FEMALE RAP - 100 albums
It's never been easy for a woman to find her way into the rap game. First, she had to fight hard to become an equal to the frequently sexist male rappers. And then, she had to deal with her rivals; the audience, or the industry, curiously, always wanted just one female star per generation. And then, once all of this is achieved, any female rapper needed to position herself against the many stereotypes about her kind. She had to decide if she was a tomboy, or a bad bitch, or an R&B sentimentalist. Despite these many obstacles, however, many made it. Females matter, in hip-hop, as demonstrated by our selection of outstanding projects.
One criteria only dictated which records were selected in the list: their quality. Their historical significance, or their representativeness, had nothing to do with our choice. They were all about this subjective thing called "taste". Don't be surprised, then, if some female rap highlights are missing. Also, please notice that we only listed hip-hop projects, delivered entirely by females: no R&B album there, and no mixed band. However, if you are shocked by the list, if you think that something is wrong with it, please do comment it, at the bottom of this page.
For the time being, our list will be focusing primarily on the last 10 years.
# 100. LORD NARF - Witchcraft (2016)
Awful Records was made of people who had grown up with rap music. For them, practicing it was obvious, but they didn't do it with any kind of respect. They did it in their own twisted way, as demonstrated here by one of their female members. Lord Narf was indeed a skilled rapper, like in the old days, but she preferred to use her hypnotic and low witch voice with some ghostly and bizarre kind of music.
#099. LADY LESHURR - Friggin L (2011)
Lady Leshurr was UK's premier freestyle rapper in the 2010's. It is indeed through her "Queen Speech" series that she made a name for herself. Even prior to that, though, Friggin L had been her defining mixtape, her true starting point. Due to her own version of Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now" and her US influences, it was also the first time that the rapper had caught the attention of her American peers.
#098. YOUNG M.A - M.A The Mixtape (2015)
With "Ooouuu", Young M.A. released one 2016's bangers. This song made her famous. It popularized her tomboy pose, her impetuous raps, and her overtly lesbian stance. This single, however, had not been the first time New-York's rapper had showed her talents. She had already demonstrated her freestyling skills one year before, on this mixtape, where she rapped brashly on some recent hits.
# 097. KODIE SHANE - Big Trouble Little Jupiter (2017)
The feminine face of Lil Yachtie's Sailing Team is Kodie Shane. Like the rest of Lil Yachtie's crew, she was joyous, juvenile and exuberant. When she didn't deliver some serious, intimate or sung tracks – after all, she had R&B musicians in her family, starting with her half-sister, an ex-member of Blaque – she delivered astute and petulant rap songs, her best, such as the irresistible "Like a Rockstar".
# 096. NONAME - Telefone (2016)
Known through her works with Mick Jenkins and Chance the Rapper, Noname represents expectedly the arty and intellectual face of Chicago's rap scene. With her slam and poetry background, and her sweet and lighthearted jazz sounds, her Telefone mixtape looked like a coming-of-age novel. It was all about the story, both joyous and sad, of a child turning into an adult, and losing her innocence.
# 095. CAM & CHINA - Cam & China (2016)
Two Californian twin sisters, quite at their ease with a microphone, would confirm their talent with this EP. A few years after their debut, as two members of Pink Dollaz, a quintet exclusively made of female teenagers, with a taste for sexually explicit lyrics, Cam and China proved they had a larger palette than what they had showed before, when they spearheaded the short-lived jerkin' movement.
# 094. KAMAIYAH - A Good Night in the Ghetto (2016)
With A Good Night in the Ghetto, Kamaiyah continued a long Californian tradition. There was a bit of g-funk on this mixtape, including funky sounds and a few sirens, but also some more recent sounds, influenced by the ratchet subgenre, represented here by YG. There was also, first and foremost, a strong willingness to celebrate happiness and little pleasures, in the challenging world of the ghetto.
# 093. NEILA - Only This One Counts (2011)
Discovered through the Californian click LA2theBay, and based in Hawaii, Neila has released with a great regularity an interesting bunch of records. This one, however, had a special flavor, and a quite bitter one. By then, indeed, the rapper was battling a cancer, and her voice was damaged. As a result, the well-named Only This One Counts would be her most sinister album, and her most poignant.
# 092. TOMMY GENESIS - World Vision (2015)
By the middle of the 2010's, in Atlanta, the fellows from Awful Records decided to focus on the most eclectic, bizarre and sinister side of rap. Discovered in Vancouver, Canada, art student Tommy Genesis would feel at ease with them. Her diverse and strange kind of rap, made of trap music provocations, ethereal ambiances and IDM-oriented sounds, complied perfectly to the collective's agenda.
# 091. NICKI MINAJ - Beam Me up Scotty (2009)
In the 2010's, the superstar of female rap was Nicki Minaj. No contest. But it was a few years earlier, through mixtapes, when she was Lil Wayne's protégée, that she had started to build a reputation. Before turning into a pop singer, Onika Maraj had demonstrated her skills as a rapper, thanks to these releases, and more particularly to Beam Me Up Scotty, the true turning point of her successful career.
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