If you were to rely solely on media and pop culture to shape your musical knowledge, you may think that the only female hip hop artist worthy of your attention right now is Nicki Minaj.
Or worse, Kreayshawn, who claims bisexuality only when it’s convenient, and seemingly thrives on being a direct representation of everything that is wrong with hip hop: the glorification of labels and name brands over knowledge of self; the adaptation and appropriation of hip hop culture without a genuine sense of what it really means.
The hardest part of creating this list was trying to narrow it down to just seven great female MCs. It took two weeks of intensive research, decisions, redecisions, debate and general fuckery, but I think what we have here is a great starting point for anyone who’s curious about women in Hip Hop.
Please don’t mistake this shortlist as anything ‘official’; there are a host of up-and-coming female rappers out there who are equally as deserving of your attention: Ethel Cee is pretty amazing, as is 7th Stori, Kid Sister, K-Slay, Snow, Karmin, and Ill Camille. And let’s not forget the legends who they learn from; MC Lyte, Salt & Pepa, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Eve, Da Brat, Bahamadia, Mystic, Rah Digga, Ms. Jade, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown and my personal favorite Missy Elliot…artists who have consistently delivered an eclectic mix of positive, artfully done Hip Hop, as well as the occasional and oh-so-necessary party anthem.
Women have always been and will always be a powerful force in Hip Hop, in various forms and styles. Don’t let anyone make you think different.
Amathyst Kelly, an adorable Aussie sensation now residing in Los Angeles, seems to be channeling 2 Live Crew when she rhymes. Her lyrical content is provocative and raunchy; her beats and production exist solely to get the party started. Most impressively, her delivery is clear and sharp, even with the (thick and sexy) Australian accent. While the ever-popular track and video for Pussy comes across as a play for attention, Iggy’s debut EP Ignorant Art is an impressive start. Having recently landed on the XXL Freshmen cover and signing with T.I.‘s label, it looks like her buzz is picking up.
I would love to see Iggy develop her lyrical content bars further, and quick. Party rhymes are fun and all, but she raps too well to not expand on that lyrical persona. Also, don’t give up the Australian accent for us, kid. It’s why we love you.
Hailing from Harlem, Banks has made an interesting musical venture into EDM/dubstep, trip/hip hop, pop hooks and at times, excessive swearing. She’s wild with both her delivery and rhymes, but also able to hold a decent note when singing her own hooks – something I’ve come to enjoy more than anything else. Azealia learned the industry ropes quickly, consistently deliveri
The most entertaining part of all? Azealia’s newly Diplo-produced single Fuck Up The Fun; a great demonstration of just how little Azealia does not give a fuck about you or your feelings. It’ll be interesting to see if her style can hold up over time, or how it may evolve not that she’s signed with Lady Gaga‘s manager. And if you haven’t yet read Katrina’s post on Azealia from a while back, it’s worth checking out.
Snow (Tha Product)
Born in northern California and now residing in Texas, Claudia A. Feliciano, aka Snow, is quickly becoming a favorite. The product of a loving Latino family with a southern background, Snow is the only bilingual rapper on this list, and has the most intriguing delivery as well.
Snow’s style is akin to that of Chicago legend Twista (Yelawolf for you new kids): a swift and rapid lyrical delivery set to agressive 808-heavy production. Snow is approaching her fourth album plus shooting clips for her popular youtube videos series, but hasn’t yet received the promotion she deserves. She has a huge advantage being able to rap in two languages and is on her way to carving out a special niche in hip hop. Gabby’s a fan of hers, too!
Rapsody, aka Marlanna Evans, is pretty flawless with her lyrical prowess. Clear and concise with a laid back tone, she’s the creative wordplay queen on this list, using signature 9th wonder beats as the perfect canvas to paint lovely pictures with her words. Her motto, “Culture Over Everything”, is reflected in her flow; you can hear the direct influence of past musicians like MC Lyte and Lauryn Hill in her style. Signed to JAMLA records but still relatively new to the scene, Rapsody has already racked up an impressive list of collaborators including Mac Miller, Jean Grae, Big K.R.I.T., Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar, Murs, Big Daddy Kane, Rah Digga, Freeway, Raekwon and the legendary DJ Premier. Consistently on the grind and releasing engaging, refreshing tracks, Rapsody has made four mixtapes and one EP for you to review, and has her first full length release, The Idea Of Beautiful, on the way. A personal favorite of mine, I hope to see this little lady go far, and soon.
Detroit continues its streak of hip hop victories by producing Boog Brown, an artist whose resume listed published author and poet before she set her sights on establishing a music career in Atlanta. Boog’s writing background manifests in her relaxed flow and profound storytelling. Named one of iTunes’ 10 Best New Hip Hop Artists in 2010, alongside the likes of B.O.B., Drake, Nicki Minaj and J. Cole, Brown has spent the last two years expanding her musical repertoire with two albums, several tours and tons of guest appearances. Brown’s most recent victory? The Brown Study Remixes, her best work and production to date.
