Salma Slims works as hard as the boys but still feels “Left Out”
It’s no secret that females face many struggles in an industry where males usually dominate. Trying to succeed without conflicting the expectations and stereotypes that come along with being a working woman is not easy.
Although the success of “Ghetto Girl Dream” has put Salma Slims on the map, she’s still feeling “Left Out.” Many would agree that sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you work, you can still feel like what you do isn’t enough. But she refuses to let anything stand in her way, including male privilege.
Check out our interview below where she explains the pros, cons, and challenges of being in a male-dominated industry.
What are the top challenges you face due to being labeled as a female rapper?
When a male rapper is showcased, he’s presented as a “rapper” not a “male rapper.” I feel like the term “female rapper” is used to identify us as being girls and not artists. I am an artist who raps and sings. The challenges I face in the industry are often not fair because either I’m not showing enough skin for the male audience to pay attention to me or I’m not talking sexy enough for them to listen. Women have stories to tell. I have a story to tell about my life and my struggles, but sometimes it takes more than my bars and vocal talent to get the vision across.
What are the pros of being a female in a male dominated industry?
I am very thankful to have the support of Private Club Records because this shit gets hard sometimes. When I was in Atlanta trying to break my record in the clubs and moving around by myself it was hard. I go just as hard as the guys and with the support of madeintyo and 2fourhrs, doors started opening more and more every time I put my music out. I love seeing how I touch other women and being able to give them motivation to follow their own dreams as well.
What do you think is the most significant barrier pertaining to female leadership in general?
People try so hard to be role models and they try to paint a particular image which they think people will want them to be like. That’s not a true representation. I have so many flaws in my life and so many things happen on the daily, it’s hard to say I’m perfect. There is a barrier when it comes to people being free and expressing their true colors. It’s ok to be unapologetic, it’s okay to be yourself, we all make mistakes .
What is the most common misconception that comes along with being a female hip-hop artist?
You don’t have to sell sex to win and you don’t have to be with the whole rap game to get respect. So many people label female rappers and have it misunderstood. It’s about the music in my eyes and the talent and message you have to offer.
Who are your top three most influential women that inspired you music-wise as well as in your personal life?
I have a few actually. Da Brat, Left Eye, and Lil Kim. I met Da Brat over at So So Deff, Jermaine Dupri’s studio in Atlanta. She gave me advice to keep pushing and making music. The more music I make, the better I’m going to get. Coming from one of my favorite female rappers, I took her advice and ran with it. She really gave me that motivation I needed. I also used to sit around as a little girl watching Left Eye in TLC videos. I was in love with the color schemes and their outfits were so fly. I loved Left Eye. She was so carefree and energetic and I’m full of energy, I feel like we have similar vibes. I spent so much time studying Lil Kim too. Her flows were so crazy, she inspired me to start writing.
What advice would you give to young women planning to leave their mark in male-dominated industries?
Stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone’s opinion of who you are or who they want you to be change your ultimate goal. The goal is to win and to slay.
What are your personal guidelines to dominate in anything you do?
Pray, plan, execute. Same rules apply to beating the baddest.
Comparisons will always happen because the lack of women in certain industries. What advice would you give in terms of separating yourself and creating your own lane aside from other successful women?
Be your damn self! Don’t let these dudes get one up on you and don’t let what the next female is doing change the way you do what you do.
After the success of your last project “Ghetto Girl Dream,” what do you have planned next?
Touring, more shows, more music.
What inspired your new project “Left Out”?
I feel like I work so hard but I’m left out. I’m left out and underrated. I feel like I work just as hard as the guys and sometimes I feel left out. My project “Left Out” is a complete vibe. It’s a side of me that people haven’t heard yet and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it . I love this project, it’s so dope.
What surprises you most about your audience?
I have so many young fans it’s crazy. Here I am thinking my music might be too harsh for these little girls but they love me.