Female MCs have made incredible contributions to the rap and hip-hop genre, showcasing their formidable lyrical prowess and pushing boundaries in a male-dominated industry.
Let’s recognize the queens of the game with the top 10 female rappers of all time, countin’ it down from 10 to that untouchable numero uno!
Marlanna Evans, known professionally as Rapsody, has been steadily making a name for herself since her debut in 2008. She’s known for her lyrical dexterity, meaningful content, and intricate storytelling.
Her album “Eve,” named after the notable black women that inspired each track, is a brilliant testament to her skill and her commitment to uplifting her listeners.
Through her career, she has worked with notable artists like Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, and Busta Rhymes, earning a reputation as a lyrical force to be reckoned with.
Her respect for the craft of hip-hop and her commitment to positive messaging sets her apart in the modern hip-hop landscape.
Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper, known mononymously as Eve, burst onto the scene in the late ’90s as part of the Ruff Ryders. With a Grammy award under her belt and four successful albums, her smooth flow and versatile style set her apart.
She deftly navigated the male-dominated world of hip-hop, proving that female rappers could achieve commercial success while maintaining their creative integrity.
Aside from music, Eve has also made a name for herself in acting, starring in the “Barbershop” film series and her self-titled sitcom, further proving her multi-dimensional talent.
8. MC Lyte
Born Lana Michelle Moorer, MC Lyte is a true pioneer in the hip-hop industry. She was the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988’s critically acclaimed “Lyte as a Rock.”
Known for her articulate delivery and powerful lyrics, she paved the way for future female artists in the genre.
Over the years, she has consistently used her platform to advocate for women and girls, establishing herself not only as a trailblazer in music, but also as a respected activist.
This iconic trio, composed of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper, were one of the first all-female rap groups.
With a career spanning over three decades, they’ve given us a slew of dance-friendly hits like “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” and “Whatta Man.”
Their sex-positive lyrics, infectious beats, and undeniable chemistry made them a dominant force in the late ’80s and ’90s hip-hop scene.
They have received numerous awards, including a Grammy, solidifying their status as hip-hop legends.
6. Lil’ Kim
Kimberly Denise Jones, better known as Lil’ Kim, is a force of nature in the world of hip-hop. Known for her explicit lyrics and flamboyant style, she broke boundaries and challenged societal norms.
Her debut album “Hard Core” was a commercial success and is considered a classic in hip-hop. Throughout her career, Lil’ Kim has continually reinvented herself, proving her resilience and adaptability.
Her influence can be seen in many female artists today who emulate her boldness and audacity.
5. Foxy Brown
Born Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, Foxy Brown became a significant figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene during the mid-’90s. With a fiery delivery and unforgettable presence, Brown held her own alongside some of the era’s heaviest hitters.
As a part of The Firm, a supergroup with Nas, AZ, and Nature, she helped create one of the most memorable collaborations in hip-hop history.
Her albums “Ill Na Na” and “Chyna Doll” made her a household name, proving that women could stand alongside men in the rap game.
Brown’s provocative style and raw lyricism opened the door for many of today’s female MCs.
4. Missy Elliott
Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott is a creative powerhouse. Known for her unique style and innovative music videos, Missy has consistently pushed boundaries and defied expectations.
With her superb songwriting skills and innovative production, she has cemented her place in the hip-hop pantheon. Her discography is full of hits that are as fresh today as when they were released.
She was the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a testament to her influence and talent.
3. Nicki Minaj
Onika Tanya Maraj, better known as Nicki Minaj, has been a dominant force in hip-hop since her breakout in 2010.
With her distinctive voice, unforgettable verses, and audacious persona, Minaj has become one of the most successful and influential female rappers.
She’s consistently pushed the boundaries of what’s possible for female rappers, earning numerous awards and setting several records in the process.
Minaj’s style is eclectic and daring, combining fast-paced raps with catchy pop hooks, a formula that has won her a massive global fan base.
2. Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill’s influence on hip-hop and R&B is immeasurable. Her solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” is a seminal work in music history, blending soul, R&B, reggae, and rap.
The album was a critical and commercial success, earning Hill five Grammy Awards. Though her output has been limited, her impact is undeniable.
Her frank and introspective lyrics, coupled with her beautiful singing voice and adept rapping, have made her a beloved figure in music.
1. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah is such a dominant figure in hip-hop and we recognize her for her groundbreaking impact and longevity in the industry.
Her contributions to music, film, and television are beyond comparison. Her influential music and successful transition into acting has solidified her as a legend.
Throughout her career, Queen Latifah has consistently used her platform to advocate for women’s rights and body positivity, making her a role model for many.
Each of these women has broken barriers and opened doors for the next generation of female rappers.
They’ve demonstrated the power and importance of diverse voices in hip-hop, showing us that the genre is enriched by the contributions of women.
Their talent, creativity, and determination have left an indelible mark on the music industry!