Brown has tons of tracks for you to discover. My current favorite is The Gifted Freestyle, a short, stylish introduction to what this artist is all about.
Over seven years and four albums, Canadian-born Eternia, aka Silk-Anne Semiramis Dawn Craig-Kaya (wow) has used her husky tone, poetic phrasing and aggressive delivery to build an impressive list of accomplishments. After dropping “Love” – a single dedicated towards ending domestic abuse – and releasing her stunning debut album It’s Called Life, Eternia was nominated for Rap Recording of The Year at the 2006 Juno Awards – one of the first women to have that honor. After a few more awards and a deal with FatBeats records, she released three more albums including At Last (2010), a critically acclaimed album and possibly her best to date. Eternia is just one artist from a talented musical family; her brother is industrial musician Ad·ver·sary and her sister can be heard singing on the hook of “Love,” below.
Now working on the seventh album in her 15-year career, South Africa-born and New York-raised Tsidi Ibrahim, aka Jean Grae, continues to raise the bar for female rappers. Jean is the daughter of legendary jazz musicians Sathima Bea Benjamin and Abdullah Ibrahim, so she was basically awesome from birth. Her style is remarkable; she is a master of speed, cadence, delivery and storytelling.
Jean began to build her repertoire in the mid 90’s New York underground hip hop scene, performing as What What? alongside groups like Brooklyn Academy and Ground Zero. However it wasn’t until Jean’s first solo release, Attack Of The Attacking Things, that people really took notice. After two additional EPs, her next project Jeanius with famed producer du jour 9th Wonder was highly anticipated, but suffered delays and other hassles due to an internet leak. Citing disenchantment with the music industry, Jean took a break from the scene but has recently returned to work on a new project, Cake or Death. Now she has a pretty great Twitter, and a large and loyal fanbase that is excited to have her back – it will be interesting to see how the Cake project goes.
Ericka is the woman behind one of Autostraddle’s favorite music blogs, Music Nerdery, and is currently on tour with the amazing Anita Baker.
this did not suck and i am proud. thanks crystal.
i know i already told you this 3 – 4 times via email but i’ll say it again, i LOVED this article and i’m so glad you wrote it for us!
well we might as well keep rolling with it cuz this is funaddictivegreat. lol. :D
Glad this conversation is open, but here’s my sense.
1.) We must honor the whole woman. The intelligent woman, the beast-mode woman, the singer, the lover, the freedom fighter woman, the stripper, the freak, the mother, the party girl, the nerd, and everything in between, all rolled into one. We must stop castigating the parts of our selves we have been taught to hate (the freak, the bitch with the dirty mouth). Fucking lighten up! It is possible to be smart as fuck, conscious, and only choose to make party songs and rap about sex. Whatever, the fuck, floats your boat. And we, as the female audience, need to stop hating on every female rapper that’s not Lauryn Hill. Look at what you did to her! You put so much pressure on her to be your freaking messiah that she lost her self to you. We must stop putting pressure on these women to fix our oppression. We must honor them in the different ways they fight. Yes, Khia.
2.) The good lord gave you Nicki Minaj. Shut the hell up, or make your own music. Don’t like her pop shit? Me neither. But that’s how she gets paid. Lucky for us, she still makes mixtapes and still features on other rapper’s tracks. And she fucking kills it.
3.) Whoever wrote this article somehow didn’t understand that Kreayshawn is completely mocking materialism and dropping the whole operation on its motherfucking head. She is a creator, she has a fly ass style that is her own. She’s having fun, she’s not hurting anyone (it is NOT her who uses the N-word), so let her smoke her blunts with her friends and make a fun song every once in a while. Shit. *She also had the cleanest most feminist line of the summer of 2011 “I got the swag and it’s pumpin out my ovaries”
4.) You really need to stop with this Iggy Azealia chick who is not Azealia Banks. She can’t rap, and when she does, she doesn’t say anything new or intelligent or anything to even shake your ass to. And, she raps about being a slave master. And TI supports her. DONE.
5.) All the other chicks, yes, they are all amazing. (shoutout to Eternia!). And we should honor them 100%. But sometimes you need party music too. Don’t cut the vagina from the woman. Be whole. Be mind, spirit, swag, and vagina. And direct your hate elsewhere.
I agree and disagree with some of the points you have elaborated on. First and foremost, let’s discuss the first point. While I definitely agree wholeheartedly that we must embrace the whole woman and not just aspects or parts of said woman (Can we say hello to objectification?), I think there needs to be an overall balance. People are walking contradictions and I personally believe that it’s HOW one balances those contradictions and how they keep those contradictions to a bare minimum that is important.
