Female rappers are continuing to make their mark on the music industry despite the obstacles society places in front of them. Since the early days of hip-hop, women were depicted as background characters to their male counterparts, and their contribution to music was downplayed.
However, at the core of hip-hop is storytelling, and female rappers continue to deliver in the rawest and most unapologetic way. Through their bars, they candidly express their experiences and inspire and empower other women through clever metaphors and flows that keep listeners on their toes.
During Black women's history month, we recognize some of the female artists who are breaking boundaries and molding modern-day hip-hop.
Keep scrolling to see the full list of female rappers shaping the industry today.
Nicki Minaj is an industry titan opening doors and shaping the sound of many up-and-coming female rappers. Trinidadian-bred, hip-hop's barbie has a career spanning over a decade. Despite not dropping an album in four years, Nicki is still sitting high on the charts collaborating with hip-hop's hottest artists such as Lil Baby, Fivio Foreign, and Coi Leray. Her unmatched versatility and animated flow have yet to earn her a Grammy despite her many nominations — one of many examples of Black female rappers going unrecognized.
Megan Thee Stallion
Houston's Megan Thee Stallion has quickly become a household name in the music industry. Megan's freestyle and battle rap first caught the public's attention in 2018, and she has continued to shape the hip-hop game with her unique, fast-paced flows and iconic ad-libs. The hot girl swept the Grammy's in 2021 with her song "Savage," which shaped the nation amid a harrowing pandemic.
Cardi B's imprint on the music game can't go unnoticed. The Love and Hip Hop star became one of the biggest names in hip-hop when her 2017 track "Bodak Yellow" climbed to the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart, a female rapper feat that hadn't been accomplished since Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop" in 1998. Cardi's debut album Invasion of Privacy also earned her a Grammy in 2019. The New Yorker's catchy lyrics have thus far stood the test of time in the ever-changing music industry.
Doja Cat's versatility makes her a standout in the industry today. The 26-year-old artist is a shapeshifting female rapper that can deliver technical bars as an MC and sing with today's hottest pop stars. The Los Angeles-bred rapper recently snagged the 2022 Grammy award for Best Pop Duo/Group and songs from her most recent album Planet Her continue to dominate the charts. Doja's impact on Gen Z alone has her locked in for a long future in the industry.
Since being featured on Drake's "In My Feelings," City Girls have become one of the hottest duos in the music industry. Yung Miami and J.T.'s lyricism and flow create the perfect recipe for club anthems that won't be leaving the streets anytime soon. "Act Up," "Twerk," "Where the Bag At," and "Take Yo Man," are just a few of their tracks that are taking the hip-hop industry by storm.
Saweetie is another female artist who has influenced hip-hop through her songs "Best Friend," "Tap In," "My Type," and more. Saweetie has been breaking the internet since she first started posting her music on social media. Her career skyrocketed after she posted a video rapping over Khia's "My Neck, My Back", which gained over 100 million views on Youtube. In 2021, Saweetie's hard work and rising stardom were recognized on the Grammy stage, as she received a nomination for Best New Artist.
Latto started out as a young talent on The Rap Game in 2016. After winning the show's first season, Latto became a Billboard charter and certified platinum with her singles "B*tch from da Souf" and "Muwop." The Atlanta native is quickly picking up steam in the industry especially after releasing "Big Energy," collaborating with the likes of Mariah Carey on the remix.
Flo Milli is another young artist that has emerged as a budding star in the rap game. After her singles "Beef FloMix" and "In the Party" blew up on TikTok, Flo Milli is finally starting to get the mainstream recognition she deserves for her playful raps and unique delivery.
BIA started to gain traction with her feature on Russ' "Best on Earth" in 2019. In an era where TikTok is controlling the charts, Bia has smartly used social media to put her hip-hop talents on full display. Her track "Whole Lotta Money" went viral on the app and has propelled her career to a new level. A true testament to her mark on the industry, Bia recently hopped on tracks with rap's biggest stars Nicki Minaj and J.Cole.
Coi Leray is an up-and-coming rapper that's shaking up hip-hop after dropping her first studio album, Trendsetter. Her songs "No More Parties," which is RIAA certified platinum, and "Big Purr" have seen success on the charts. Leray's talent was spotted by Nicki Minaj, and the two collaborated on their single "Blick Blick," which peaked in the top 40 on Billboard's Hot 100.
Rubi Rose is also a part of the next generation of rappers shaping the industry. Rubi has been acknowledged by both her peers as well as the hip hop community as a rapper to watch out for and has thus far worked with the likes of Cardi B, Future, PartyNextDoor, and more.
In what can seem like a boys club, female rappers are shifting the culture while producing today's best music.