Pioneers

Myanmar’s first female rap duo hopes songs about strong women will change minds

(Facebook/Aye Aye Aung)

Myanmar’s first female rap group is breaking down barriers in the conservative country, with their half-shaved heads, tank tops, tattoos, and feminist lyrics. Thazin Nyunt Aung and Aye Aye Aung make up the rap duo known as Y.A.K., playing in small clubs and cultural events around the country and rapping about their culture’s ideas of femininity. The women cite Missy Elliot and MC Lyte as inspirations, as well as the Myanmar Hip-Hop Assn., a local rap collective. While they avoid two topics that could upset their tiny audiences — politics and sex — they do focus on writing songs that elevate the status of women, and hope their music will gain wider acceptance as the country flourishes and changes under its new democratic leadership after decades of military rule.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.

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