The rap game is long overdue for a revamped playing field, and there is no shortage of female rappers to even the score in the male-dominant genre. More girls are not only rapping, but they are also doing it well, proving all along that women had the motive and moxie but lacked the support afforded to men.
Hip-hop has had many queens reign supreme in both mainstream and underground circles. Oftentimes, women who chose the mic were rightfully named as competitors but rarely championed as collaborators, creating a coveted solo spot at the top. An industry that already provides less space — both figuratively and literally — to its women artists seems to be shifting. As hip-hop progresses, the stale concept is slowly fading with multiple women on their own paths to a limitless success pool.
Earlier in the year, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion made history after dropping remixes featuring Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, respectively. “Say So” remix and “Savage” remix placed No. 1 and 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and, for the first time, the coveted spots were simultaneously held by female rappers.
This followed the chart history that was made by women in 2019.
Saweetie and City Girls joined Meg for a Hot Girl summer takeover. Each individual act earned Billboard chart placements. The chart success of rappers like Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Iggy Azalea meant that female rappers had the biggest breakthrough in over 10 years. Charts are not the only indicators of talent nor success. We have also covered the talents of Tierra Whack, who recently earned her first Hot 100 placement, Rico Nasty, Kash Doll, Rapsody Noname, Kamiayah, Hook, and many other women choosing a career in rap music.
Okayplayer has highlighted 25 female rappers with rhyme skills and a variety of flavor to add to your rotation. Some are newer acts and some have been in the game but all deserve attention.
Flo Milli (Mobile, Alabama)
Starting a song “dicks up when I step in the party” is an example of Flo Milli commanding unremitting attention from audiences. After the song and video for “Beef FloMix,” released one year ago, went viral, Flo Milli has maintained the momentum with multiple releases, each better and bolder than the last. Her cadence and distinct pitch are paired with brazen bars and a level of confidence that overflows on every track. If you find fandom in Nicki Minaj’s cult classic “Itty Bitty Piggy” then Flo Milli should be on your radar. With the release of her debut project, Ho, Why Is You Here?, the 20-year-old artist is well on her way to becoming one of hip-hop’s next “it girls” and putting her southern Alabama roots and style on the map.
KenTheMan (Houston, Texas)
KenTheMan is lyrical talent proving her skill level on multiple freestyles and song releases. As her name alludes, she is not bound to the restraints of societal femininity in style or sound. Her aggressive tone flows effortlessly through a variety of beats. From her trending single “He Be Like” to any one of her freestyles covering another rapper’s instrumental, KenTheMan does not shy away from the beat. With lyrics about sex, relationships, money, and power — and a fearless bass in her voice — her musical content is reminiscent of rap legend Lil’ Kim.
Kelow Latesha (Prince George County, Maryland)
Kelow Latesha’s audacious energy is captured in sound. At 26-years-old, she is a veteran, with a discography dating back to 2011. On records, her quirky, stoner wit is balanced with braggadocious bars where she deems herself liable to take anyone’s bitch. Aesthetically, she belongs to no era. Her brightly colored, free-flowing locs are tied together with polished and pristine acrylic sets and perfect baby hair, a creative look not oversold.
Armani Caesar (Buffalo, New York)
Signed to Griselda, fans may expect Armani Caesar to deliver gritty rhymes of cocaine and crime. But the rapper has something else to offer. She stands as a slick-talking star of her own show, prioritizing bad bitch-dom over bricks. Armani unapologetically raps about her sexual skills, designer affections, pretty face, and hustler mentality. Although her style differs from her label-mates, she’s proven her ability to rap alongside her peers with a standout verse on Westside Gunn’s “Lil Cease” and her song “Simply Done” with Benny the Butcher. With fresh, budding talent, Armani Caesar is in the position to evolve in real-time.
Jucee Froot (Memphis, Tennessee)
You may have been introduced to Jucee Froot through HBO’s hit series Insecure. Her song “Eat Itself” was featured in the latest season. She has also appeared on the soundtracks for the blockbuster film Birds of Prey (“Danger“) and Starz series P-Valley (“Down In The Valley”). Signed to Atlantic Records, and Art@War via Loyal 100, the 26-year-old rapper has a sound that is unique to her but deeply inspired by the likes of Three 6 Mafia and Gangsta Boo. The tattooed artist makes her wants, needs, ups, and downs known to the world through her music. She has songs to twerk to, songs for partying and songs to channel rage.
