You want to feel like a dope dealer while folding your laundry? Listen to Pusha T. You want to get in the zone and feel like you’re putting niggas in body bags? 21 Savage. You want to celebrate getting to the money? 9 out of 10, you naturally thought of a male rapper. Now, we cannot discount what these rappers listed have done for music today, but at the end of they all have something in common— being male.
Hip-hop has always been a male dominated genre, but as women when we want to be heard we stop at nothing to make it happen. This is why pioneer female rappers like MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shante, and more to list made sure to leave a mark since the dawn of Hip- Hop.
Of course it didn’t stop there, during the golden age of hip hop, female rappers like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Amil, EVE, Trina, Missy Elliot and more made their own space in hip-hop. These women spoke continued to carry the torch; reminding us that we can be our own boss, secure bags, and play niggas with ease.
After these women received their accolades, served jail time, and fizzled out male rap reclaimed their boys’ only lane. Around the early 2008, we had rapper Nicki Minaj freestyle and trail blaze her way right into our playlists. From “Itty Bitty Piggy”, her own iconic remix of “The Warning”, to currently reminding us of her queen status with “Hard White”. Cardi B making herself a household name with nonstop hustle and tracks like “Get Up 10”and “Money”, female rap is now becoming mainstream and I’ve never been more excited. Most labels are stopping at nothing to push out their own female artist and we’re seeing more male rappers co-sign female rappers left and right.
With this huge rise in female rappers occurring, my hopes are that we stop the compare/contrast challenges and pitting them against each other. When a new emerging male rap artist is in the public eye, we often see interviewers be quite optimistic about their future endeavors. We want to know more about what they like, what they’re wearing, and who they would love to collaborate with; they don’t hesitate to advocate with unity and it’s almost a slap in the face when they are quick to put one female rapper against another just for ha-ha’s. Watching interviews with female rappers almost feels imprudent as a supporter/viewer. Immediately we hear interviewers be invasive about their sex-life, misogynistic questions, and literally force female rappers to compare themselves. In the hip-hop community, I think important we challenge those boundaries despite whether a rapper is female or not. Which I why I enjoy watching interviews with Azealia Banks Young MA, and more challenge interviewers and DJs to focus more on their music than their personal livelihood.
Also the argument about female rappers constantly rapping about the same thing is the most hypocritical thing I’ve heard in my life. Male rappers literally rap about bitches, drugs, guns, etc. It’s been a reoccurring theme for the past forty years! I’m not saying it’s all rappers talk about, but it’s all rappers talk about. I think the hypocrisy should be laid to rest when mentioning female rap; why is there such a high standard for women in rap? Why don’t female rappers have more space to do what they want? I think It would be a much peaceful if women were given the space to do what they want without such harsh criticism on basically anything they want to do in the rap game. I think it is safe to say to keep that same energy when it comes to female rap please, mind your business and just bop with us.
Side note: the videos of guys rapping to City Girls “Act Up” are so hilarious and I’m happy to see them fucking with female rap!
What I love about female rap is that every rapper is capable of reminding you that their best strong suit is being a woman. Despite whatever background you come from, as women, we are constantly silenced— always being told we’re too loud, opinionated, sexual, prude, and more. Every female rapper always has something to say to their listeners; they touch on topics of oppression, sexuality, hardships, relationships, emotions, and even just their own reality. As a listener, being able to relate to the lyrics of these women is an empowering feeling.
In brief, if you feel like raging out to something– throw on some Rico Nasty or Coi Leray. You feel like being a beautiful scammer? City Girlz. You feel like getting hood on a bitch real? Maybe throw on some Queen Key, Asian Doll, S3nsi Molly, or Molly Brazy. Not into being violent, you want to listen to quirky but cool tracks, Tierra Whack, Kari Faux, Junglepussy, or Young Baby Tate. There is so much more than just the artist I just listed, female rap is on a much needed rise, and as a listener who just happened to be woman—I’m pretty excited!
Lastly, Female Rap IS rap– whether you like it or not. If you were fully educated on what hip-hop as a whole, you wouldn’t fix your lips and talk about how it’s invalid.
In the words of Megan Thee Stallion, “DON’T GET MAD HOE, GET A BAG HOE!”