Male rappers and artists are attributed to be the pioneers of the hip hop music era. Names like DJ Kool Herc and AfrikaBambaataa, Ice Cube and Chuck D – they are some of the first artists who played vital roles in creating the hip hop culture and the rap genre. But between the late 20th century and early 21st century, female rappers began recording hip hop music. In this article, we enumerate the six best female rappers that really established their personal brand of hip hop in the music industry:
Apart from making movies, Queen Latifah also rose to fame because of her songwriting and rapping skills. Her debut album All Hail the Queen was named by The Source as one of the best rap albums in 1998. Even if she stopped recording music, she is still considered one of hip hop’s pioneer female icons. Her contribution to music earner her Grammy Awards.
Lauryn Hill was an American songwriter and rapper who was also known as a member of the group Fugees. Her solo debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was critically-acclaimed, making her earn numerous awards and broke sales records. It debuted on top of US Billboard 200. Her single Doo Wop also made history, making Hill the first-ever female rapper to top Billboard Hot 100.
Nicki Minaj is definitely one of the most in-demand female rappers of this generation. Her first and second studio albums topped the US Billboard 200. In 2010, she was the first female solo artist to have seven simultaneous number one singles, including Super Bass and Starships. Anaconda, from her third studio album, is her highest-charting single to date. Today, she is considered the best-selling female rapper of all time.
Kimberly Denise Jones or more commonly known as Lil’ Kim, is an American rapper, model, and actress. VH1 honored Lil’ Kim as one of the 100 Greatest Women in Music. She was even regarded as the fiercest and most provocative female rapper. AllMusic also hailed her as one of the Hip Hop’s Greatest MCs. During her early years, media and critics called her the “Rap Goddess” and the “Queen of Rap”.
Missy Elliott started gaining attention in the music industry as a member of a female R&B group called Sista. In 1997, she launched her solo career and released her debut album SupaDupa Fly which peaked at number 3 on Billboard 200, the highest-charting debut album for a female rapper during that time. According to Nielsen Music, Missy Elliott is one of the best-selling female rappers of all time.
Iggy Azalea is an Australian rapper who moved to the United States to pursue a career in music. Her debut studio album The New Classic (2014) peaked several charts in the world. It also topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums, making her the first non-American to top the chart. Her single Fancy was her highest chart-topping single ever.
Who is your favorite among the choices on the list?