Happy women’s history month! Women have contributed a lot to changing history. Whether it has been the right for women to vote, or the right for women to obtain an education, the fact remains that women often go overlooked but always show up on the front lines and always overachieve.
One pillar where women have constantly exceeded expectations is hip-hop. The hip-hop genre was a foundational music outlet created by DJ Kool Herc during a performance in August 1973. with the experiment and instrumental sounds of a turntable, hip-hop would soon become a stylized sound known all over the world. Once the sound of hip-hop was created the birth of the emcee would take this art form to a whole other level. Creative and complex wordplay, rapid delivery, and the confidence to rep where are you from would soon turn the culture into one of the most competitive sports known to man.
With the likes of heavy hitters such as Sugar Hill Gang, Kurtis Blow, and a slew of other rappers it wasn’t until a woman came to test the boundaries that we got to see hip-hop forever change in the women’s lane. Roxanne Shante would become one of the first women in pioneering 80s female rap.
Creating a path for many to come next the world now gets to see the likes of a diverse group of female rappers.
With that being said let’s celebrate the top 10 female rappers of all time:
- MC Lyte- She’s an absolute trail blazer in the genre, whose many accomplishments include being widely regarded as the first female solo artist to release a full-length album (1988’s “Lyte as a Rock”).
2. Queen Latifah- Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens established herself as one of the top MCs in the game with such solid platters as 1993’s “Black Reign.” Today she has become a success in the cinema world with her own production, Flavor Unit Entertainment, and a slew of acting credentials under her belt.
3. Lauryn Hill- Although she only released one full-length studio project during her lengthy solo career, this one project entitled “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” has been the most impactful album in history.
4. Salt-N-Pepper- You cannot mention female rap without the dynamic duo Salt-N-Pepa. Their sizable contribution to hip-hop alongside one of the greatest female DJs, Spinderella goes without saying.
5. Lisa “Lefteye” Lopez- One-third of one of the highest-selling girl groups of all time (TLC), Lefteye was a standout for her fashion sense and eccentric delivery on a track. She was a force to be reckoned with whose untimely death left fans saddened by the light she created. She will forever be a legend.
6. Da Brat- A trendsetter in her own right, Da Brat was the first female solo rapper to score a platinum platter with the great 1994 debut “Funkdafied.”
7. Missy Elliot- Missy Elliot needs no introduction. Her creative palette is unmatched and she has set the standard for many female artists who have come after.
8. Lil Kim- Lil Kim is the trendsetter. The heavy hitter from Junior Mafia has created a legacy that keeps her at the top of the list no matter the decade.
Trina- The baddest chick has been influential in so many new female southern artists including City Girls, and Latto.
Nicki Minaj- Nicki Minaj is the highest-selling female rapper of the century and continues to lay a path for her legacy. She has moved to icon status while still reinventing her brand and being able to keep up with the new generation.
Hip-Hop would not be anything without the contributions of the women above. Today and throughout March we celebrate them.