A comprehensive preview of the next generation of female Rap superstars.
When the conversation of Female rappers comes up, we often refer to veterans like Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, MC Lyte, and Salt N Pepp. If it weren’t for their strong female presence, the game’s landscape would more than likelyamount to a machismo-fueled boys club.
Though the contributions of hip-hop’s fore-mothers will forever be remembered, there remains a new generation of female emcees collectively ushering in a new standard of music. Contrary to popular belief, there are more female rappers to support than current heavyweights Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. Whether you’re into the Trap wave, or prefer new age Punk infused rap, or simply prefer lyricists with the occasional sultry tendencies, this list has a lady for each and every archetype you can think of. Even some you may not be hip on.
26-year-old rapper Kash Doll is probably one of the most flamboyant acts on this list. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Kash Doll has been a fixture in the industry for the last two years. The former Exotic Dancer turned Model slash Rapper flexes in the most overtly confident yet nonchalant way, bringing a level of swagger and poise that’s currently unmatched by any of her peers.
While she has countless street anthems and strip club hits like “Check” & “For Everybody,” her big breakthrough was her steamy guest spot on Big Sean and Metro Boomin’s “So Good.” But really, Kash Doll has a number of notable moments in the limelight including her remix of Tinashae’s hit “2 On,” or the time that she slid into Drake’s DMs and secured an opening spot at his 2016 Summer Sixteen Detroit show.
“Run Me My Money”
Lady Leshurr is arguably the most lyrical on this list by far. The fact that she represents traditional UK Grime, which has seen a resurgence in popularity in the US through artists like Skepta, Stormzy & Giggs, only adds to her appeal as one of the hottest upcoming female rappers.
Back in 2015, Lady Leshurr’s monthly “Queen’s Speech” freestyle series went viral, with the third and fourth installments reigning as the most notable. Since then, she has delivered a number of popular singles including “RIP” and the recent hit “Black Panther.” Given the fact that she has only released three projects to date, including her 2013 Mona Leshurr EP and her 2017 Mode EP, we can only imagine that we’ll be receiving a full length album soon.
If ever there were a Grunge-inspired female representation of A$AP Rocky, Princess Nokia would be the closest thing. Twenty-five year old Destiny Nicole Frasqueri hails from New York City, the product of a checkered past. As detailed in her personal documentary “Destiny,” her mother died when she was 10 years old, leaving her in the care of an abusive foster mother.
She first started out rapping around the age of sixteen, releasing her first song “Destiny” under the name Wavy Spice. Throughout the next few years, Frasqueri continued to release music under the Wavy Spice alias, scoring a number of viral hits including “Bitch I’m Posh” and “Vicki Gotti.” She eventually changed her stage name to Princess Nokia in 2014.
Two years later she released her debut album 1992 Deluxe, an extended version of her 1992 mixtape that included aggressive hits like “Tomboy,” “Kitana,” and “G.O.A.T.” Her latest effort, A Girl Cried Red, fuses her blunt and amplified bars with a muted an emo-inspired tone, resulting in a completely ballistic sonic wave.
Yet another emerging MC from New York City, Shayna McHayle, better known as Junglepussy, is one of the most eclectic and soulful voices on the scene. Her flow falls somewhere between the brash sex appeal of Missy Elliot and the infinite jests and enthralling clutches of Erykah Badu’s wisdom filed bars; in an appropriate turn of events, Ms. Badu gave Junglepussy one of her first major cosigns via Twitter back in 2014.
Junglepussy released her first track “Cream Team,” which went on to receive widespread success. It was then followed by a number of singles including “Stitches” & “Me,” which precluded the release of her debut project Satisfaction Guaranteed. In 2015, Junglepussy released her debut album Pregnant With Success which spawned successful singles like “Somebody” & “Spicy 103 FM.” The rapper is currently gearing up to release her upcoming album JP3, which makes this the perfect time to familiarize oneself with her discography.
If there is anyone on this list closeeto a household name, it’s Bay Area rapper Kamiayah. Born in Oaklan, California, Kamaiyah Jamesha Johnson grew up in Sacremento and was inspired by a slew of 90’s R&B groups and musicians including TLC and Missy Elliot. She released her first track “How Does It Feel” in 2015 and seemingly took off from there.
In 2016 Kamaiyah truly broke down barriers and burst into the industry off the strength of her debut mixtape A Good Night In The Ghetto. The project was received well and the success of the record helped her secure a guest spot on one of the biggest songs of that same year, YG & Drake’s “Why You Always Hatin?” Since, Kamiayah has put out a wide array of music including her 2017 project Before I Wake.