Now as for Lauryn Hill (I love her music), but there is this thing called accountability and responsibility for one’s own actions that helps keep such contradictions in check. Being cognizant of yourself and the effects you have outside of yourself is only important if the words do not connect with the actions. To project, assume and put blame on the “fanbase” of Lauryn Hill is rather odd. No one did anything to her, the ‘demons’ she faces or did face (for lack of a better word) are due to her own naivety within the music industry and maybe other things that I’m not aware of. Was she not aware of what she was getting into before the huge popularity? Was she not aware that if you market yourself in a certain way, you are going to get a certain kind of feedback? There are many great music artists who make great music and they do not face the things she does because they are AWARE before going into this, the effects and toll it can take on your life. When you say, “We must stop putting pressure on these women,” I understand what you are trying to say, but at the same time, pressure can only be applied to a person, if they allow it as well, it goes both ways. Lauryn Hill blew up in a way where she got a certain kind of feedback that she did not like, thus she imploded due to her cognitive dissonance. When you have two contradicting things trying to live parallel between each other, you get cognitive dissonance. To put it bluntly, Lauryn Hill’s inner self is not (or was not) at peace with the outer world and that is a journey she’ll have to face on her own. You cannot find peace among this world, until you find peace within yourself, once you realize that, the “whole world” doesn’t matter in this particular context, or in Lauryn Hill’s words, “Nothing even matters at all… you’re part of my identity, I sometimes have the tendency, to look at you religiously….” The irony of that song and the lyrics alone, are very telling when you look at the bigger picture of it all and the very topic we are speaking of.
The other point I have issues with, is your overall message. Let me reiterate, I understand the underlying points you are trying to make, but how you relayed that message is a bit confusing, if not contradictive itself. In one breath, you say to appreciate women wholly and fully, whether it’s conscious Hip Hop or “stupid” party bullshit, yet in a few paragraphs below that, you tear up other rappers, such as Iggy Azealia for not being intelligent, or making music to shake your ass to. What do you want out of these rappers, people, women? Perhaps YOU are the “pressure” you speak of with regards to Lauryn Hill. Are you not applying that same very pressure toward rappers like Iggy? Is this not the pot calling the kettle black here?
Personally, I enjoy music and the different flavors. I embrace it all because I understand the varying perspectives. In a nutshell, music is merely a vehicle for human expression and sometimes I understand that expression and other times it makes me go wtf? HOWEVER, I do not hold others accountable for my own actions, my voice and who I am as a person. My accountability is my sole responsibility. I may or may not agree with what certain rappers are talking about, but you know what? That’s on them, I am my own self person and I can handle my own. I do not need to hold hands with them like they are my messiah and they do not speak my truth nor do they speak for me. I do not “owe” anybody anything (or myself to you) because I am accountable for myself and I will only ALLOW and give CONSENT if I so deem fit. If what I allow gives me negative feedback that I do not like, then I bounce, I simply do not put up with it. If I can look myself in the mirror and KNOW that I am being the best person I can be, according to MY STANDARDS then as Ice Cube says, “Today was a good day.” Fuck the rest of the shit and what other people say because that self expression is only a tiny aspect of who you are. As cliché as it is in saying this (I hate cliché’s), we only see the tip of the iceberg when these artists expose themselves. We don’t KNOW these artists, once they hang the mic up, they are HUMAN, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, victims, survivors, et cetera of LIFE and they don’t owe us jack shit, so keep that in mind and enjoy the music. People have this expectation and sense of entitlement when it comes to connecting with other people, always wanting more as if they were a tumor feeding off a cancerous cell. Get rid of the expectation and sense of entitlement you hold for others and look within. If you are not satisfied, then simply bounce. Find something else to connect with, try to understand the perspective from a more open vantage point, or find your own empowerment that makes you content ( As you were basically kind of saying toward the end of your points).
1. Did I say party rap wasnt allowed? No. Seems like youre saying I did. I didnt. And Khia fucking sucks. Absolute trash. If you woulda said Trina or Lil Kim, you might actually sound like you know what hip hop is.
2. If the good Lord gave me Nicki, he can take it back. Well maybe Nicki Minaj up until 2009 in mixtape form Ill keep. God gave me MC Lyte. Sorry if youre too young to remember that or what real hip hop sounds like.
“Shut up, or make your own music.” LoL. Clearly you are so angry at something (that has nothing to do with me, but youre kinda great at projecting) that you missed that WHOLE part at the end about being on tour with Anita Baker. Right. I need you to calm down and read that. So when you tell me to make my own music… thats not a threat. I can do that. Can you? Doesnt sound like it.
3. FUCK KREAYSHAWN FUCK KREAYSHAWN AND MOTHERFUCK KREAYSHAWN. AND HER SHITTY FAN BASE. That is never going to be open for discussion. Ever.
