These female artists are breaking barriers in male-dominated hip hop industry!
Rap is one of the most popular genres right now and for a good reason; the genre is consistently evolving, with innovation at every turn. Pioneering some of the most thrilling innovation in rap is coming from women — a traditionally underrepresented demographic in the genre.
Here are our favorite female rappers worth paying attention to:
Rico Nasty has been everywhere these past few months, from walking the runway at NYFW, to releasing popular song “Tia Tamera” with Doja Cat, to dropping the sci-fi tinged video for “Roof.” It’s not hard to understand why so many people are captivated with Rico; the 21-year-old Maryland rapper’s aggressive flow and innovative visuals are fresh and exciting.
Philadelphia born-and-raised Tierra Whack dropped her debut album Whack World on May 30, 2018 to great critical acclaim. At a short 15 minutes in length, the album is groundbreaking, with Whack rapping about everything from failed love to a dead dog. Since the release of Whack World, Whack has been dropping single after single, each better than the last.
Lava La Rue
London rapper Lava La Rue is creative force to be reckoned with. As one of the founding members of the 15-person collective NiNE8, La Rue has a unique DIY-persona that reflects the youth culture of the UK. La Rue’s lo-fi style is perfect for soundtracking anything from studying to hanging out with friends.
Princess Nokia is a New York City icon through and through. Besides making incredible music, Nokia is a fierce advocate for women of color, from calling out racists to advocating for intersectional feminism. It’s Nokia’s unique sound and passion for social justice that has made her an important part of the alternative rap scene.
If you don’t know who Noname is by now, you should get to know her. The Chicago native’s flow is a mix of spoken word and rap, and her 2018 album Room 25 received a Metacritic score of 93/100 (yes, it’s that good). Noname’s music is deeply introspective and powerful, making her one of the most compelling artists of recent times.
When I started brainstorming for this list, my good friend texted me “you better have Asian Doll on it.” Asian Doll is one of the fiercest ladies on this list, with a “don’t-mess-with-me” attitude that’s reflected in her music. With club-ready songs that will have you feeling confident, this list wouldn’t be complete without Asian Doll.
Saweetie is best known for her breakout hit “ICY GRL,” a track that plays at party after party and spawned a Kehlani rework, but she’s so much more than that one song. Her debut album High Maintenance was packed back to back with danceable hits, showing Saweetie is not a rapper to underrate.
Chynna brings a rawness and honesty to her music that draws you in and leaves you wanting more. With mosh-ready production under her hazy flow, Chynna’s music is a force to be reckoned with. In Chynna’s words, her music is “for angry people with too much pride to show how angry they are.”
Oakland’s Kamaiyah is hyphy through and through. With her wild flow and inventive beats, Kamiyah creates music that has the essence of the Bay Area on a summer night. She’s only 24 and has already worked with the likes of YG and Drake and was on XXL’s 2017 freshman list — she’s a powerhouse.
By Mackenzie Glaubitz