Though her debut album was pushed back last year due to sample clearance issues, you can expect atleast two projects from Kamaiyah in the near future, as she plans on releasing a follow-up to Before I Wake dubbed Woke, in addition to her album. In essence, what you see is what you get with an artist like Kamaiyah. She reps the West Coast, Bay Area to the fullest in her music and it’s quite refreshing to see how she puts her intuitive twist on the traditional bounce and funkadelic roots of the sound pioneered by this region.
“Out The Bottle”
When you think of rappers with insane work ethic, consistently delivering fire features and putting on for the squad, names like Curren$y or 2 Chainz come to mind. In reality, there are many unsung rappers putting out music as feverishly as the aforementioned juggernauts. Take Bali Baby for instance, the 20-year-old whose breakout record “Banana Clip” landed her an Instagram shout-out from 2 Chainz; unfortunately, all this went down while she was inconveniently incarcerated for probation violation.
Since wrapping up her one-month jail sentence in 2016, Bali Baby has released five full-length projects. If you’re new to Bali’s music, expect egotistical, self-absorbed and ultra turnt bars, blended together in a stylistic amalgamation of Trap, Pop & R&B.
In order to round out the list, we brought in another hard-nosed lyricist, the Bronx-bred rapper Maliibu Miitch. Maliibu’s story is fairly interesting; even though she is currently enjoying her moment on the come-up, she’s actually fairly advanced compared to her peers, having been immersed in the industry for years.
Maliibu started making music when she was 19, and was immediately picked up by the legendary Ruff Ryders label. By the time she turned 23, she had already inked her second major label deal with Island Def Jam. Unfortunately, neither of those situations worked out, but through the latter endeavor, she managed to snag one of her first big hit records. You might recall the cult favorite “Crush On You” which she often credits as a crucial piece of her stylistic development. Luckily, she has big plans for 2018, with two projects on deck.
“Crush On You”
Saweetie might have one of the more humbling Cinderella stories of the bunch. 24-Year-Old Diamonté Harper grew up in Hayward, California, where she began writing music around the age of 14. She started going by Saweetie, a pet name her grandmother gave her, and began recording freestyle videos over vintage beats to post on Instagram. One freestyle in particular, a rendition of Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” went viral, subsequently initiating a trajectory of success that would eventually land her a record deal with Warner Bros.
Due to the success of the video, Saweetie recorded a studio version of the freestyle dubbed “Icy Grl,” and simultaneously securing her first major hit. The track is very evocative of her style, with witty, tongue-in-cheek punchlines and a sultry yet gritty delivery. At this moment, “Icy Grl” has nearly 38 million hits on Youtube, and her newly released High Maintenance EP is also faring considerably well. Given the fact that she is still very much on the come up, Saweetie has potential to be colossal over the next few years.
It’s evident that every woman on this list represents one thing or another, whether it be a boss-like attitude, fierce style, or a gripping rhetoric. Whatever it may be, each artists represents new archetypes in the world of the female emcee. With that in mind, Chattanooga, Tennessee bred BbyMutha seems to encapsulate duality, chiefly due to the way she balances her blooming, explicit Rap career with motherhood.
The 28-year-old mother of four and self proclaimed Hoodrat Aphrodite began her rap career in 2013, after the birth of her second set of twins. She began working with prominent New York producer LSDXOXO, resulting in the track “Black Widow” from LSDXOXO’s Whore Core mixtape. The track eventually gained immense traction, setting the stage for BbyMutha’s entrance to the rap game. Since then, she’s released a slew of sexually explicit, gender fluid, empowering tracks that combine grimy vibes, Southern drawl and old-school funky rhythms.
Chicago’s own CupcakKe rounds out the list with a bang. The rapper, real name Elizabeth Eden Harris, grew up in grueling conditions alongside her single mother. By the time she was seven-years-old she was homeless, living from shelter to shelter. She turned to the Church, where she began writing poetry and raps by the age of 10. At 15, she released her first music video “Gold Digger,” experiencing viral fame almost immediately.
In the years that followed, CupcakKe continued to release music, gaining traction with viral songs like “Deepthroat” & “Vagina.” By 2016, she had amassed a rabid fanbase, who eagerly enjoyed her debut album Cum Cake. Fast forward to present day. CupcakKe has since released five full-length projects (which all have zero features), thus solidifying herself as one of the next big female artists of this generation.