4. Feel about Iggy the way you want to. I named off like, 15 other chicks. Pick one and move on with your life. P.S. When did a T.I. cosign become a bad thing? You post like you were born after 1990. Sorry.
5.I LOVE PARTY ANTHEMS. Did you not read that everyone needs “the oh-so-necessary party anthem?” Thats what I love Missy Elliott for. Party anthems produced by and rocked by WOMEN. I also remember citing Lil Kim (her first album was a glorious display of sexual power) and Foxy Brown as well. So again, youre missing me with that.
In short, I really wanna relate to whatever the fuck it is youre angry about, but I really need you to calm down and just… try again. Because everything you just yelled out and projected at me was really kinda just… rude. lmao.
I get what youre saying. We need to appreciate all types of hip hop. Maybe you thought I was shitting on the traditional hood/party anthem. Im not. Never was. I just like the high quality shit. Sorry for having high standards with my music.
Don’t forget Shawwna, Brooke Valentine & Kandi Cole + all the girls on firstup.se (swedish blog about new releases from female rapppers)
wow. i actually own shawwna’s last album on ludacris’ label. and man… where is brooke valentine? she was so good for a nice ratchet party record. loool.
I LOVE Jean Grae. Her new album is called cake or death after an Eddie Izzard routine, which makes me ridiculously happy! Invincible is another favorite rapper of mine; female, queer and really talented/amazing.
Don’t even get me started on Invincible hmmm-hmmm.
I am so mad I didnt mention invincible in all this.
*puts on invincibles mixtape*
Yes! Invincible. And she and Jean Grae have been touring together with Tamar Kali. Word!
Yes! I love Invincible. Jamie, thanks for the link to the tour page.
for anyone who is interested, we wrote this little thing about Invincible once.
Look at you, coming in for that low key back up win.
if you STAY ready, you dont have to GET ready.
Crystal, I’m pretty sure that your article introduced me to Invincible, so thank you. And thank you as well Ericka, now I have a few new artists to add to the collection!
omg thank you for writing this article! I am a big fan of rap and female artists especially. If anyone out there speaks German you should totally listen to Sookee, a queer/feminist rapper from Berlin. Also God-Des and She, who have like a rap/soul duo goin on. It’s pretty awesome.
I have actually heard of Sookee and I love what shes doing. I just cant find too much more on her music yet. you have me all over google right now.
omg thank you for writing this article! I am a big fan of rap and female artists especially. If anyone out there speaks German you should totally listen to Sookee, a queer/feminist rapper from Berlin. Also God-Des and She, who are a rap/soul duo. It’s pretty awesome.
Azelia Banks is amazing. She is working on her debut album with Paul Epworth (producer behind Adele smash single, “Rolling In The Deep”). Super stoked to see what that collaboration is going to produce.
Woah. This sounds intriguing, as I honestly love Azealia’s singing voice as much as her rapping. and Epworth produced EP sounds like MONEY.
You literally took the words right outta my mouth. I was just about to say ‘super stoked’ when I read your comment :P
Oh well, I’m still super stoked about Aleazia Banks being mentioned after just recently discovering her when my incredibly camp best friend introduced me to her song 212 (he himself loving the song because of the amount of times it refers to Cee U Next Tuesday, which is totally one of the reasons why I love it too).
DESSA. Dessa is the best. She describes herself as an “underrated writer/overrated rapper” because she focuses more on the writing aspect of her music as opposed to the performance of it, but she’s incredible. If you want to listen to words that are exactly what you feel, go for Dessa.
Yes! Dessa is a gamechanger. I heard her on an interview a few months back say that she just started to rap papers that she wrote for classes. I got a huge lady boner. I used to rap my papers out loud in college but nobody really listened. Glad someone took the idea and made it better…as much as I’m sure people wanted to hear me rap about the New Testament, Adobe InDesign, or mass media law…they didn’t.
omg alison. i LOL’ed.
Dessa is the TRUTH, but I didnt know (or didnt think) she would fit in with this list. she truly has some kinda niche of her own with her occasional rapping/singing tracks that she has. love her stuff on youtube. Don’t know why I didnt throw her in either. Thanks for that.
I’m really only here to make you laugh, girllllll.
I’ve seen Dessa live several times and the passion and energy in her performances are mind boggling. She has an amazing talent for bringing local Minnesota artists together and weaving their talents into a show. Not only is her music awe inspiring, she is also a local “hero” and well sought after for lectures, production and lessons. Dessa and the rest of the Doomtree crew are on tour in Europe this month and she flew from France to Minneapolis to give the commencement address for the University of MN College of Liberal Arts, and then flew to London to meet up with Doomtree the next day. That’s dedication yo!
WHO THE FUCK FORGOT DESSA?
*look of shame*
Word. I saw this article and before I clicked on it I thought “Awesome! So many more people will know about Dessa now!” Kind of a disappointing list. But, seriously. Dessa is one of my favorite MCs of all time. Few MCs match her incredible lyrics and passion during live shows. All of the Doomtree collective is awesome. And K. Flay is definitely worth checking out as well.