Donmonique (Brooklyn, New York)
Hailing Brooklyn, a borough that many rap legends call home, Donmonique has big shoes to fill, and she manages to strut without stumbling. She burst onto the scene a young teenager creating party anthems like “Pilates.” She still creates fun, gritty anthems only more mature and polished. The self-proclaimed “New Kim Old Nicki,” maintains a glamorous, yet street persona through rhyme. Donmonique’s deep, distinct voice and Brooklyn accent effortlessly melts over any track.
Che Noir (Buffalo, New York)
Che Noir is everything good about hip-hop. From her delivery on official tracks to her impressive freestyles, the 26-year-old rapper uses rapping to share narratives that shape the person she has become. Her metaphors and visual-provoking verses depict her sometimes harsh reality entangled with violent streets, drug-filled corners, family issues, and dedication to making it out. Approaching storytelling rap similar to stylings of JAY-Z or The Notorious B.I.G., the Buffalo artist effortlessly pairs big brags with intricate rhyme schemes and gritty beats. She recently hooked up with Apollo Brown to release the excellent As God Intended album.
BIA (Boston, Massachusetts)
BIA is best known for being a cast member on the 2014-2016 aired reality show Sisterhood of Hip Hop. But, since then, she’s taken more control of her art, and her image. The 28-year-old rapper takes a nonchalant approach to her bold, aggressive bars. She recently began a new era in her career with Epic records, launching “Free BIA (1st Day Out) as a warning shot. She followed the track up with “COVER GIRL” a smooth, cocky track empowering BIA and listeners alike.
CHIKA (Montgomery, Alabama)
Her poetic flow, lyrical gift, and blatant vulnerability make Chika one of the most commanding artists in the game. The 23-year-old artist makes music for real people experiencing real things, as asserted by her latest EP Industry Games. Instead of shying away from sensitive subjects, Chika works through them, breaking down personal afflictions and societal woes one rhyme at a time. In fact, her biggest viral moment to date was a freestyle rhyme about Kanye West’s political revelations over “Jesus Walk.”
Bbymutha (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
There’s no rapper who sounds like Bbymutha. She does not break any mold only because there was never one created. Her stage name itself blurs the respectability lens that sometimes zooms in and looms over women in hip-hop. Musically, Bbymutha incorporates feminist motifs through her own experiences as a Black southern woman and mother, with something to say. Pressing play on Bbymutha’s music opens the portal to her glamorous, gloomy world where she stars as both the villain and the hero.
Mulatto (Atlanta, Georgia)
While her stage name warrants a historical breakdown and unpacking on an introspective level, Mulatto’s ability to craft a hit is undeniable. Catching a break on Jermaine Dupri’s youth hip-hop competition series, The Rap Game, she won the first season of the show as Miss Mulatto. Now the 21-year-old rapper aims to evolve from the angsty teen depicted on television to a real ass bitch from the South, and does so through powerful boasts of sexuality, wealth, and a luxurious lifestyle. Her southern drawl paired with a confident attitude and provocative lyrics make cocky anthems to put on repeat.
Ivy Sole (Charlotte, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Ivy Sole delivers melodic raps containing powerful stories and messages. She sings and raps, switching between the two with an equally soothing voice on both sides of the coin. Content-wise, the artist covers a broad spectrum of personal and societal joys and woes. Ivy Sole approaches subjects such as queerness, joy, love, mental health, and Black liberation.
Su’Lan (Oakland, California)
A rap duo with enough energy to go up against the world, Su’Lan’s slick bars are weaponized against any opposition. Group members Saunsu and Emahlani are bringing their unique style to Bay area hip-hop. The chemistry between the two female rappers is evident as they carry each other on various verses. Su’Lan creates music to wear as an armor cloaking them in invincibility, with menacing warnings of the danger that comes with crossing them.
Killumantii (Atlanta, Georgia)
Starting out as a teenager in underground rap scenes, Killumantii, now an eager 20-year-old, has only sharpened her spitfire style. Signed to DJ Drama’s Generation Now, an Atlantic records imprint, she represents the Gen-Z era with no time for pointless haters, messy relationships, or social media drama. Killumantii has a confident level of fearlessness, equipped with her own toughness and swagger but remains grounded to reality She takes a bold stance, chronicling her journey to young adulthood with trap-inspired songs and introspective rhymes with softer tones.
Cupcakke (Chicago, Illinois)
CupcakKe’s name might inspire thoughts of sweetness or soft, delicate baked goods. However, her brash lyrics are often the opposite. Her songs often fuse carnal themes with comical punchlines but there is more to CupcakKe than erotic tunes. While her songs about oral sex and campy aesthetics grab attention, she maneuvers metaphors, wordplay, and punchlines with ease. CupcakKe incorporates multiple layers of awareness throughout her songs. She can rap hoe rhymes, drop bars on societal issues, and shed light on mental health all on one song. CupcakKe draws outside the lines and creates a space for female rappers who can do it all.
