Hip Hop and the Many Queens of Rap

2019, another great year for music and the performing arts. Especially for women. Let’s narrow our vision for a minute and look at the most popular and on-the-rise genre of music right now: rap, and with it, the fate of rising female emcees.

A few mainstream female emcees. 

Fundamental to rap are rhythm and poetry. A rapper has to be skilled at punch lines, flow, articulation, wordplay and delivery. We inadvertently think of men when we think of ‘rapper’ but like men, women too (duh) possess the skills to rap. Women emcees like Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown... have delivered some hard verses and classic albums. But over all, female emcees do not get the credit, respect and props that they deserve. ‘Female Rap’ seems like a knock-off sub-genre of Rap in general.

Hip hop has a very evident gender bias. Female rappers’ stature and craft are routinely demeaned by the industry at large. The norm remains that at a given time, only one supreme female rapper has her name on the mantle: the ‘Queen of Rap’. Contrarily, male rappers are usually embroiled in feuds with each other but still coexist.

Why is female emcees’ art underestimated and overlooked? Why is the norm to dethrone the ‘queen’ to put another in her place?

Rapper Nicki Minaj’s Instagram post for her upcoming FENDI collaboration.

It's quite a hustle that Nicki Minaj has held the title of ‘Queen of Rap’ for a decade now, because of pure hard work, skill and consistency, and yet, customary to the culture, dirt was thrown on her name as soon as new female emcees such as Iggy Azalea, Cardi B... started emerging.

Nicki Minaj and Cardi B

The question arises: Can’t hip hop accept multiple female rappers at the same time without discrediting and disregarding one for another? It's purely personal to have a choice and a preference but when it comes to female rappers, the criticism is way more than this ‘choice’ of artist.

Femcees must be given equal status, respect and attention as any other male rapper. Rap is about art and art isn’t good or bad based on gender.

From left to right: rappers Saweetie, Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj, Kashdoll Sr, Megan The Estallion.

For our audience, here's a list of female rappers of this decade that you must give a shot. They go hard, write their own rap as is expected of rappers, and spit fire while they deliver.

1. Nicki Minaj

2. Megan Thee Stallion

3. Iggy Azalea

4. Saweetie

5. Kashdoll Sr

6. Ms Banks

7. Cupcake

8. Maliibu Miitch

9. Lisa Mercedez

10. Azealia Banks

Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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