Alright. Calm down. The world doesnt revolve around Dessa sweetie. Expand your horizons and direct that disappointment elsewhere. Thanks!
Love Rapsody and Boog Brown. Thanks for writing this — I’m always looking for female artists to listen to.
Anytime… thank you for reading and enjoying. :D
Where the hell is Honey cocaine ! Honey cocaine is more know then all them 7 !!
I am ashamed to say Ive never heard of her. Got links? Would LOVE to hear.
Rye Rye! Rye Rye, Rye Rye, Rye Rye!
Her album Go! Pop! Bang! is out THIS WEEK, and she’s collaborated with Robyn, M.I.A., Far East Movement — and she’ll be on the remix of M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” with Missy Elliot and Azealia Banks (what. amazing). I loooooooove her flow:
Also, some not-as-new folks I like a lot:
British rapper Lady Sovereign. The Missy Elliot guest spot on “Love Me or Hate Me” is super fun.
Yes to God-des and She (“Love You Better”!)
Also, French rapper Diam’s and rap trio Northern State.
when I first saw/listened to Diam’s I was CONVINCED she was gay. I mean, son style masculin, les casquettes, that song à toutes mes soeurs…
grave!!! Et puis soudainement elle met le voile?! J’etais confuse mdr
You know, I havent heard from Lady Sovereign in so long.
Northern State. Forgot those ladies were trying to do the Beastie Boys thing a long time ago. Also did something with Kaki King too.
As for Rye, I just realized who youre talking about. SOMEBODY LOVES GOGO!!!
You kick ass for these. Thanks.
You should listen to La Mala Rodriguez, she is a spanian rapper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nawuHf66fKQ&feature=related
holy shit. youtube just said i cant watch that in america. #firstworldproblems
Im off to see what I can find now.
my hair is long and luxurious because of you and i miss you so much where are yooooou
that makes me so happy to hear!
i miss you too!
someday i’ll get back into twitter, but bear hugs forever in the meantime.
this article is great, i have such a soft spot for ladies who make art out of words.
there are mistakes, but Im getting better at it. :D
i miss you. we need to trade off phone numbers or facebooks or something. *superhug*
It’s ridiculous the amount of times I’ve played Azealia’s ‘212’, I’m completely obsessed with her. I love Fuck Up The Fun too, and the new one, Jumanji!
yeah, Jumanji goes hard. shes in the studio working on new music as we speak, itll be interesting to see what else she can come up with.
Iggy is racist as fuck, are you kidding me?! Check out her ‘apology’ after calling herself a ‘slave master’ while cracking a whip in one of her videos.
Ah that grey area pops up for Iggy.
The line is from DRUGS, and its what Azealia Banks is beefing with her about. line goes:
Tire marks, tire marks, finish line with the fire marks
When it really starts I’m a runaway slave…master
with that YMCMB delivery at the end where they name the metaphor they just rapped about.
I wont go too much into it other than to say she shouldnt have used the line just because its always gonna be a sticky subject in american history. and shes from australia, which means theres extra “shut the fuck up” for her to swallow. i honestly dont think she meant it like THAT, but i do want to see this video with her cracking whips. oh boy. lol.
“…shes from australia, which means theres extra “shut the fuck up” for her to swallow…”
this list is the shit. yo one of my homegirls is putting together an all-female rap battle this summer, if you’re in nyc, you should come thru.
i just left Radio City in NYC. But I SOOOO wanna go regardless.
So she times the actual whip crack motion when she actually says “master”. to me this implies that she knew exactly what she meant when she said it. Whether this means that she actually had malicious or racist intent behind the decision to do that is another thing, but I personally think that people in general should just realize that there is actual painful and terrible history tied to these images of slavery and using it so flippantly isn’t smart or productive at all.
eeek. its another thing when you see it on video.
i think this is an attempt to be provocative gone horribly awry. not trying to make excuses for her at all by the way, because she looks pretty stupid. unfortunately, most stupid people dont know that they look stupid, sooo…
i would hope she has someone in her camp that would sit her down and talk to her about these things. the african diaspora (and all the fuckery that ensued) is never going to be taken lightly by most people with common sense and a conscience.
ill keep that side eye on her from now on kids, thanks. lol.
The African diaspora AND the almost extinct aboriginal of Australia… I mean what was she (not) thinking?
Oh if you think they dont give a fuck about slavery in America, please know they REALLY dont give a fuck about the Aboriginal Struggle in Australia.
damn. are we reaching near extinct levels of aboriginals? that deserves a post of its own.
There is no “gray area” and I wouldn’t call the subject “sticky” either its just WRONG.
Racist as fuck and plain wrong.
