      “ESSENCE is pleased to partner with the Berklee College of Music once again to expose new voices in hip-hop that otherwise might not be heard, and give new talent the opportunity to develop through music education,” said Angela Burt-Murray, Essence editor-in-chief.

      The entries will be judged by Chuck D (legendary rapper, co-founder of Public Enemy), Spinderella (former Salt-N-Pepa DJ, co-host of the syndicated classic hip-hop radio show The Backspin), Jean Grae (rapper, songwriter, producer), Berklee professors Susan Kean Cattaneo (songwriting), Prince Charles Alexander (music production and engineering), Danielle Scott (ensemble), and student Ryan Williamson (contemporary writing and production  major, founder of Rykeyz Productions). For more information check out ESSENCE or BERKLEE.


  1. This is a very great program and I am excited about it. Rap music started getting out of hand in the late 80’s now it has really gone hay-wild. Currently there isn’t anymore putting any thought into the commercial music we here on the airways. Its like record companies and publishers are forcing they’r artist to make what has sold in the past, and this is really making hip hop boring!! Hopefully our role models will grow up and make nice quality and good moral music that everyone will enjoy.

    Will the Trill

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