Female rappers like Nicki Minaj
, Lil Kim
, Lauryn Hill
, and Missy Elliott
have opened a lot of doors for other women to break into hip-hop, but it's no secret that the genre is still male-dominated. With that fact in mind, we wanted to compile a list of 10 female MCs who are putting in work and showing up their competition.
Below, are the female hip-hop artists you absolutely need to know about.
I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know Awkwafina was a musician until after she became a favorite of mine on MTV's Girl Code, because lyrically her music is everything. With titles like "My Vag", "Queef", and "Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margaritas)", Awkwafina does an amazing job at owning her awkwardness and wearing it with confidence in her music. I should have known when I watched her talk show 'Tawk'; her rapping "Call me Awkwafina, vaginal genius" in the theme song was stuck in my head for weeks.
You might know Haze's songs "Battle Cry" or "Werkin Girls," or you may have seen their Twitter drama with Azealia Banks
, or photos of them on Ireland Baldwins arm. The Brooklyn-based rapper has quickly climbed their way to fame after four mixtapes, two EPs, a studio album, and finally their most recent self-released album Back to the Woods
has been in the game for over a decade now, and with her background in writing (she's been featured in the Star Tribune, on MPR, CityPages and other literary journals) she's a jack of all trades. A talented singer, rapper, and spoken word poet, the Minnesota artist has a ton of music out and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Check out our session with Dessa and hip-hop collective, Doomtree
She hasn't totally blown up with her music, but Psalm One is a seasoned artist. She's worked for charities, tutored kids, and been a chemist, and she puts it all in her music. I am not famous but I am well-respected in some rap circles. "I feel accomplished, but there is so much more work to do," she told theChicago Tribune
Rapsody's music is so calming, its smooth and soulful. Shes been compared to Lauryn Hill and last year she was on Kendrick Lamar's
track "Complexion" (A Zulu Love), and the North Carolina-born artist is still putting out new music--she just released a video
with Talib Kweli
and 9th Wonder
While Maize's music is a super upbeat mix of hip-hop and electronic, she also uses it as an outlet for the more serious things in her life, using it to cope with her depression and anxiety. She released her first album, Age of Feminine
, in 2007, and has since played Bonnaroo with artists like J. Cole, Eminem
, Lil Wayne
Lizzo has this kind of spunk that really gives her music this it factor that sets her apart from other women in the genre. I first heard her on the song "Torn Apart" with Bastille
and GRADES, and absolutely fell in love with her verse--shes definitely the star of the track. That, and her song "Good as Hell" is sure to be a summer '16 anthem.
She's mostly flown under the radar, but Sa-rocs music is so raw and honest that I can't imagine shell stay that way. Growing up in a poverty-stricken area of DC, she puts so much of her roots and her culture into her music, putting the issues she cares about into her lyrics. Shes put out over 10 albums already, but shes going for an entire musical movement. She just put out a video
last month for her song "Eye of the Phoenix."
She only has around 600 followers on https://soundcloud.com/cocca_godiva Soundcloud, but Im obsessed with this Korean rapper. If you like hip-hop mixed with dance/electronica, her song "123" is really catchy, just dont expect to be able to rap along to it (unless you speak Korean, of course).
plays with her sound, not quite committing to any genre---shes opened for acts like Snoop Dogg
, Danny Brown
, Passion Pit
, and Icona Pop
, and while she's a hip-hop artist, she has range. Her album, Life as a Dog
, hit no. 2 on Billboards Heatseakers Chart and no. 14 on Billboards Rap Chart, and she put out a music video for her song "FML"
just last month. Check out our exclusive interview
with K. Flay.