And I’m sure there are plenty of people waiting to give the “maybe she didn’t know any better” line, which is typical, we always give the benefit of the doubt and the innocent-until-proven guilty to white folks, white people are always assumed innocent. But she knew exactly what she was saying.
Let me be clear.
Im of African decent, but I just dont find the anger in me towards her the way you do.
But like I said before… Im watching her.
this article is definitely amazing, specifically the introduction, and i am so glad that i just learned some new names! also did i mention this article was amazing
yay for learning something new!
thanks for the compliments. i see hella flaws (yes, i used hella, im from california), but crystal did a good job of making me look smart. lol.
dont forget to check out up and coming artist Imani Kairee who’s dad Super DJ TC Izlam(ZULU NATION) one of the pioneers of Dupstep.. Imani ventures into all types!
this did not suck at all. thanks for sharing.
Northern State. Although they haven’t done anything in a few years sadly…
Yeah I think they might be done for now. But the track they did with Kaki King a few years back was kickass.
I’m a HUGE music freak and I can talk/share music, different genres and artists all day long (among other things). Besides the names that have already been mentioned (which for the most part I already know all about), here are more artists for the “worldly” inclined and of course a few more “English” speaking one’s too…
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quLWNXDu95Y&feature=relmfu, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoVd53eXyj4&feature=relmfu
2. Ana Tijoux
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=177-s44MSVQ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiQ7S38nKog
3. Urs & Dj Gely
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piBoa3KxOys&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDEdB-opvOo&feature=related
4. Stahhr (a.k.a. Stahhr tha femcee)
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWlYpy3V7Ks&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBHRI3pQufo
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH8f5ScQWRM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj1Y2KUsyM4&feature=related
6. Cora E
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je5lKgAsAAs, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2SsQKx9NW8&feature=related
7. Silvia Amal
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3oRPcypB68, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Vfm8eVIcw
8. Jroz – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zurzMuZ_UMM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2MOfLJqYyM&feature=relmfu
9. Masia One
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b8QMVJVQjs, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUYMBgMCB-Q
10. Actitud Maria Marta
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4PXgh4aOjU&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYGQ8nM3ub0
11. Aziza A
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5HECcG-EEM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYU5Srdx4Sg
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P79997tRWj4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAROcB8HCr4&feature=related
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM22dJN0gbU&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bksRCixss9Q, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14Aryo-Ehfg, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56k995cBdgY
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQy1knJmGXg, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UDRbv_d5co
15. Heather B
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk65Sk6_o-I, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeJlN_CSd8k&feature=related
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1r3y6xrRFg, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRZV-xFN8Es
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqbDgasOJeQ&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN-3J4OTpME
*Ursula is part of Wildwitch, Ursula & Dj Gely, Ursula, Sondkalle and a whole bunch of other things.
18. Ladybug Mecca
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pscVNxCo7Cc&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1CijOwNO4U
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8_eBdvCvU4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arD4lYCM9Xw&feature=related
21. Ariana Puello
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1XkggM8LH4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFH56LuPbRY
22. La Pina
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nk_8PzEH9w&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kat7LNw5fz8&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rcLq6h0ebE&feature=related
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3il05GbVdJk&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQZK9ATTXBg
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNqDh2SBxII, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0xDSPt0rQc&feature=relmfu
I know that I’m missing a few more, but I can’t think of the names, anyways, enjoy!
this list is kickass, and Im familiar with about 50% of the ladies on here. NonChalant, Neila, Heather B, Ladybug Mecca (DIGABLE PLANETS!), Aziza… yes. yes yes yes to all of this. You just blew my list out the water. may music jebus bless you.
That’s awesome that you at least know 50% of the artists, half the time I get blank stares and a wtf look from people. Once I get started on the topic of music, I tend to go overboard with it. It’s like I’m a drug dealer, except instead of trying to keep a steady cash flow and keep my clients coming back, I end up overdosing my clients where they are spread eagle on the floor with millions of cd’s covering their body.
Me: Check this album out by this artist, it will blow your mind!
Client: *gives the fish eye* Uh, ok. Don’t give me any of that funky stuff.
*client goes home to listen to the album and returns to my house in 5 hours*
Client: *knocks on door really loud*
Me: Yo, what’s up?
Client: I… I… I… omg! That album was hella dope! I mean like yo, I mean yo… you know, do you got anymore of that… that… that stuff?!
Me: Yeah, I have a “special collection” just for you, let me go get it.
Me: Here you go. *hands over special collection*
Client: This is some good, some good, some good sheeet!
Me: *nods head* I’ll check ya later.
Client: Ahh-ahh-right! Peace!
*1 day passes*
Me: *Turns on the television*
*chisssss* *We interrupt this evening’s broadcast for a special report* *chisss*
A California woman was found in her apartment spread eagle on her living room floor, covered in 5,000 cd’s. There were bizarre markings on her forearm shaped like a cd with rapper Azelia Blanks cover art. Investigators are trying to piece the puzzle together, which led to this unusual and unfortunate event. If anyone has any information please call Detective Bradshaw.
