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We Have Female Rappers, You’re Just Not Paying Attention


When I was little, the first female rapper I heard was Eve: “Who’s That Girl”. She was cocky and boastful and, ever since, I always rooted for the Black women of rap. I used to listen to women like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Foxy Brown, Salt-n-Pepa, and Roxanne Shante, who showed womanhood, sexuality, and power. Back then, more than one of them could be a star.


In the 2000s, women were taking over rap and hip hop, crossing over into fashion, pop, and the acting world. They were breaking records and proved that it’s not just a man’s world. Then, in 2006, there was a sharp decline in females in the rap industry. Even the Grammys eliminated the “Best Female Rap Solo Performance” award.


We saw a lack of female rappers until 2009, when Nicki Minaj made her debut. She brought back a section of the rap industry that was failing for 3 years. Minaj was the first to crossover into mainstream and pop. She has and still does have what early female rappers needed to make it: fearlessness, sexuality, style, and cockiness. She battled the boys and won to be the reigning Queen of Rap.


In history, success in female rappers happened when they were the “first lady” or with a male mentor. Clear examples were Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown. Lil’Kim started under the guidance of the Notorious B.I.G. and Foxy Brown started under the guidance of Jay-Z. Women should be taken seriously without a co-sign from their male counterparts, however, without those two men, we wouldn’t know who they are.


Almost, two months ago, Lil’ Yachty made a tweet: “We need more female rappers”. He must not be paying attention. They would rather listen to the same rappers or worry about the women beefing, instead of focusing on their talent. It is nothing wrong with healthy competition, but pitting women against each other is not what we should do because we no longer have to rely on one female rapper to excel in the industry.


What you see is a collage I have made with black women of rap. You all should get to know them. All of the women listed here create original music. They all have what makes a rapper: originality, fearlessness, sexuality, braggadocio, and style. See… we do not need more female rappers, you just don’t pay attention.



My name is Samaria Colbert. I am a 4th year Computer Science major and Graphic Design minor from Cincinnati, Ohio. I attend Howard University and will be writing for my school chapter. With my major, I intend to go into UX and UI design.  I want to open my own graphic design business and create more jobs for black women in my field. I want to be my own boss.
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