Women in rap music have been paving their way since the 1970s when one of the first women to MC stepped into the game. Sha-Rock, also known as “Mother of the Mic'' broke out into the rap scene when she was the first woman to appear on National television as a member of the hip-hop crew, Funky 4 + 1. The crew consisted of four men and Sha-Rock, which is also why she claimed she was the + 1, noting that she was the extra flare to the group. Quickly becoming a prominent member of the hip-hop game with her swift lyrical delivery, Sha-Rock went on to influence the popular “echo chamber” style of rap where louder sounds are recorded with quieter sounds bouncing off of their backdrop. Old-school rappers like Run D.M.C. emulate this concept perfectly.
Salt-N-Pepa also created a space in the rap and hip-hop world for women to prosper. Being the first female rap group to sell over a million records in 1986 with their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, the duo quickly shook the industry with their danceable beats, good chemistry, and hard lyrical flow composed of relatable feminine lyrics that women could connect with.
Progression Of Female Rap & Hip-Hop
As the rap and hip-hop game progressed with artists like Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Da Brat, Lauryn Hill. Eve, Lil’ Kim, Queen Latifah, and Remy Ma, the road widened for different female flows, vocals, and vibes. However, when Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige began their careers, they became some of the most successful rap and hip-hop artists of all time with Elliot being the first female rapper to be nominated into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Blige having won 9 Grammys and selling over 100 million records.
New Era, New Waves
When the 21st century hit, so did the talent. From 2010 until now, female rap and hip-hop artists have expanded within the industry immensely. Within the last decade, only seven female rappers had made it into Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, but when Saweetie rose to fame in 2019, she became one of the breakthrough artists for female hip-hop by creating songs that were considered monumental hits. Cardi B has also been dominant and influential, as she is the first and the only female rapper to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2018. Whereas SZA can go down as one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, collaborating on hits for Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and more. And when Nicki Minaj stepped on the scene in 2007, she not only opened doors for future female rap and hip-hop artists but created them with multiple chart-topping hits and a confident flow that would lead to rappers just as good as her by 2020.
Established Female Rappers
Over the last couple of years, rap and hip-hop have seen women rise on the charts more than ever. Artists like GloRilla, Ice Spice, and Coi Leray have been top female sellers in the last year with their many hits like Blessed and Tomorrow by GloRilla, In Ha Mood and Gangsta Boo by Ice Spice, as well as Players, TWINNEM, and Fly Shit by Coi Leray.
So Good, They Need Their Own Category...
Artists like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna have had some of the largest-grossing singles of 2022 with Beyoncé’s song Cuff It, Minaj’s song Super Freaky Girl, and Rihanna's song Lift Me Up. Minaj’s Super Freaky Girl became the first female rap single that made it to number one on Billboard Hot 100 since 1998. While Beyoncé’s 2022 album Renaissance made her the third artist in history and the only female to have 20 top 10 singles on Billboard Hot 100 and made Beyoncé the first female artist to have her first seven studio albums debut at number one on Billboard Hot 100. As for Rihanna, she is the second best-selling female artist of all time with her many hits like Work, Diamonds, and What’s My Name.
New Female Rappers Making Their Mark
Females really made a new mark in the rap and hip-hop game in the last couple of years, as more and more hard hitters are being signed to record labels and dropping both albums and singles like Monaleo, Flo Milli, Lola Brooke, Dess Dior, Omeretta the Great, Big Boss Vette, Doechii, Rican Da Menace, and Sally Sossa. But there were just some songs that had to make the top 25 cut as going down as 2022’s best female rap and hip-hop songs.
Top Female Rap & Hip-Hop Songs of 2022
- Munch (Ice Spice)
- LONDON (Bia ft. J Cole)
- Tomorrow 2 (GloRilla ft. Cardi B)
- F.N.F. (GlorRilla)
- Super Freaky Girl remix (Nicki Minaj, JT, Bia ft. Katie Got Bandz, Akbar V & Maliibu Miitch)
- Blick Blick (Coi Leray ft. Nicki Minaj)
- Bikini Bottom (Ice Spice)
- Grinch (Sukihana)
- Top Notch (City Girls ft. Fivio Foreign)
- Here I Come (Lola Brooke)
- THIQUE (Beyoncé)
- Euphoric (Ice Spice)
- Star Song (Sally Sossa ft. Lil Durk)
- Hands Up (Tay Money ft. Monaleo)
- Do We Have A Problem (Nicki Minaj ft. Lil Baby)
- Pressurelicious (Megan Thee Stallion ft. Future)
- BIG PURR (Coi Leray ft. Pooh Shiesty)
- ABOW (Kash Doll, Rubi Rose, DreamDoll & ShantiiP)
- Hot Shit (Cardi B ft Ye & Lil Durk)
- Wheelie (Latto ft. 21 Savage)
- Lady Z Strikes Back (Queens Cast, Remy Ma, & Brandy)
- Persuasive - (Doechii ft SZA)
- On The Come Up (Lady London, Rapsody, & Jamila C. Gray)
- Pick A Side (Young M.A. & WAPSTAR)
- Conceited (Flo Milli)