Me: OMG! That’s my collection! o_0!
On topic, here are a few more artists that are starting to come at me…
1. MC Layla
Listen here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-2Pusmak1o, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1eY3Lvs0w0&feature=relmfu, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FucSOWdvc_M, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b1LlhIwSQw&feature=relmfu
2. Apani B Fly Emcee
Listen here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiE0WPiYRsk&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDc-QaS3XCw, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzB-T406_K0&feature=related
THE MOAR YOU KNOW! *insert rainbow and star*
Oh my god, how can I forget Keny Arkana!?!
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=622QUs5aZeQ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oewRadlyrHo
Geez youre sorta awesome in here right now.
Thanks, here’s more…
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHZPmEAQihs, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99pmFSbd05c
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccc9p5am7mo&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTq84OWZc6Q
I could do this all day long, I <3 music.
Anita Tijoux and Arianna Puello are the best!
k. flay is awesome. she is a ridiculous rapper (um, around 0:45 on at http://vimeo.com/12432653)
also i was in a sociology class with her in undergrad and she is SO SMART.
angel haze is pretty talented also:
never heard of angel haze until now. f*cking awesome.
Angel Haze (queer), Medusa, and Nitty Scott = YESSIRRR. Favorite by Angel haze also known as Raeen is “6’7” freestyle; holy shiiiit.
I have new music to listen to, yay!
don’t forget Favi!!!
I’d never heard of Izzy Azalea before and now have “Pussy Pussy Pussy” stuck in my head.
LMAO. it happened to me too. mission accomplished i guess.
No, Nitty Scott, MC love?
Nitty I forgot about. MC Love Ive never heard of. Will fix that.
wait wait hold on now, how can you talk about kreayshawn and cultural appropriation and then recommend karmin? is there a joke im not getting?
i see what you did there, but yeah. not even.
kreayshawn is disgusting. Absolutely no real talent, no kind of quality live show. kreayshawn isnt even her name. shes lied about where she grew up (oakland), her background, the whole nine. in interviews she cant even answer basic questions on hip hop history or anything of the sort. shes a damn fraud.
meanwhile, karmin is actually genuinely talented. the rapping is just a side thing to that poppy brand of music shes making. shes not even rapping on her new single “Brokenhearted”, have you seen it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8cbak34DR0&feature=related and I dont think she really has intentions on doing so.
however… when called upon to rap a verse (her cover of Busta Rhymes verse in Look At Me Now), she does not suck at all. karmin has never called herself a part of a ‘white girl mob.’ karmin has never defended the use of the NBomb word. karmin doesnt adopt a fake, “ghettofabulous” (her words) stage name and try to act like she’s a part of a culture she really doesnt even care about.
I get what youre saying, but them shits is night and day.
Check out THEESATISFACTION Seattle based hip hop duo. Fuckibg rad.
I’ve been playing awEnaturallE nonstop for a couple of weeks now. Perfection.
me too! It’s so catchy and wonderful.
this i will check up on.
I think they’re openly queer, too.
awEnaturalE is crazy good:
Not trying to be nitpicky, but does the writer perhaps mean “K Flay” and not “K-Slay”?
no youre not being nitpicky. theres that and several other errors i just sent in for correction.
K-Slay is a well known DJ.
K-Flay is ill on the mic.
gonna jam to this on my stoop all summer. thanks ericka!
anytime. have fun.
I love Igggy, but I REALLY like Azealia Banks. Her wordplay is sick. I was listening to 212 and L8er like “whoaa.” It doesn’t surprise me that she’s co-signed by Coachella, Lagerfeld, Mugler/Fomichetti, Alexander Wang, Terry Richardson… She’s like fresh and fun, but still raw.
Azealia is hype. I love the energy. And theres no air of cloning hovering around her, like with the whole nicki m/lil kim thing. Its all pretty original. And its nice to hear her rapping over EDM and dubstep and diplo beats… New kinda hip hop thing going on over there.
I agree 100%. Not sure how to label it or if it should be. Trip-Hop? But I would put her in the category with J*Davey, Das Racist, Santigold, Diplo/Major Lazer, etc… If they were their own clique, she would be the resident female MC.
I would totally call it Trip Hop… or even just Hip Hop over Jungle Beats… but Thom Yorke said he hated that term so I am totally lame and conformed with what he said. LOL.
I don’t like the way this article opens. I’m sensitive to the matter simple because people, especially white feminists, LOVE to talk about how terrible and misogynist hip hop is, when misogyny penetrates all music genres, among a lot of other isms that suck. The demonization of hip hop is so so so related to the demonizing of black folks, so it needs to be watched.
