Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle del Hudson
Feminist and anti-capitalist rap
"We are beasts in this jungle with a feminine essence, We will verify that sorority is the Response through love, struggle, and coherence”. —Audry FunkMarch 2023 Audry Funk is a Mexican rapper, originally from the state of Puebla, and a current resident of New York. In this interview, Audry discusses her personal and artistic career around hip hop and rap as anti-capitalist and feminist political tools.
How do you connect your previous studies in philosophy with your work in rap and hip-hop?As a racialized woman, a mestizo woman, and a Mexican woman, in a certain political context, I can do philosophy from what is mine: hip hop. My walk in hip hop is making a philosophy that is practical – I don't just sit down and say: what are the self, the mind, and nothingness? It is such and such. No! I read and ask myself, how do we put these important processes into practice? How do we de-elitize this kind of thing? Reflection is not exclusive to the people who are studied. So, returning the power of reflection to the people is very important. There we are all – there is the wisdom of your grandmother, your aunt, the lady in the store who has had a hard time but pushed forward.
The hip-hop and rap spaces have been mostly patriarchal spaces. How have you dealt with this industry?When one sings, it doesn't matter what genre, it doesn't matter what one does, one is firstly putting the body into fighting mode. One resists from the body many things that a fellow man who makes music is not going to resist. We enter the world resisting very different things. [...] I try to act like the woman I would have wanted to have as an icon. I didn't have anyone, I had two or three women who opened my mind. But I didn't feel so represented either because they weren't dark women, they weren't fat women, and they weren't women in many ways. There are many women that look like me, it's not that I'm different, there are many of us, and it's cool to represent us. Until now rap is patriarchal, the cure is to make our own spaces. [...] I can even say that I am more hip-hop than many men I know in the culture because they are not going to get into the neighborhoods that I get into... Now we can see many girls working in feminist rap, we can find feminist rap concerts. If they didn't give us the space, we had to create it ourselves. And besides, who does hip-hop belong to? To nobody! Men don't own hip-hop, I can do hip-hop because I want to.
How does it feel to be here in the United States, considered more “safe”, while your compañeras continue the daily struggle in Mexico?I think knowing how to carry the message from our privilege is part of our task as politicized migrant women [...] I told one of my best friends: hey, I want to go back to Mexico, I'm fed up, I want to be there with you, I miss my family, I miss everything… She told me something that I will never forget, and that always makes me cry every time I remember it. She told me: carnala, why do you want to return to the hell that we all want to get out of? Better take care of it from the outside, and say everything we are doing on this side. And that hit me, and she's right. So that's my honest answer. I'm not going back, I can't go back, I'm having my life here. But how am I going to help? well, doing politics from hip-hop and rap.
Tell us about the experience that your music accompanies the great feminist marches.My coolest grammy would be that you hear my songs in each march. And that every time I go to Mexico a compañera tells me: thanks to you, or to a song, you helped me without knowing it, you helped me in such a thing... You never know what you write in your room, how far it will go, and how far it will reach. If there are so many people empathizing with what one writes, it is because we are all going through the same struggles– to a greater or lesser extent. We don't need any more romantic love songs… What laziness! We need to say what is happening to us in thousands of ways [...] to talk about other things. Enough of wanting to keep controlling us with the same speeches as always.
La Voz, Cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson
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