Top 10 Greatest Female Rap Artists
Which musical genre is the most popular in the 2020s? Taste so subjective, is it possible to state if one type of music is more popular than another? The answer to that is ‘yes.’ To gain a handle on which particular genre has the most fans, all we have to do is refer to statistics about the number of tracks being downloaded by various streaming services.
Love is often a central theme of rap music, providing common ground for millions of singles drawn to online services, whether they engage via LGBT chat rooms, or love checking out the best poly dating sites. Many people just love the music because it’s so catchy, making the perfect backdrop for any situation. In celebration of Hip Hop’s inclusivity, it would be worthwhile focusing on female rap artists with a list of the 10 greatest performers.
A recent analysis of US sales revealed that Hip Hop topped this list, accounting for over a third of all albums purchased last year. Rock came second. The ‘which’ question leads on to the even more interesting question: ‘why’?
Why do so many people listen to Hip Hop, or as it’s also known, rap music? After originating in the deprived inner-city areas of New York’s Bronx district in the late 1970s, it has exploded in popularity, combining other cultural aspects: fashion, dance styles, and graffiti art. It has also been massively influential because it has always strived to give a voice to those in society who have felt most disenfranchised. So many are drawn to listening to rap artists because they feel isolated. For oppressed communities, Hip Hop gives hope. For the younger generation across the globe, it deals with relationship issues, everything from the excitement of the first crush to a first broken heart.
- Missy Elliot
Kicking off her stellar career with R&B girl group Sista in the 1990s, Virginia-born Missy Elliott has sold over 30 million records in the USA, winning four Grammy Awards. The first female rap artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, her major hits include ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ and ‘Work It.’
- Remy Ma
Born in New York in 1980, Remy Ma released her first album in 2006, and has since gone on to release many massively popular hits, such as ‘Lean Back,’ and ‘Conceited.’ She is one of the four artists who have been multiple winners of BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, and starred in a reality series, ‘Love & Hip Hop: New York.’
From Philadelphia, Eve has received numerous accolades throughout her performing career. As well as making the VH1 list of the ‘50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists,’ she has become a successful actress, starring in Barbershop, and its two sequels. Not content with chart hits like ‘Satisfaction,’ she also has a clothing range.
- Lauryn Hill
Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1975, Lauryn Hill has become one of her generation’s most influential performers. As a teenager she appeared in the movie Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, then went on to stellar success with the band the Fugees. Their album ‘The Score’ sold seven million copies.
- Nicki Minaj
Known as the ‘Queen of Rap,’ Minaj was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad in 1982, initially gaining recognition for producing mixtapes. Since then, she has earned multiple accolades, her stage style introducing multiple alter egos, wearing eye-catching costumes. Her debut album ‘Pink Friday’ was certified triple-platinum.
Also known as Rapdiddy, born Marianna Evans in North Carolina in 1983, Rapsody has received two Grammy Award nominations, for the best rap album, and best rap song. She is widely known for the intricate rhymes and wordplay she injects her raps with and is passionate about Hip Hop culture.
- Lil’ Kim
Although she lived a fairly chaotic youth in New York, living some of her life on the streets after being kicked out of home, Lil’ Kim embraced freestyle rap and came to the notice of Notorious B.I.G., who asked her to join his group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Her debut solo album shifted six million copies across the globe, and she has also become a TV personality.
- The Lady Of Rage
Born Robin Yvette Allen in Virginia in 1968, The Lady of Rage has collaborated with artists on the famous rap label Death Row records, such as Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Frequently referred to as one of the genre’s most skillful female MCs, she has also achieved acting success.
- Queen Latifah
From Newark, New Jersey, Queen Latifah is a massively talented rapper, producer, songwriter, and actress. Releasing her first album in 1989, she has gone on to earn multiple accolades, and appear in blockbusting films and TV shows.
First launched in the New York borough of Queens in the mid-1980s, Salt-N-Pepa is Cheryl James and Sandra Denton. Their first single ‘Push It’ hit the top spot in thee countries. They have since sold more than 15 million albums across the world (their fourth, ‘Very Necessary,’ is the highest-selling by any female rap act ever.)
Of course, this ‘top 10’ is also subjective, as music is always a reflection of individual taste. Some will agree with the names included, others will wonder why their favorite artist doesn’t feature. It’s certainly not meant to be definitive. But any of the aforementioned performers are worth checking out.