Ill Camille (Compton, California)
Ill Camille uses her storytelling talent to create honest music. Her lyrical talents are met with jazzy, neo-soul inspired production. Ill Camille is smart and that is not only a complement to the wisdom in her songs but her ability to break down cultural affairs through her personal experiences. Her latest project, a collaborative effort, HARRIETT, with Damian Nkosi features the two artists trading bars on the Black experience in America and beyond.
Jean Deaux (Chicago, Illinois)
Jean Deaux is a singer and rapper representing the Windy City. She’s assertive about who she is, what she wants, and what she says through her music. The 25-year-old talent can bounce between genres with ease. Her soothing, soft vocals mirror her smooth, whispery rap delivery. Although her name signifies anonymity, Jean Deaux is very personal with her art whether creating her own songs or writing for others.
Ivorian Doll (London, England)
A leading lady of the growing UK Drill scene, Ivorian Doll has a fresh viral moment with “Rumours” a song proving her rap skills and determination to control her own narrative. Ivorian began her career as a public figure, building up her YouTube channel before transitioning into music. Her audacious style is evocative of Nicki Minaj. She raps with diction and force, commanding every ear without clashing with the beat. Being new to the scene does not hinder Ivorian Doll from aiming for crowns, already proclaiming herself the “Queen Of Drill” throwing shots at whoever is in range, and hitting each target.
Deetranada (Baltimore, Maryland)
Season three of The Rap Game introduced Deetranada to audiences and although she did not win the competition series, her skills made her a fan favorite. At only 19-years-old, she already has mastered the art of freestyling, often going viral when she steps to the mic. Her attitude adds flair to every song. She often channels an alter ego Deebo, in alignment with the neighborhood bully from the cult classic Friday, lyrically snatching chains and offering fades, daring anyone to try and tone check her temper.
Treety (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Treety adds her feisty bars to New Orleans bounce beats creating bops that anyone can groove to. Her breakout song, “DropOffs,” was only an introduction to her artistry. She makes fun music empowering her physically, sexually, and emotionally. Although most of her music is perfect for shaking and twerking, Treety uses lyricism to make it clear that she is self-assured.
PineappleCITI (Newark, New Jersey)
PineappleCITI sings and raps messages of triumph and motivation. She has her own story of overcoming adversity, surviving a tragic accident that left her unable to walk for two years. CITI is versatile, flipping effortlessly between singing and rapping, often blending the two crafts. She manifests positive energy and with charm and finesse and writes and performs with her heart on her sleeve.
Day Sulan (Compton, California)
Signed to YG’s 4HUNNID label, a joint effort with Epic records, Day Sulan steps up to the plate hitting home runs with braggadocious rhymes. Her sultry nature can be explained by her past work as a stripper. As a newer artist, her library is small but she is steadily creating energetic, party music that paints her as untouchable. Anyone objecting to Day Sulan’s calls and claims are shot down by the rapper who centers her own desires. She has plenty of opportunity to continue growing as an artist and releasing bops.
Molly Brazy (Detroit, Michigan)
Molly Brazy may be small in stature. However, her size does not denote her weight class as a rapper. The Detroit rapper’s street rhymes are loud and fast-paced, as she flexes top-notch jewelry, designer labels, and extensions. Her glossy lifestyle is juxtaposed against a gritty picture of guns and violence, another common theme in her music. With two Trina collaborations under her belt, Molly Brazy is in a similar lane as her Miami-bred predecessor however she has her own whip and occasionally adds extra pressure to the gas pedal.
Melii (The Bronx, New York)
A viral cover of Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” put the spotlight on Melii who sings and raps in both Spanish and English. She makes music for bad bitches with real lives and real emotions. Melii manages to channel individual feelings and personal experiences through introspective lyrics and poignant delivery. When Melli raps there’s a sense of authenticity in every word no matter what language she uses and whether she’s feeling sensual, angry, heartbroken, or secure, she feels it forreal.
Omeretta The Great (Atlanta, Georgia)
Omeretta The Great rap skills live up to her gargantuan moniker. She’s a lyricist, focusing on the complexity of her word choice and rhyme scheme without losing stamina or fumbling her flow. While she’s still solidifying her footing, Omeretta is polishing her voice as a rapper and transparently expressing mixed sentiments resulting from personal traumas. Still, her afflictions are matched by a motivated, undaunted Omeretta who does not hesitate to talk her shit.
Banner Photo Credit: Noam Galai / Contributor; Sarah Morris/Getty Images for BET; Scott Dudelson/Getty Images; David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns; Prince Williams/Wireimage
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