Hustling from the street to the top is hard for any artist, but that climb can be twice as high for women. Even if they're incredible at what they do, they still sadly have to overcome the idea that women can't compete as well as men.
To see that dynamic in action, tune into Fuse's upcoming scripted series The Hustle, which features a female A&R exec trying to get a rising Brooklyn rap duo into the big leagues.
The struggle is also an integral part of any successful female artist's story. Just ask Nicki Minaj, Eve, Alicia Keys and Keri Hilson: These hip hop and R&B all-stars had plenty to tell us about what it means to be a woman taking charge of her career in a man's world.
"I had my moment and I never really thought it would change the game so much," Minaj tells Fuse. "I'm just proud girls no longer have to think, 'I have to have a penis to end up on a hottest MCs list' or, 'I have to be a boy to be asked to get on a record with Kanye or Jay.' I can just be a dope MC and eventually people will see that."
Keri Hilson says female empowerment is a huge part of her songwriting process. "I do music that empowers women and makes us feel strong and confident," the R&B singer tells Fuse. "[When I'm writing] I imagine I'm in a clubhouse with an X over 'boys' or a 'no boys allowed' sign."
"All the ass shaking and having fun in the club is great," Ruff Ryders' First Lady Eve says. "But at the end of the day, at least for myself, I really need to be saying something and feel like I've helped or touched someone."
Watch the interview above to see what Alicia Keys tells Fuse about repping for the ladies. And catch Fuse's new series The Hustle Wednesdays at 11/10c. Check out the channel finder to locate Fuse in your area.