It is no news that in recent years, female rappers have been paving their way and creating more space to show their talent in the rap genre. Some of them have reached the top, showing that they are here to stay, to be heard, and to motivate other emerging female artists to continue fighting for their dreams.
In the past, the rap industry only included women as points of objectification in the songs of some male rappers. Currently, one of the best evolutionary steps this industry has had is putting away the sexist idea that rap is a “male-dominated business.”
Within the story of each female rapper, we can quickly notice that their path has not been a piece of cake; on the contrary, they show that they have had to make huge sacrifices to make it in the music industry.
At Gogitta Entertainment, we believe that musical talent, wherever it comes from, should be recognized and celebrated by all of us who love music.
This article focuses on the most talented female rappers and their significant contributions to rap music until 2022.
The Female Legacy in the Rap & Hip Hop Genres
Before naming some of the best contemporary women rappers, we MUST go through the trajectory of the rap genre and the outstanding divas that gave way and set precedents for all the women around the world with the dream of becoming recognized rappers.
A Brief Look at Rap History
Music is so wonderful that it allows musicians to experiment and create new rhythms. Many of those musical experiments have been the origin points for other musical genres, as in the case of rap.
As noted for NPR about The Rap History , -Rap as a genre began at block parties in New York City in the early 1970s-. The popular story is that this musical genre began with an improvised mix of percussion, funk breaks, and disco rhythms, later combined with vocal interventions from DJs, defined as “MCs.”
With the mission of continuing to liven up the parties and get the crowd going, DJs would talk, joke and interact between songs, which became more common practice for MCs. As this practice went viral among block parties, MCs perfected the technique of synchronizing rhymes to the beat of background music. From that moment, rap went viral and was acclaimed by the public, which made clear that the music world was facing a new growth opportunity for the business.
The First Female Rappers
Even though early on in this genre, there were almost no spaces for female artists, some women with musical talent continued to persevere in their search for recognition until they achieved formidable careers and musical pieces that undoubtedly gave women rappers a horizon.
Among the rap lyrics of male artists, almost always, the topics were related to power, violence, or masculinity. Consequently, when women began to highlight their perspectives and experiences of their personal and professional careers within their lyrics, many critics of the genre opposed this evolution. That did not stop the spirit of these women, who managed to transmit their messages to the whole world with their voice, style, and musical content.
We couldn’t help but list one of the biggest rappers in the industry. MC Lyte was the first solo female rapper to release her own full-length “Lyte as A Rock” album in 1988. In her musical style, we can see everything we have discussed in this article.
Lyte has shared in various interviews that her rebellion against the censorship of women in rap and that she transmits in her songs has generated success and, at the same time, criticism and situations of gender bias and injustice. Listen to one of her songs from Lyte as A Rock:
Queen Latifah is undoubtedly one of the first female rappers in hip-hop. The New Jersey native is what we know today thanks to her lyrical content that points to sisterhood and awareness of issues in Black women’s lives, like domestic violence and street harassment.
Her song UNITY is definitely a song that doesn’t go unnoticed:
Salt N Pepa
Cheryl James and Sandra Denton joined forces in 1985 to create Salt-N-Pepa. Salt N Pepa started a musical revolution around the liberation of female sexuality in the 90’s90’s they were frank and open about equal sexual rights while demanding respect and preaching against sexual assault and discrimination.
None Of Your Business is the perfect example of the message they always preach:
The Best Female Rappers in 2022
Thanks to the input of yesterday’s rap divas, the women on the following list had reached the stars by showing their passion for using music as a form of expression.
Nicki Minaj is a world-renowned rapper from Trinidad and Tobago. In her personal story, Onija emerged from a difficult childhood to become a successful hip-hop and rap artist. Determined to make it in the music business, she began writing her material. Musically, she is recognized for her versatility, sharp lyrics, lively fluidity in her rapping, and alter egos and accents.
Today, the rapper has won a large number of awards, including:
- BET Award for Best New Artist – 2010
- BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist – 2016, 2015, 2014,
- MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Music Video – 2012 “”Starships””
- Premios Juventud for Can’tCan’t Get Enough From This Song – 2020 “”Tusa””
- American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist – 2015, 2012, 2011
She is also a Marketing Expert and a Well Known Celebrity, but these are not the reasons why she was included on this list. Her song Bodack Yellow ranked number on the Billboard Top for the first time in more than 2 decades, making her the first female rapper to achieve this. Her latest song “Super Freaky Girl” was streamed 21 Million times last week and it has topped the download chart with 89,000 sales, the highest sales week for any song so far in 2022.
Born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, Doja Cat, known for her fun personality and active online presence, has been crowned one of the Top Female Rappers of 2022. She has earned multiple awards over her career and multiple Grammy Nominations. Currently, Doja Cat, leads the female pack artist on the MTV VMA’s with 8 nominations. Before the announcement last weekend, Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow and Kendrick Lamar were in the lead with 7 nominations each, now there is a tie between Doja Cat, Harry Styles and Jack Harlow.
On May 7th, Doja Cat rose to the number 1 spot on the Billboard Artist 100 for the first time in her career, thanks to the ongoing success of her 2021 album Planet Her and 5 ranking singles. As of right now, she is a top of the Rhythmic Airplay Chart with “ I Like You” a collab with Post Malone.
Megan The Stallion
Megan The Stallion has been in the industry spotlight for the last few years for her rapid growth and quirky style.
Something particular in her career took off thanks to online music streaming. She has developed a solid urban and rap style, which got an excellent response from the public and quickly escalated to big awards.
In 2019 Mega The Stallion was notable for her hit “Hot Girl Summer” with Nicky Minaj, reaching #5 on the US Rap Chart and #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2021, she won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for Savage Remix.From 2020 until this year, she has won the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist.
Recently she was honored as Top Female Rap Artist 2022 by the Billboard Music Awards.
The contribution of women in the music industry is necessary; otherwise, who else would put us in perspective of what being a female artist means?
From MC Lyte to Nicky Minaj and all the other women bringing good beats and soul to the table, we must say that the rap genre wouldn’t be the same without their contribution.
We look forward to seeing and hearing how these inspiring artists continue to grow in their careers.