I definitely still can’t stand Kreayshawn, though, because her appropriation is RAMPANT and because of what shit need to Azealia. Not to mention how she gets mad cookie points and recognition just for being a white girl and a rapper at the same time. See: http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/on-kreayshawn-and-the-utility-of-black-women/
I think that last note is what makes me not too keen on Iggy either.
Otherwise I really love the exposure of female MCs.
Im black and I agree with you.
With that said, misogyny is prevalent throughout ALL FORMS of entertainment. Music, Movies… name it. They probably have women looking stupid or in some kind of diminished role that denies their true talent. That is a whole other post within itself.
I spoke about the misogyny in hip hop because 1. I just happened to be talking about hip hop, woulda been the same if i named off 7 awesome chicks in punk rock 2. The misogyny in hip hop is a large reason why you dont see a lot of females in the game, other than the lame video vixen/heaux. I wanted to point out that even though media/hip hop itself/the entertainment industry as a whole has a problem with acknowledging the work/role of women in music… we are still out there regardless.
In short, I wasnt tryinta rag on hip hop. We have Ashley Judd’s stupid ass for that.
I was just saying.
Also, its fuck Kreayshawn all day. LOL.
Lmao, fuck Kreayshawn at all times. Did I mention how terrible it is that she’s wearing that appropriating vest in the picture you chose? Well played, well played.
I was expressing why the entrance rubbed me wrong, not trying to accuse you.
I just know/have spoken to a lot of “feminists” (who are white) who go on these “RAP IS BAD/EVIL” rants and its like… Here we go. So whenever I read/hear someone (of any descent) mentioning how misogynist rap/hip hop is I just KNOW one of those “feminists” is getting their ideas reassured as they read it. Does that make sense? It’s just sensitive to me, at any mention.
Yeah I totally understand. Usually when you have proclaimed “feminists” speaking on hip hop, its usually how horrible it is without even understanding that not all hip hop is like that. shit, MOST hip hop isnt like that. But thats not me. Im an audiophile. Fuck feminism. lol.
So I was thinking about how desperately I needed some new hip hop in my life and your brain magic made it happen! You just made laundry day the BEST day.
its like were connected! *allstate commercial*
Eternia, dang! Let me get my card so i can purchase her music! Thanks Ericka!
Its K.Flay right? Not K-Slay?
Yes. Kay Slay and K-Flay totally got confused in my head. Apologies.
UNF times 1,000.
Both lyrical and physical wise….UNF.
Oh god, somebody stop me and log me off the internetz!
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHLu8oCaqYA
Also, Queen Pen
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxpG8ROZ2Hc, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMikFbcXM-A (with Meshell Ndegeocello).
Tarrie B (She’s definitely fucking awesome and if you don’t know about her, I highly recommend you start googling).
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8E433Ui3Ss, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNe7F-C-7F8&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhK0aUC8tfY&feature=related
I can’t believe the “slave master” girl is on this list smh…
There’s also Maya Jupiter.
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gfg7QJQs8I, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69hG9nbNwc0
jean grae is the baddest bitch!! super fly hipster hiphop hottie. mission improbable with the herbaliser is worth some listening to ladies
i love you.
Jean Grae!!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$ &!”=? !!!
Love Kid Sister, Princess Superstar and L’Trim!
Thanks for supporting my interest in female rappers.
Autostraddle needs a http://www.last.fm group.
or a spotify playlist something.
Okay… I’m not going to lie. I have a crush on Kreayshawn. And I catch myself dancing to her songs sometimes. BUT I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this list. I listened to them all the other day and I had so many good new songs stuck in my head. It makes me wish I had a mp3/iPod/phone/ any listening device besides my laptop.
thanks for exposing some of the talented females out there..Shame more are not being signed..the guys outnumber them 100 to 1..and you notice that they usually only sign one at a time to the indie labels and fifty guys. the woman could taker over, they just need to know where to start.One megasuperstar who signs only females to his label first then the guys would be nice..what a dream!
What about StaHHr??? She’s been on 3 MFDoom albums , though her name.was different on mmfood, she was Angelika? She’s an incredible lyricist. http://stahhr.bandcamp.cimcomcom
What about StaHHr??? She’s been on 3 MFDoom albums , though her name.was different on mmfood, she was Angelika? She’s an incredible lyricist. http://stahhr.bandcamp.com
Yall should check out LNZ, easily the most cleaver female mc in the game right now and nobody even knows here. such a crime! and her videos are reaaaaaaly good.
WATCH IT YA GUYS!
Kellee Maize is really amazing as well, and best of all, her albums are free on amazon.com
I love this article, great article about women who are contributing to the MC game of rap. I would have to say that you should add WHITNEY PEYTON to this list… she is a must add to this list, for sure.
If Snow Tha Product is the ONLY Bilingual Female Rapper, then she’s tha Winner of them all, folks