6 Female Rappers You Should Listen To

You can be the king, but watch the queen conquer. - Nicki Minaj, “Monster”

Let’s face it: women rappers are the queens of the music world. They have been revolutionizing hip hop and rap for years, whether that’s by being one of the industry’s highest paid musicians or being listed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Rap royalty like MIA, Missy Elliot, Ms. Lauryn Hill and Nicki Minaj are praised for their ability to create powerful songs that break into the male-dominated realm of hip hop, and they rank high on my list of personal heroes. In addition to these paragons of female advancement, there are many other women rappers spitting badass verses while spreading important messages of empowerment. In an effort to bring much-deserved love and appreciation to these artists, here are six incredible rappers who will remind you why girls run the world.

 

Angel Haze

I first came across Angel Haze in 2013 when an article on Rookie described her remix of “Same Love” as “the most affecting song… heard in a long time.” In her cover of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit song, Angel Haze opens with a brutally candid line about coming out to her mother as pansexual. By the end of the song, I was weeping and dying to hear more from this Brooklyn rapper. Her other songs do not disappoint as she delivers fast, raw verses about working hard to achieve your goals and not letting anything get in your way.

Favorite song: “Werkin Girls” (on Spotify)

 

Awkwafina

Awkwafina’s music is both funny and poignant, making her my go-to jam for car rides with friends. We laugh at her explicit references to female sexuality and scream out verses that remind us of the power within our bodies and minds. As a Chinese-American artist from Queens, Awkwafina has broken a lot of social norms. Her musical success has shown us all that where you come from does not define what you can become.

Favorite song: “My Vag” (on Spotify)

 

YaNi

Hailing from both Atlanta and Queens, YaNi is a prominent voice for the cities she grew up in and the struggles that their inhabitants face daily. Her music speaks about the discrimination of African Americans, the degradation of women and the need to resolve these problems through storytelling and decisive action. YaNi spreads her message of peace and communalism not only through poetry and rap, but also through her work as an activist and founder of the Peace People’s movement. In a world fraught with Trump’s racist jargon and the general ignorance found in Facebook comments, we all need a little YaNi to remind us that there is hope for a more positive and accepting future.  

Favorite song: “Thumbs Up” (on SoundCloud)

 

Noname  

I instantly fell in love with Noname’s soulful voice when I first heard her featured on Chance the Rapper’s “Lost.” Each line flowed more beautifully than the one before it and her clever turns of phrase made her verse my favorite in the song. Noname, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, is a natural poet from Chicago who makes all writers jealous of her lyrical prowess. Naturally, I was excited when she dropped her first full mixtape Telefone in July. The album is a gorgeous blend of blues and hip-hop that is the perfect soundtrack for relaxing with a mug of tea on a rainy day.

Favorite song: “Sunday Morning” (on SoundCloud)

 

FM Supreme

Another boss rapper from Chicago, FM Supreme describes herself as a “humanitarian rap artist” who uses music to push for social change. Her songs often sample real clips from protests and news reports, making a strong statement when mixed with her cries to “stop shooting people.” In “No Turning Back,” FM Supreme samples Florence and the Machine, beautifully blending the sounds of two badass women into an anthem for change. She is a master of mixing influences from different parts of American culture, and this shows through in all of her music.

Favorite song: “No Turning Back” (on SoundCloud)

 

Sharaya J

Sharaya J’s music is a straight up jam. Although she has only released three songs, each one is more energetic and sassy than the last. This is the kind of music you can play in your dorm room before a party as your crew gets ready to slay the dance floor. It’s also great for pumping yourself up before a test or game and should be played at maximum volume for full self-confidence boosting effect.

Favorite song: “Banji” (on Spotify and SoundCloud) 

 

I hope you enjoy listening to these badass lady rappers. Let me know whether you’re also a fan of any of these women, or whether you have any suggestions for other rappers I should check out!

 

Image credits: Sharaya J (via twitter.com), chicagoyouthserviceday, wgnetworks, whoisyani, awkwafina, blaremagazine