Gangsta rap in Germany is particularly male-dominated and commercially very successful as a music genre. It is one of the very few areas in which designs of masculinity are not largely threatened as yet.
At the end of 2011, female gangsta rapper Schwesta Ewa came into the picture. Potentially, she could make use of the opportunity to question both concepts of masculinity and notions of femininity that are common in gangsta rap expressly because of her sex. Yet which constructions of masculinity and femininity exactly do men and women perform in practice? In order to answer this research question, this book draws primarily on the sociological concepts of hegemonic masculinity (Connell),habitus (Bourdieu) and male gender habitus (Meuser). Guided by these concepts, a case-specific assignment and analysis of lyrics is carried out using the empirical method of structuring content analysis. One finding of this analysis is that Schwesta Ewa is creating a complex self-construction of femininity. The comparison between Schwesta Ewa and the male gangsta rapper Kollegah proves Connell and Messerschmidt’s hypothesis that women can inhabit aspects of hegemonic masculinity, too.
The first research question concentrates primarily on the homosocial dimension and examines the elements of revaluation of the self and devaluation of the other, which are highly constitutive for gangsta rap. Yet which patterns of acceptance exist between men and women? In order to answer this second research question, the research employs a discourse analysis, which explores a multiplicity of male and female rappers and their lyrics. It shows that an understanding of gangsta rap as a representation of conservative gender images is possible. Additionally, descriptions of everyday social phenomena like love, friendship and their accompanying social roles can be traced. However, acknowledgement of the opposite sex can also go along with simultaneous devaluation.